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Half Way Photographers?

Big Bri 16 16.3k United Kingdom
23 Aug 2003 11:34AM
Suzi, just out of curiosity, but when you write, do you use a quill or a computer ? Does that feel any different if you write physically, rather than just tapping keys ?

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durlstonp 15 638 1 United Kingdom
23 Aug 2003 11:51AM
Brian, there are bestselling authors who still shun the wordprocessor and write their novels longhand. They wouldn't consider any other way, as it works for them. In my case it would just look like a very long prescription and so I use a computer a lot (not that I'm a bestselling novellist). Whilst I have only developed about half a dozen films several years ago and send my shots to a local prolab for processing, I can fully appreciate Suzi's feelings for the tactile take on the situation.

SuziBlue 15 16.2k 10 Scotland
23 Aug 2003 11:58AM
Yes it does feel completely different Bri. I enjoy both, but there's something about sitting in a quiet space with a pad of paper and just letting the pen go. It used to be that I wrote and didn't use a typewriter until the final drafts, and then I discovered computers and couldn't get enough of them. Now I've settled into a space midway between the two .. I use the computer for working on stuff I've written, shifting stuff around, experimenting etc but sometimes nothing else will do but the physical act of writing. Sometimes use a little dictaphone too .. especially if I wake up at three in the morning and catch an idea .. I think it's different for every writer too - some will use nothing but laptops wherever they go ..

Sitting upright for long periods at the computer has an effect too .. and for writing sometimes it's more productive and more comfortable to go and curl up in a chair or lie on the sofa or sit in the churchyard .. shifting position and gazing off into the middle distance affects ideas and flow (!) which you don't do sitting at a computer. Working on images uses different bits of the brain of course, and you concentrate on something visual in front of you although you bring your own creativity and passion to the image .. different pathways ..

How about you? interesting to find out what people think ..
Carabosse 14 41.0k 269 England
23 Aug 2003 12:45PM
I have almost forgotten how to use a pen!

Other than the odd scrappy note (mainly to myself!) it's the computer all the time - at work and at home.

My handwriting has always been appalling so computers have been my salvation! :O)
brian1208 Plus
14 11.3k 12 United Kingdom
23 Aug 2003 1:58PM
At least with a PC you don't suffer "Zombie Writing". When I first started in R&D I had a very creative boss. He would go to sleep with paper and pencil beside him. Waking during the night he would scribble a few ideas, which in the morning often formed the basis for a new programme of work.

Ever keen to learn I did the same. Sure enough, three in the morning I woke, scribbled away and fell aslep satisfied my name was made. But, on opening the paper at work the next morning - utter drivel!

I learnt that this is called "Zombie Writing". It looks great at night but collapses into dust in the cold light of day.

So - unless you sleep with your computer - no zombies!
BOB S 15 2.6k
23 Aug 2003 2:00PM


talk to any youngster (under 20 maybe) about imaging and they will laugh at you if you talk about the darkroom. They are producing stunning IMAGES with lots of creativity and to say:

"they have not grasped the fundamental principles of the craft of photography or even digital imaging!"

is quite frankly an insult !!

If you were starting out now you would not be saying the things you are I am sure of that.

Technology is there to be used, that is why it develops in ways that make things easier (and more accessable)for people to do things they could not before.

Carabosse 14 41.0k 269 England
23 Aug 2003 2:20PM
Hear, hear Bob! I think the generation gap may be showing in Stan's comments! (I think he partially acknowledges that, to be fair to him).

Digital photography is, as I have already said, increasing creativity not decreasing it.

The darkroom was only ever for the tiny minority. The computer and its capabilities is for pretty well everybody!
Big Bri 16 16.3k United Kingdom
23 Aug 2003 2:41PM
I don't think talking about the darkroom will get you laughed at. The biggest problem my local college had with their City and Guilds photo courses was that the B&W course was always oversubscribed, since they could only have 10 people due to the limitations of the darkrooms. It is probably still their most popular course. Certainly when I was doing it last year, everyone on the course wanted to do the B&W module, but there were probably only 2 or 3 mentioned digital.
Big Bri 16 16.3k United Kingdom
23 Aug 2003 2:42PM
Suzi - I thought that would be your answer. I too prefer to write with a pen and paper, but since my RSI problems got worse I find using a pen almost impossible, whereas I can still type around 80 words a minute.
SuziBlue 15 16.2k 10 Scotland
23 Aug 2003 4:10PM
Good grief I can't stop talking today!!

