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Thread: how much of this is just opinion...?

  1. #1

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    how much of this is just opinion...?

    Hello.
    I just recently sold off my Nikon D300 as well as my Nikon 9000 film scanner. I am keeping the Epson (for now, anyway) for rescuing those negatives that I fubar. I am directing my focus to the production of silver gelatin prints.

    Shortly after the scanner was gone, I started to get cold feet, and question my reasoning: Are inkjets all that inferior? You aren't the best printer in the world... sure you don't need that scanner to fall back on? Do silver gelatin prints really look that good? Are they worth the time, tedium and frustration put into refining just one image on light sensitive paper? And the spotting! NOT a fan of the spotting!

    But then I looked at a succesful silver print I'd made on Ilford warmtone glossy fiber based paper. Suddenly, all the doubts fell away like water off a ducks back. I really like the results when I do things right. When its good, its REALLY good, when it's bad...

    Any way, I guess it's a matter of opinion. I (and others) still like my inkjets; I just think the silver prints are infinitely superior. I guess it's all a matter of opinion; most people seem not to be able to tell the difference...

    Your... opinions are welcome.

  2. #2
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    Re: how much of this is just opinion...?

    "How much of this is just opinion?"

    All of it!

  3. #3

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    Re: how much of this is just opinion...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gem Singer View Post
    "How much of this is just opinion?"

    All of it!
    Maybe I wasn't clear (won't be the first time):

    What I meant was: Is PHOTOGRAPHY as an art form simply a matter of opinion?

  4. #4

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    Re: how much of this is just opinion...?

    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
    ........

    What I meant was: Is PHOTOGRAPHY as an art form simply a matter of opinion?
    Yes, now you must choose the manner in which you feel the most reward from while expressing that art form. Whether silver or ink.

    Digital and ink is my work,
    so silver has become my pleasure, as you stated, when it is right on, it is oh so beautiful!

  5. #5

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    Re: how much of this is just opinion...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen in Montreal View Post
    Yes, now you must choose the manner in which you feel the most reward from while expressing that art form. Whether silver or ink.

    Digital and ink is my work,
    so silver has become my pleasure, as you stated, when it is right on, it is oh so beautiful!
    I find silver more rewarding because I prefer it. My clients, who, as of late, are as common as hen's teeth, don't seem to care or know the difference. So I guess this begs the question: Why am I really doing this? For the money, or for personal gratification...?

  6. #6

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    Re: how much of this is just opinion...?

    There's nothing empirical about this stuff, it's all a matter of opinion. It simply is what it is. It's all about being comfortable with your compromises. Also there are many different reasons why people do this stuff, they want different things from the experience.

    Its not only about the look of the finished product but about the process itself. I personally am interested in the shortest possible road to the print as far as that part of the process goes. I invest my time and energy in the camera part of the process because for me that's where the valuable experience is and the rest of the process, the processing and printing is just a job so I give the film to the lab and then scan and make prints on my ink jet.

    As a frequent viewer of photos I don't think that silver is better than ink jet or the other way around, I'm really just interested in the image. In the end you have to get out of the process what you want to get out of it. You have to be satisfied and to hell with the rest of us. After all, Art can only be a matter of opinion so you might as well do what makes you happy because you can't control opinions.

    Have a nice day.

  7. #7

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    Re: how much of this is just opinion...?

    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
    Maybe I wasn't clear (won't be the first time):

    What I meant was: Is PHOTOGRAPHY as an art form simply a matter of opinion?
    Neither the word "photography" nor the phrase "art form" is used in your message. Your entire message is devoted to darkroom prints and ink jet prints. If you want people to discuss the question of whether photography as an art form is a matter of opinion (an odd question but you're certainly free to ask it) I suggest you delete the message you've posted and ask that question. If you want people to discuss the question of whether in their opinion a darkroom print on fiber paper is "better" for them than an ink jet print then leave your message as it is.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  8. #8
    Michael Alpert
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    Re: how much of this is just opinion...?

    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
    Is PHOTOGRAPHY as an art form simply a matter of opinion?
    Cobalt,

    You statement/question is pure (or not-so-pure) Zen, but I'll attempt an answer.

    You are perhaps asking if photography is included in the world of art.

    Or you are asking if the evaluation of specific photographs is a matter of arbitrary opinion.

    Or you are asking if the technical side of printmaking (for example, ink prints versus silver prints) determines (or is of primary importance to) the aesthetic value of a specific photographic print.

    If any one of these questions is what you are asking, I would answer: (1) yes; (2) no; and (3) maybe. I would further say that the material beauty of a print can only be dismissed if one is thinking of photography solely as a vehicle for information (as in low level photojournalism).

  9. #9
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    Re: how much of this is just opinion...?

    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
    Any way, I guess it's a matter of opinion. I (and others) still like my inkjets; I just think the silver prints are infinitely superior. I guess it's all a matter of opinion; most people seem not to be able to tell the difference...

    Your... opinions are welcome.
    Inkjet prints and silver gelatin prints are two different media. Inkjet prints are not wanna-be silver gelatin prints. If you can ever quit thinking that then perhaps you can see them for what they really are. Which is inkjet prints.

    All media, be it silver gelatin, albumen, salt, platinum, ... inkjet have their own personalities, their own strengths and weaknesses. It's up to the artist to decide which media best fits the work they do and the workflow they use to do it.

    You are right that it's all a matter of opinion. But in this case yours is the only opinion that counts. Have the courage to do what you want.

    Bruce Watson

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    Re: how much of this is just opinion...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ellis View Post
    Neither the word "photography" nor the phrase "art form" is used in your message. Your entire message is devoted to darkroom prints and ink jet prints. If you want people to discuss the question of whether photography as an art form is a matter of opinion (an odd question but you're certainly free to ask it) I suggest you delete the message you've posted and ask that question. If you want people to discuss the question of whether in their opinion a darkroom print on fiber paper is "better" for them than an ink jet print then leave your message as it is.
    I haven't needed help with expressing an opinion since I was four. To rebut your response would be a waste of time.

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