Largely Forest

Largely False

Information spreads, diffuses throughout. It is spread quickly, and usually by those who did not create it. Most information, in photography forums, is hearsay. Often repeated, to the point of being so widely said, that it is believed. It is even used to substantiate a poster’s belief about the topic. It is confirmation of authority, but it is never questioned, never tested. Such a test, or doubt is hearasy in the church of hearsay. You could be banned, or blocked, or similar dire inconsequential consequences.

Just one example:

In 1975, color photography, as a print, was confined to the professiona market. Commercial work was transparency, or dye transfer. Dyes were the choice for images destined to retouching. The retail end of photography, those very many weekend businesses taking money from the newly wed, newly born — those photographers had to use paper. They shot negatives, and printed them, often in a small scale lab they owned. That darkroom, and work mode had evolved from their B&W business. The prints were on fiber paper.

Kodak’s large scale mass print process was using RC paper. How could the small didicated individual lab be converted to the faster, easier, cheaper version of printing on resin coated paper.

I remember a demonstration that was used at trade shows. It had made the rounds of the professional color labs, and was then being used at wedding and portrait trades shows. It went like this:

— the demonstrator splashed water onto the gelatin print making it form spots. At the time, the print would have swollen irrgularyly into blue spots. The correction, not shown, was to dump the print into a tray of water, then dry normally.
— instead they would be shown a very crinkled print, force dried with a hair dryer
— the RC paper was splashed with water, and wiped, and force dried. it looked fine
— they next would pour coffee or cola onto the RC print, wipe it with a squeegee and force dry. it would look fine. sometimes it would show some stain, in such a case, the print was given a running water wash, and, yep, force dried, coming out fine and victorious.

the better man won.

photos as placemats

at one such demonstration, when the audience was asked if they had any questions, I raised my hand, stood and asked:
does this really matter to those of us who aren’t making photo placemats

there were snickers, nods and smiles. A kodak rep pulled me toward him, asking if I’d like a box of the RC paper. I said yes, if it was big enough, and came with chemicals.
It was and it did.

That year the students at EXS had free paper and chemistry for several months. Several thousand sheets of 8×10 and 11×14 shiny, new paper

These methods do not go away, neither do the tales told by the gullible. In 2001 or so, the same method of sabatoging a competing product was used, this time to ruin the digital inkjet print. Some were calling them inkblots, inkstains, and so on. The inkjet print was splashed with water, and it blurred. The ink ran just a bit. Ironically the inkjet product was Kodak’s own. The demo was being shown by a Fuji dealer, this was a trade show in Chicago.

Of course the retort was that the test was flawed, since the print hadn’t yet dried, it had just come from the printer. Not actually the case. It worked with prints made up to 3 days later, then it didn’t work. No effect, even on that very suspect print.

Why tell this — why now — that is all very old stuff, ancient in this post 2k internet age. Well, because of things like this:

from Iowa … sat 2.28.15

Inkjets are fast and pretty stable just don’t get a drop of water on it! Chromogenic (C-prints) prints you could spill a coke on, just wash it off in warm running water and hang them up to dry!

like an endless echo, or psychotic game of telephone, in which the wrong information is repeated forever. forums are poor substitutes for the real world.

Here is a test that I just conducted. I had a print sitting on the printer stand, one that I have a better version of, so I put it up on the scaffold of demonstration, raise it to the gods of the forest nuts.
I tore it into two pieces, throwing one of them into a sink of dishes, then pulled it out and rinsed. Next, I took a picture of it on the window sill above the sink. After it dried, about half hour, it was set next to its other part. The second photo shows them both. the curly one is the one that took a bath.

Doesn’t look that much worse for wear, though it does smell differently.


The how it happens, and happens again is an easy question, even easier to answer. The question that most interests me, that drives my time on the dingy alleys of the forums, is WHY. What do the adherents, advocates and acolytes gain. More importantly, what is lost by those who hang out on the forums?
My reason for hosting my posting is so that it has an author, and I don’t have to beg or lie for existence. You can read or leave.

I grow my own. I live with what I grow.