U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: black fingernails, et al, was Re: Paper - baby oil Digi Negs

Re: black fingernails, et al, was Re: Paper - baby oil Digi Negs

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  • Subject: Re: black fingernails, et al, was Re: Paper - baby oil Digi Negs
  • From: Judy Seigel <jseigel@panix.com>
  • Date: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 23:21:19 -0400 (EDT)
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On Mon, 31 Aug 2009, Paul Viapiano wrote:

Et tu, Judy?

Godammit...we'll make our own!


Make our own *what*? By the time I came into photography, film was approaching its end-stage -- or that was my surmise, and why, when I felt compelled by unseen forces to put text about photography into print, I called it "post-factory." What I myself wanted was to make *pictures* -- I didn't care about film per se... in fact, truth to tell, I was never much good with it, except plain Tri-X. The rest, especially large format, was too unforgiving, too exacting, too fiddly, too much math.... Everything had to be set in advance, programmed, no second guessing, no experiment, just another day in the darkroom, more $$$ for film, & more rules to learn.

So I have an antique 4x5 and a storied lens (something Dagor) in a drawer in the studio in a chest I can't get to without moving 88 pounds of stuff ... but it never caught my heart... Not that I didn't suffer for years with lith film for negs until digital negs got doable... But the "alt" processes invite amendment, you can add another coat, or wipe out a coat or lay something on top of something... And if you screw up you can keep going or call out the marines, or find some wizard on the list -- it's not total death like a failed outing with film.

So when you say "make our own," if you mean our own emulsions, paper, processes, soup, technique, look, protocol, combos, & so forth... We may do some of that every day. But I haven't used film (if that's what you're talking about) in years.... except large negs for alt. But you don't mean make our own *film*, do you ?!!

However, I'll say this for film... It's tough & it keeps. Yesterday, looking for something else, I came across 3 rolls of color film I'd shot in Times Square in the '80s, good as new. At the time, the prints were so disappointing I never shot color again, finishing the project the way I'd begun, in b&w, adding color by fair means or foul in the prints. But yesterday, I thought, now that I've got some computer savvy, and a digital printer so huge I could live in it, I can probably fix these blah old photos. So for the first time (blush) I looked, not at the stupid PRINTS Kodak made in '87,,,, but at the NEGATIVES.

And -- they're fascinating... The look of the reverse color is a trip in itself, & printing them via separations should be another trip. The problem, it dawned on me, was the prints that came with them: Not just the insipid commercial color... but what those jerks at Kodak did (& probably still do) ... they cropped my exquisitely composed images in the print... No wonder they look blah.

Is that something everyone else knows? If you have a roll of film printed commercially they'll "fix" it by auto-cropping (unless you can find a custom lab and threaten mayhem)?

Paul, if I misunderstood your dismay... my abject apologies. But I'm mostly lamenting the color photos I never made in Times Square because Kodak ruined them first. (Tho on the 3rd hand, I've been making progress with fake real color, which is usually more fun....)