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Gary Albertson
19-Jun-2001, 12:54
I would hope not to only invite fighting comments upon the pros and cons of digi tal vs. traditional film, but currently attempting to find comprehensive sources both in technical and philoso phical views regarding large format landscape photography and impact upon art galleries and their audiences, in website and book form. Whether I eventually sell my loved 4X5 equipment for digital someday, perhaps ev en printing my own Giclee's, is less important than my images continuing to be hung on gallery walls and myse lf making a living being passionately married to Mother Nature. Tha

Joe Lipka
19-Jun-2001, 14:06
I think of digital and traditional photography as apples and oranges. Both are good, but they are not interchangeable. They are different tools to be used to realize your vision. You don't have to sell your 4x5 to "go digital".

If I interpret your statement correctly, your main desire is to continue to have your work exhibited and sold, and whether digital or traditional silver based photographs is the way to go? IMHO this is essentially a business question, and the resources would be galleries, but more importantly, those photographers that sell their work from their own websites. Galleries are a relatively inefficient way to have your work displayed when compared to a website. LensWork covered this gallery/website issue a few issues back.

Gary Albertson
19-Jun-2001, 14:56
Joe, Thanks for your input. I certainly can accept how efficient websales can be, but how can a 72 dpi monitor replace the sensual closeness to the image one gets when gazing at the framed pr int in a gallery? Yet, I also realize how unfair the 50% or more commission galleries get to sell my works. Of ten I have contemplated owning my own gallery, but at times, that also feels like I would simply be shoo ting myself in the foot. I am unfamiliar with LensWork, but maybe I can track them down and get a back issue o n the article you mentioned. Tha

ed kang
19-Jun-2001, 17:10
Galleries are not as efficient as websites, so to speak, but Gary has a point here.

I think it just depends on how quickly you want to be noticed.

However, I also agree that the question you're asking doesn't really...well...make much sense (at least to me). You don't have to forsake one or the other.

Digital anything is usually a completely different beast from traditional photography, and like always, they're only tools. There are pros and cons, but pros and cons are only important if you aren't patient enough to explore both mediums.

It's kind of like people asking about the pros and cons of hammers vs. hatchets. There's no comparison to be made - they both have their uses.

Bruce Wehman
19-Jun-2001, 17:55
Gary, A quick response to the technical part of your question: An 8x10 transparency contains about 2.5 Gig. of information. If a one shot digital cpature device were ever made to capture this much information....cool, your armed guards could help you carry it around. It would still make more sense to capture on film and scan later.

And with regard to the rest of your question: I think it depends upon what part of the Art market you are in. If it's Art shows and regional galleries then I don't think it really matters how an image is created. People there tend to buy images they like. To the Literati of the Art world, however, the issue of film vs. digital would be far more significant. Whether that would translate into a positive or a negative, I don't know. Art,after all,is more about talent and vision than mechanics.

Larry Huppert
20-Jun-2001, 00:27
You might want to take a look at John Paul Caponigro's website. Although he isn't (primarily) a LF shooter, he has a backend digital process for producing his output, and talks a bit about the details of why he does things the way he does. He has also published a very good book about using Photoshop as a creative tool (a good complement to a more remedial book such as Real World Photoshop).

Jorge Gasteazoro
20-Jun-2001, 05:04
You can also get Dan Burkholder's book, creating digital negatives. In this book you will learn how to make negatives of any size you want for contact printing. I personally know Dan and have seen how he produces his work, he only has a Nikon F5, but his Platinum/Palladium prints can be as big as 18x11, all from his scanned 35 mm negs. His process is amazing, and if digital is what you want to try, this would be a good reference book.

Pete Andrews
20-Jun-2001, 07:15
I don't think that your decision can be rationally based on the technical merits of any particular medium. My own opinion is that for colour work, digital has far greater potential, flexibility and colour fidelity than film has managed to achieve to date. Especially in the light of digital's progress in the last 5 years, compared to film over the last 50.For B&W, I'm still undecided, since this area is being largely ignored by the big players in digital imaging.

