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Thread: Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

  1. #1

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    Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

    Did any of you see B&W magazine's editorial statement affirming traditional phot ography over digital? It's in the latest issue. The editor made a point about digital being technology used for reproduction, like a lithograph, while he equa ted traditional photography with being 0a craft. Not 100% sure of the analogy' s validity, but I think the affirmation is wonderful - someone taking a stand at least, and not selling out to the brave new virtual world (where humanity becom es the slave of technology and supposedly gain "increased productivity" but for whom and for what???). Maybe not all is lost!

  2. #2

    Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

    I find it funny to hear analog photographers echo painters and critics of the early 20th century. Those critics despised photography and why not; "photography requires no skill", "it ain't art" and so on and so on. These painters and critics were like analog photographers of the present; jealous of the new medium and terrified that skills learned over a lifetime would become useless.

    Photography needed Ansel Adams - and others - to deviate from the "painting immitation" crowd of that time, and to show what photography could be. Digital photography is in its very early days and digital's "Ansel" has yet to come to the forefront to create that new artform. But that person will come. And in 50 years digital photography will be viewed in the same way as any mature art and some day it too will be supplemented by another visual form.

  3. #3

    Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

    Not as long as digital keeps comparing itself to traditional photgraphy David. In the past photgraphers never said, "we are doing exactly the same as painting but better and easier" which is what digital proponents do now. I always find it funny that digital proponents always fall back on this "painter's argument" of the past but you always say...hey my photoshop does this and that just like in the darkroom, or my Epson printer is just as good and the prints last much longer than a platinum/palladium printe...etc.

    Why cant you people come up with your own techniques? why does it always have to be compared to traditional photography? is it because you want to give it some validity without earning it? if digital is so wonderful why is it always saying "better than film/paper/chemical/darkroom?

    Look as far as I am concerned I can spot a digital print even if it is done with the MIS or Cone inks, not because the quality is not there, but because for some reason the "feel" is just not the same. lets remember that even though there are electric pianos, people still use Stainway....as a matter of fact I have yet to go listen to a symphony on an electric piano.

  4. #4

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    Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

    The landscape painters of old used what was called a "camera obscura." Essentially it was a pinhole camera the size of a tent, with aperatures on all four sides. The painter would set it up in the direction of his subject. Then get inside, and project the image to an easel and canvas. No wonder those works had such uncanney perspective. They eventually added lenses, shrunk it down to box size and with the invention light sensative materials, gave birth to the camera.

    Now the next evolution or devolution; digital. Will it replace traditionl photography? Maybe, maybe not. One area that needs to be addressed is the permanency of a digitally stored image. Is it archival? I have no factual information on that but hear it is not.

    Another area is where is the border line between photography and graphic arts and how much overlapping grey area is there? It really depends on the extent of the manpulations. Painters have the flexability to add or ommit trees, rocks, any part of the subject they want. A photographer has to work with what is there infront of the lens for the slice in time of the duration of the exposure. A painter can return as many times as they want and over a period of time, days, weeks, even months, capture what they want on canvas. Now with digital and Photoshop, a photographer, graphic artist, can do the same. Where will it end, begin?

    Right now the best thing to do is grab your camera and go take pictures! BY!

  5. #5

    Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

    I agree with the editor of B&W. Part of the power of photography has been photographers ability to develop around the limitations of the medium. This is no different than the way that musicians learn to develop music with the power and beauty of their chosen instrument. Digital photography is far less limited in its capabilities. For this reason, I believe the medium will increasingly diverge and grow apart from traditional "analog" photography. It will because it can. When it truly breaks free it will add immeasurably to culture and arts. Early photography similarly had to break free from imitation of earlier painterly and drafting traditions. B&W's editor's courageous stance will help digital workers break free from the constraints of attempting to imitate or "better" traditional photography and encourage to explore in new ways. For these reasons I think there will continue to be a strong market for traditional "craft" oriented photography and the new medium of digital imaging. In ten years I don't think anyone will be thinking about digital vs analog, they will both be thriving in their own way.

  6. #6

    Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

    Yesterday I got a digital print wet, and the colors ran. That never happened to me with a silver gelatine print.

  7. #7

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    Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

    hmm...wasn't this discussed someplace else recently, was it this forum?? deja vu...but no, I haven't read the editorial...however isn't it sort of ironic that you all would find the editorial "courageous", in that the slant of the magazine is towards collecting fine art & silver based photography. I have only bought one issue of that magazine, and flipped through a couple of others, but I found it to be more about collecting images or showcasing certain photographers more than the act of photography....to me a magazine like Lenswork, or View Camera for example is more about photography--theory & art & craft, if you will.

    It also strikes me as ironic, to "take a stand" against digital imaging, in that the publication is a slick magazine....probably printed on a web press, and all the pre-press done digitally to begin with.....maybe you could take stand against digital by not buying any publication that is produced with any type of digital support....go back to something printed on a letterpress with the photos tipped in.....oh, MY opinions only.

  8. #8

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    Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

    DK Thompson - Yes, you are correct in your comments. I guess such a "stance" isn't too surprising from a source like B&W magazine. Sorry for the naivete, still it was good to hear somebody of a commerical mindset not blindly jumping on the digital bandwagon. This was all I was getting at ... sorry to let my cynicism not get the best of me. It won't happen again.

  9. #9

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    Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

    S.O.S.....All this is like arguing about who's got the best wife. I don't care how great you think yours is, I'm not getting rid of mine anytime soon.

    When the future arrives, it is never as predicted, and what do most of these predictions mean anyway? They don't mean anything until they come true, and who knows when they will.

    This traditional Photography/digital argument will go on and on, and there will never be a winner. No true artform ever dies.
    Jonathan Brewer

    www.imageandartifact.bz

  10. #10

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    Did anyone see the editor's statement in B&W

    No..., believe me I am a real cynic in regards to digital, but it's all around us....there practically isn't a product or publication out there that isn't done in at least some small part with computers & digital output etc. As for B&W, I'll admit it has beautiful reproduction...but so does Communication Arts, or Step By Step Magazine, or Print. It's just ironic to me to take a firm standing against digital imaging in light of the fact that digital technology is used in the production of the magazine itself, and for their website from which you can order collector's prints....which I assume are silver-gelatin based. And then probably someday, if not already, the magazine itself will become collectible....

    I suspect the answer to this will be that the magazine caters to those who collect the artifact--not the reproduction. Okay, fine. That's the "cottage trade" there, or for those with access to great galleries or benevolent public museums...I reserve the right to be a cynic here, though, since I work in a museum and out of 250,000+ objects, the general public will probably see only about 10% ever....without arranging some sort of personal viewing & going through the protocol for that. What I see as the reality of this, is that alot of people get their exposure to photography, and fine art photography through printed materials like B&W magazine and books etc. Now on the internet as well.....as for me, having worked in an offset printing shop in a previous life, I actually enjoy looking at a finely printed book....to me I see the "art" in reproduction as well.....MY opinions as always.

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