Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee: Decision Time

                                                                I am a photographer; I can change; I guess; if I have to.
                                                                                                                  Thanks to Red-Green

Time to face up to the photo darkroom.  It has been finished and ready for use for about two years..  However, after a few uses - maybe five or six times - it remains unused.  In fact has been over a year since prints were made and the last film was developed some two months ago. 

In that time, Kodak and Agfa have pretty much left the photographic world.  Yes, Kodak still produces a few black and white films along with color film.  Yet the variety is not what it once was.  Options -large format film and photographic paper - have been reduced and in some cases eliminated.  Agfa is  completely shut down.

Ilford - in the U.K.- is very much alive.  They are manufacturing several different black and white films and paper in various sizes.  They have made a commitment to remain in the photographic supply business.

Fuji - in Japan - has also continued to offer a variety of black and white, as well as,  color materials.  They seem to be in the photography business for the foreseeable future.

Thus, there are materials available to continue darkroom work.   It is just a matter of whether this is a "good" use of time, money, and energy.  Digital photography has taken over the photo world and analog photography is fast becoming an alternative means of making images - like cyanotypes, gum prints, ..... etc.

Analog - black and white - prints are still highly valued.  In part because each is an individual unique product.  With computers, programs, and printers, identical digital prints can be produced in volume.

 Prints on photographic paper exhibit a bit different range of tones/values than digital prints - although the difference is becoming smaller. Not better than digital prints, just different.  Both have their place.

Decision time is fast approaching.   While promising to do more black and white photography, I now need to decide whether the darkroom or the lightroom will the used.  If the darkroom is selected then need to spend the necessary resources and produce images.  If the lightroom is selected then need to close down the darkroom and move on.

As always - an image to end with:

                         Richmond, Indiana.

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