Anyway, as far as selling from gallery walls is concerned, I think you should look more to psychology, than to fellow photographers, for your answer.The fine art scene these days seems to have very little to do with the technical ability of the artist, or with aesthetic merit. It's more about hype, snobbery and investment, and in this respect, I don't think that digital holds the kudos of such labels as "R-type print", or "Silver-gelatin (sic) print", even though the buyer probably has little idea what those labels actually mean.

john g
20-Jun-2001, 13:06
As a large format guy who has sold all of his equipment to go digital I think I can give some insight on the other side. First as with everything photographic the end result is going to justify the means. I you want to display a traditional C print, Ilfochrome, or B+W print it is not imposible to do this with digital. However a 4x5, 8x10, or larger will give you the best results. Now if you were to work within the digital "world" so to speak where you are going to "process" your images with the computer your end result could be quite different. There are ink jet prints which are more like mechanized paintings or photographic images printed on alternative papers. There is acetate where a negative can be produced for contact printing. Output to a fuji pictography printer which is a silver process and is indistinguishable {spelling?} from a traditional photographic print. Neg and transparency printers. Ect...

By no means am I on a digital high horse though it may sound like it. IMHO digital right now is geared more tword the photographic fine artist who has been dying for an easier and more cost efficient way of taking/creating an image. This works for me.

For an exact {to some extent} copy of what is

john g
20-Jun-2001, 13:12
As a large format guy who has sold all of his equipment to go digital I think I can give some insight on the other side. First as with everything photographic the end result is going to justify the means. I you want to display a traditional C print, Ilfochrome, or B+W print it is not imposible to do this with digital. However a 4x5, 8x10, or larger will give you the best results. Now if you were to work within the digital "world" so to speak where you are going to "process" your images with the computer your end result could be quite different. There are ink jet prints which are more like mechanized paintings or photographic images printed on alternative papers. There is acetate where a negative can be produced for contact printing. Output to a fuji pictography printer which is a silver process and is indistinguishable {spelling?} from a traditional photographic print. Neg and transparency printers. Ect...

By no means am I on a digital high horse though it may sound like it. IMHO digital right now is geared more tword the photographic fine artist who has been dying for an easier and more cost efficient way of taking/creating an image. This works for me.

For an exact {to some extent} copy of what is there, large format film will give you the best result with traditional processes. Digital will give you medium format reults if you know what you are doing when using traditional processes.

IMHO

Jonathan Brewer
21-Jun-2001, 22:37
Digital has borrowed or taken a lot from Photography and painting and a few other disciplines. I consider my image editing program an electronic darkroom that gives me an extra dimension to add to some of my images as opposed to a smokescreen for a lousy image. Digital to me is more of an offshoot of Photography and than anything else but it tries hard sell itself as the equal of photography which is not. I use my digital tools to augment my photograhy.

I've got 35mm, MF, and now LF, and in terms of the quality of my Photographic equipmeny(its workmanship, quality, and the willingness of the manufacturers to stand by that equipment) versus my Digital(Image Editing, Computer,printers) equipment, there is no comparison. I have cameras that I've had for 15+ years, that the manufacturer has fixed for nothing. On the other hand I've got a four year old dye-sub printer that the manufacturer refuses to even service. People in digital put out software at premium prices they know have bugs, and in some cases thousands of them. Some of the software I've bought just didn't work until I expended even MORE money for a later upgrade. The arrogant and obnoxius attitude of some folks that I've talked to over the phone, regarding the problems I've had with software bugs and/or computer crashes caused by those bugs is intolerable. I bought some software inside of a year ago which kept crashing my system, and upon complaining over the phone about the problem their tech support people told me to just stop using their software! In other words, we took your money now get lost!

There are also a lot of folks in Digital claiming to be fine artists who obviously never been to so much as Art Appreciation 101. They seem to think that since they're smart and have a computer and photoshop, that if they put a lot of stuff in an image they can pass it off as something well done. Dues have to be paid and a lot of the makers and users of digital equipment don't want to pay them.

Photography is a mature discipline, and Digital is still in its infancy. A lot of Digitals roots are in Photograhpy and as such it is never going to replace photography, reshape it maybe.

Having said all this, Digital is great WHEN it works right,is backed up by a manufacturer with enthusiastic tech support and you know what you're doing. There are some great digital artists believe me, just not enough of them.

Ken Nielsen
10-Jan-2002, 14:54
I would like to see your work on a website anyway Gary. It would be a good reference to what you have in the galleries. IMHO.