Personally I don't think there can be a generation gap in any discussion about darkrooms .. would you say the same thing to a master craftsman in any other sphere of creativity? For instance, consider two contemporary artists. One uses the classical methods of oil painting - backwashes, undersketching etc, whereas the other one throws paint from buckets and tracks bicycle wheels through the puddles. You could say that the second knows very well what the classical painting methods are but chooses to transcend them, break the 'rules', push the boundaries out even further. It's knowing what those 'rules' are that inspire the painter to challenge them and to push art in new directions .. knowing the history means also that periods and techniques of art aren't repeated. But just to pat the classical artist on the head and tuck a blanket round their knees effectively devalues their work, experience and opinion! Grin

Sidelining darkroom work also deprives those new to photography the pleasure of learning new things. Just because a method has been superseded by another, doesn't mean that it's not still new to anyone exploring photography, or still of interest to people who love to work in this way. We don't sideline the work of pioneers in photography simply because they're not alive .. so why dismiss the theory and practice behind their work?

If it's simply a lack of interest in the traditional methods that's fair enough. But having a lack of interest doesn't automatically consign it to everyone's rubbish bin. Just your own Grin
SuziBlue 15 16.2k 10 Scotland
23 Aug 2003 4:34PM
Bri are you writing again? How great Grin

Actually, talking of RSI .. I think voice software will be the cat's carumbas for that .. Grin
Carabosse 14 41.0k 269 England
23 Aug 2003 5:10PM
I don't think I have suggested anywhere that darkroom work should be consigned to the rubbish bin! Just that it has been an interest of a tiny minority of photographers, even before digital photography was invented.

On the other hand Stone Age Stan was trying to rubbish modern methods as being not 'real' photography. That is the issue that Bob and I have been trying to address.
stomp 16 203 England
23 Aug 2003 5:16PM
If I may join this thread, to say that younger people today have no interest in traditional photography and to say [i}"talk to any youngster (under 20 maybe) about imaging and they will laugh at you if you talk about the darkroom."[/i] in my experience is wrong.

I recently participated in a C&G course, and four of the group were A level students still at school, so would have been 16/17 years old. Once given the experience of working in the darkroom, it was difficult to get them out. Of all the class, they were the most enthusiastic of the group and actively embraced all aspects of the darkroom, experimenting and surprising us older students with their results.

SuziBlue 15 16.2k 10 Scotland
23 Aug 2003 5:20PM
Sorry if I gave you the impression that I was addressing you particularly Carabosse .. the 'you' I used is meant to be general and not personal Grin

Interestingly it seems apt to be exploring shades of grey in a discussion about traditional darkroom techniques Grin
23 Aug 2003 6:24PM
Ahh the old 'Light room' 'Dark room' debate

Having been doing his for 40 odd years I have done both and enjoyed both. It is a sad fact that many people who were young free and single in the 50's through 80's (yes this was in the time of pre digital) did enjoy working in a small darkroom often in attics or bathrooms. But the inevitable will happen and wifes and husbands will come in to our lives, you start a family and photography will go on the back burner in favour of nappies and strange contraptions that only a mother knows what it's for. The SLR will be traded for a compact camera or Video camera and enlarger will be left in the loft at your parents house.

Some people escape this scenario but most do not. However with the advent of digital lightrooms and digital cameras many are now returning to photography. Some of my customers having waved goodbye to the kids have even taken the next step and returned to the Darkroom.

That said most people in their mid thirties still do not have the space or spare income to spend lot's of money perfecting darkroom techniques 'no' they have to time share the computer with the kids and get by with a 200 Kodak digital given away with it.

Time will be when there will be "2 cars in every garage and a digital camera for all". (plagiarism Rules) but till then you do what you can for your art and bugger the mortgage..


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