Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee: Warm and Fuzzy or Cold and Hard ?

After a bit of reflection a return to analog photography would seem to be under control.  After all, the equipment - cameras and lenses - . along with materials - films and chemicals - have been selected, tested and mixed.  

Not quite.  There remains the question of "end game".  That is, what exactly is the final result of this stepping away from working digital?  

To continue to post images in this blog, it is necessary that somehow they must be digitized.  Several choices are available. 

Simplest most direct way would be to scan an exposed and developed film negative.  Directly scanning a film negative will retain the fine detail contained on the film.  It is now a digital image which can be processed just as a digital capture.

Another way would be to print the exposed and developed film negative on traditional black and white photographic paper. This paper print could then be scanned and converted to a digital image that can now be processed as a digital capture. 

While there is an extra step in the second instance - making a black and white photographic print -  is there any significant  difference in the two results? The answer is a rather loud - YES. 

To explain this difference, consider recorded music. 

Think CD's, tapes and streaming music from a computer. These recordings tend to be very precise, clear and hard sounding. For a careful and informed listener, the sound is cold and hard.  These digital recordings are similar to directly scanning the negatives.

Think vinyl records - 33-1/3's, 45's and 78's.  For a careful and informed listener, the sound is soft and fuzzy as these recordings, with their delicate record surfaces, tend to be muted, scratchy and soft sounding.  Vinyl recordings are similar to scanning the print because in printing the negative, some fine detail will be lost

In moving from digital color to analog black and white 

   Richmond, Indiana.

need to decide between warm and fuzzy  and cold and hard.