9 thoughts on “Detritus.

  1. I find it interesting that you have returned, at least in your recent posts, to film. I do like the tactile quality film gives. So, my distant friend, I look forward to your response.

    1. You asked – 🙂
      Photography for me, has always been a way of relaxing and just avoiding the stresses of life. That I can sometimes make enough from sales and help cover the cost of paper and chemicals is a bonus.
      The whole process of using film, gives me a feeling of accomplishment; probably like the painter putting on the last brush stroke. Film gives me a feeling of control over the final image; no programme or sub-routine has taken that control away from me.
      The camera, light meter, film, paper and chemicals all go towards producing a single and unique image. That does not happen with digital; from the moment the shutter is pressed, the whole thing becomes a cloning process from which endless exact copies can be produced.
      The question of film or digital shouldn’t really be asked, it’s a bit like asking why does, one paint with oils and the other watercolours. Both can produce an image, but both give a totally different sensation to the mind eye.
      I love working with my Nikon D800, it is so forgiving with exposure, E6 film with the latitude of C41; who could ask for more. The in between bit is what I don’t like, there is the unavoidable computer screen !! No negative or slide on the light-table.
      I have now lost control, yes I can manipulate the image on the screen using someone else’s program, but it’s not the same as choosing how much light I give a certain part of the image when printing in the darkroom, so much more tactile. I am using my hands, my eyes and subconscious while making the photograph.
      The other way comes down to how good my computer screen is, has it been calibrated, how much I spend on the manipulation programmes, can I become proficient enough using them, is the printer and paper going to give me a print that will not fade after a year or so on the wall. That for me, gets very close to work & not fun !

      Digital negatives are the way to go and I am experimenting with this process slowly, slowly 😎 Black only printing gives me the best density with my canon printer at the moment. But a long way from being totally happy with the results.

      Forgetting all the above……. who could ever not like the joy of using a wonder of mechanical engineering such as the Nikon F2sb camera for example.

      1. Hi David,
        I can understand your feelings when you write that it is, “way of relaxing and just avoiding the stresses of life.”
        Since retiring and refusing to do client work, I am getting that for the first time.
        My experience not producing work for others was very short I I was hired right out of my college photography course and I had forgotten how much fun it is to just take a picture for myself.
        As I continued reading your thoughts regarding each “unique image” I had to stop and think about those hours I spent in the photo lab processing, and printing that one of a kind image. And then mixing chemicals that reacted in a specific way for the paper I used and following a recipe for processing each different film type.
        As I wrote you, I like the tactile look of film. And I like your thought, “I am using my hands, my eyes and subconscious while making the photograph.” However, I expect many photographers that have never used film will wonder at your words.
        You discussed the “tactile” feeling you got in the dark room. I understand that also, although I haven’t shot a roll of film, processed or printed since sometime in 2002 when I first got a scanner and later a DSLR.

        I don’t understand what you mean when you say, “Digital negatives are the way to go and I am experimenting with this process slowly, slowly 😎 Black only printing gives me the best density with my canon printer at the moment.” Could you elaborate?

        I began using Epson pigment printers as soon as I quit film back in 2002. I attended Epson printing classes and even worn my printers out. I now use an Epson 3880 and I have no doubt that I can print as beautiful a 16X20 in black and white as I can in colour. Wilhelm Imaging Research has tested Epson pigment inks and papers against 100 plus years fading.

        As you know I have a small shop and sell cameras. My customers never know how much I enjoy the feel of those pre-1980 cameras that were made by engineers instead of the technicians that are aided by computers today. The cameras I miss are the little folding Kodak Retinas, the Nikon F3 and then the Nikon F5, and absolutely the Hasselblad. I also owned 4X5 view cameras and many TLRs. Yes film was a joy.
        Would I return? My wife and I have been thinking about returning to using TLRs. I have purchased a Yashica Mat and there is a Camera Swap in Vancouver that I will suffer a drive through the snow covered coastal British Columbia Mountains to attend in November in hopes of finding another.

        I appreciate your thoughtful response to my question.
        Thanks, John

        1. First of all – the Yashica mat is a great camera, I’ve had 124G for a number of years and it works well.
          The Digital negative & black only printing was for making negatives that I can contact print with conventional gelatin silver paper. I need a pigment ink printer really; not a purchase I can contemplate here in Oman as very limited stock & very inflated prices! the Canon pro9000 does very well, especially since it is now converted to a Mk2 version. But I cannot get enough contrast on the negatives with dye based inks – probably me doing something wrong but we shall see.

        2. Thats great you have a 124G. I had one years ago – what a great camera. I am interested in that Digital negative & black printing, that seems like a really neat process.
          Yes I can imagine the prices over there are inflated. Canadian prices are a lot higher than they are in the USA, but probably not as bad as where you are. I have read good reviews on Canon printers. I expect you’ll figure that out.
          As you know I really enjoy your work and your blog.
          Good luck and thanks for the info.

        3. David, I would like to quote some of what you wrote to me in your first reply in an upcoming articles on Digital and then Film photography. Is that all right? Some of the points you make are relevant to my discussion in agreeing with what your wrote.

        4. If you think my scribblings relevant then by all means quote me.
          I do get a bit carried away with the digital/film thing: 🙂


        5. You had some very good things to say. My first article will be titled, The Final Performance. After what Ansel Adams wrote about the score and the performance.
          Never feel you are getting carried away with me. I welcome your opinion.

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