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

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Dec 1998

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

    Why is it so hard to understand that if an editor decides not to focus on digital that he isn't necessarily dismissing the craft. Isn't it possible that he's just trying to emphasize the "classical" approach to photography? I believe he even stated in the editorial, and I paraphrase, that there are plenty of periodicals in the marketplace that focus on digital; he just doesn't want his to be one of them. My hat's off to him. Personally I don't understand the digital vs. silver argument from large format photographers. IMHO it's an argument better left to 35mm and MF folks, who work with small frames and are probably impacted/benefitted to a greater degree than LF users.

  2. #22
    4x5 Is So Small. . . J.B. Harlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

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

    I am not in the habit of writing to every magazine editor. . . In fact this only one of a couple of letters I have ever sent to an editor. . . Anyway, here is what I sent. . . I feel it is self explanatory. . .


    TO: Mr. Henry Rasmussen, Publisher and Editor, Black & White Magazine,

    In reference to your April 2002 issue Opening Shot titled "IN CONSIDERATION OF CONSTANCY". . .

    THANK YOU FOR TAKING A "STAND" and making your position clear. . . Thank you for not following the "popular" lead of the manufacturers advertising. . . Thank you for supporting true artisanship. . . Thank you for being forthright and honest. . . My faith has been restored in your magazine. . . I WILL continue as a loyal, true supporter and subscriber.

    I am so tired of the current battle cry in the photographic world; "I'M SELLING MY DARKROOM, I'M GOING DIGITAL." My only question for these people is. . . WHY??? . . . Because it is suppose to be "COOL". . . to be the "IN" thing. . . to be QUICK and EASY???. . . I just don't get it. . .

    Digital is its own art form. . . NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR TRADITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY. . . The manufacturers see a gold mine here. . . they see it as a way to get rid of much of their overhead and manufacturing costs. . . to just sell optical disks containing "VAPOR WARE". . . quick, easy, no muss, no fuss. . . just high profit with little effort. . . a marketing firm dream world!!!

    Art has never, nor will it ever be created by silicon. . . people create art. . . the method they choose is their personal choice. . . to say new technology is a "replacement" for traditional methods is just HYPE. . . Color photographic materials did not replace B&W. . . Acrylic paint did not replace Oil paint. . . DIGITAL IMAGING WILL NOT REPLACE TRADITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY. . . Those that heed the new "Battle Cry" will, I believe, eventually regret their choice. . .

    Enough said. . . let those of us that choose to practice our art form continue to do so without the distraction of the "Battle Cry". . . and those that choose to be techno followers continue to support Silicon Valley. . . I have nothing against digital, nor those that use digital means. . . I use digital imaging on a regular basis in maintaining our web site. . . Choosing the correct tool for the job is the mark of a true craftsman. . . those that continually play with their tools are just hackers. . . or should I say dreamers, they continually use their tools as an excuse for not being creative. . . A poor craftsman always blames his tools. . .

    Again, THANKS for taking a stand for what is truly correct. . .

    JBH >>>>

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Mar 2000

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

    JB Your are full of s__t!

    Get a life Man....


  4. #24

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

    "Did any of you see B&@ magazine's editorial statement?"

    This was discussed at some length a month ago:


  5. #25

    Join Date
    Jan 2001

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

    Okay, I read the editorial...big deal. Look at the scope of the magazine and it's advertisers as well. What do you expect them to say? The magazine is about traditional black and white prints and collecting them as well. It would be the same if they had an editorial stating that they wouldn't focus on color printing. A real no-brainer....why it's viewed as "taking a stand" is beyond me....this isn't an argument against's just a magazine....

  6. #26

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

    If I were a fiction writer would my work be invalidated because I used Microsoft Word on a computer or would I have to use a manual typewriter or maybe pen and ink or better yet a quill? Just as drawings on a cave wall photography is a way of seeing. The image is a product of our minds and if we are lucky a shared experience with others. Just because it is created in a sacred way does not make it art. Because we used an elite large format camera and printed with custom chemistry on the most hard to find paper does not make the image art or crap. Is how the image was created to be the reason for its value?. My opinion is Digital vs. Chemical is a trap for little minds.

  7. #27

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

    "If I were a fiction writer would my work be invalidated because I used a computer or would I have to use a manual typewriter?"

    If I were a maker of expensive jewelry would my work be invalidated because I sold white plastic balls but claimed they were pearls?

    The fiction-writer analogy isn't valid because (unlike readers of fiction paperbacks) many buyers of fine photographs care at least as much about the PHYSICAL OBJECT (and how it was made) as they care about "what it's a picture of" (any digital point-and-shoot can capture the latter). For these collectors, the medium (i.e., the physical object called a handmade photograph) matters in a way it doesn't for, say, a fiction story, which could be equally appealing no matter what medium is used to present it.

    Collectors of Faberge eggs, Mayan stone carvings, Japanese prints, and hand-printed photographs all have a perfect right to prefer the real thing over a mass-produced facsimile. That doesn't mean they're "right" and others are "wrong" --just that they have a right to their own preferences.


  8. #28

    Join Date
    Feb 1998

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

    What this debate really comes down to is making prints, apparently. As far as the rest of the photo process, its almost the same. It uses lenses, light proof bodies, apertures and shutter speeds. What about those of us that only shoot chromes? Are we not 'doing art'? I consider my art to be done behind the camera, not in a dark room. I dont rely on any manipulation of the image, either digital or in the dark room. I do it all behind the camera, and the chrome tells me if I did it well. Is digital that much different? Its just another way of recording light. One uses chemicals, the other uses bits. They both have their quirks. I dont see it as a big threat.

  9. #29

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

    You make some interesting points. Faberge eggs, Mayan stone carvings, Japanese prints value is also reflected in their rarity, historical significance and except for things such as Mayan stone carving the value of their materials. If something is rare alone does not make it art or collectable. Digital does not necessarily mean mass produced nor chemical means limited production. Depression Glass, penny toys, old marbles, Life magazines, old movie posters and many other examples of mass produced inexpensively made items are collected and enjoyed. If you ask a oil or watercolor artist if a photograph is handmade they may take issue and any editions of a photograph would be? I have seen platinum prints that were technically well made, limited production and awful (maybe some future culture would value them) but it?s the real thing. I don?t question anyone collecting anything. I will and have used almost anything to get an image from my mind to a medium that can be sold but its only real value to me is if it moves or connects the viewer. I guess I don?t produce for just collectors.

  10. #30

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

    The B&W decision defies belief. I'm interested in the quality of the print. If a skilled photographer produes his work using a Giclee process, instead of a traditional darkroom, then his work should be aviailable for review alongside his wet darkroom peers.

    What makes this decision so absurd in my view is that digital printing has only now reached a quality level that is arguably on a par with the wet darkroom. Processes like Jon Cone's Piezography render outstanding continuos tone, dot free prints.

    I have no problem with B&W giving prominence to traditional prints, but the magazine title now misrepresents its contents.

    So yes, someone is "taking a stand" - just like King Canute once did.


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