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Sunday, 28 June 2015


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No Mike..."Fanny's your aunt" is the British saying.

Why are the fonts a bit all over the place (big and small sizes) in this post?

Re this and the prior post
Just attended a panel discusion on "Photography and Composition" at the Hammwer Museum in LA with Catherine Opie, Thomas Demand and Elad Lassry, curator Russel Ferguson as moderator. Interesting that one discussion included some derogatory comments about people who focus on (and ask about) the equipment used rather than the vision or composition.
You can watch it here:http://hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2015/06/photography-and-composition/

A.D. Coleman was the best part of the magazine Darkroom Photography (aka Camera and Darkroom) which in itself was the best photo mag of it's time, either then or now. Challenged only by perhaps Modern Photo in it's heyday.

And Lady Eastlake has it right, as this blog proves all the time:
"Sir William Newton, therefore, was fain to allay the storm by qualifying his meaning to the level of photographic toleration, knowing that, of all the delusions which possess the human breast, few are so intractable as those about art."

I've always wondered who was the first person posing for a photograph to ever smile. Was there a law against it? Surely you could hold a smile for a minute or so.

"It's as I've always said: the taming of contrast is the main technical concern of outdoor photographers. Always was, still is."

Seems to me that, with proper equipment and technique, that capturing a very wide DR is now possible. The trick now seems to be finding a way to represent it in low DR media that looks natural.

Still a difficulty, but the nature of the problem has moved.

Could you please link the source that proves it is a myth? I would love to read it, because my empirical photo education has always pointed in the opposite direction: orthochromatic emulsions mean white skies.


You meant, of course, to write Lizzie Eastlake, no?

Yes, clouds could be captured by photography of the era (wet-plate collodion). French photographer Gustave LeGray used a sandwich of glass plates with clouds and printed them with landscapes and seascapes. I'm not sure if the 2 plates were combined in the same contact print exposure, or if he made the clouds image on the albumen paper followed by the actual photograph. Later during the Civil War, photographer George Barnard did the same thing.

“The very talk of these photographic members is unlike that of any other men, either of business or pleasure. Their style is made of the driest facts, the longest words, and the most high-flown rhapsodies.”

Today, photographic fora are still places where members congregate to discuss abstruse minutiae at length.

“They seek each other's sympathy, and they resent each other's interference, with an ardour of expression at variance with all the sobrieties of business, and the habits of reserve; and old-fashioned English mauvaise honte is extinguished in the excitement”

Perfervid fanboyism fanpersonation is nothing new under the sun, apparently...

Dear Moose,

Yeah, I tackled a bit of that back in this:



Dear Sergio,

To make sure things are clear: first off, an ortho film is one that is not sensitive to red light. It is sensitive to both blue and green light. Some ortho films are sensitive to yellow light, as well. Which is why one had to be careful with amber safelights and ortho films-- they sometimes weren't all that safe.

The term for emulsions that are sensitive only to blue light is, obscurely enough, "blue-sensitive." [grin]

So, let's look at that most extreme situation. A deep blue sky isn't all that bright. It'll be running 35-50% reflectance in the blue. A pale blue sky is brighter; it may get up to 25%. In contrast, a white cloud will reflect 80-90% in the blue. So, not a lot of contrast between clouds and the sky, but there is separation and the white parts of the clouds will be whiter.

Having spent way too much of my film career dealing with color separations, I can confirm this. Readers who don't want to jump through such hoops can open up their digital photos and look at the blue channel and see similar characteristics.

If you have a cloudless blue sky and a shadowed landscape, the sky might in fact be the brightest part of the scene to a blue-sensitive emulsion (In which case you'd likely print it white). That won't always be true, and it'll be true less often with an ortho film.

If the landscape is not entirely shadowed, the sunlit portions will almost always include something with more blue luminance than the sky. In which case, you are unlikely to choose to print the sky dead white, as it'll blow out details elsewhere.

pax / Ctein
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

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