Why I’m Not Forumatti

A reason to gather.

Most do to regain something they never had. And, or, to exchange something. Sometimes that something is knowledge; usually, it is just remainders.

Reason is growth; an increased ability or awareness. Career insights. What shows are available, worthwhile seeing – in short, all the followups from an educated artist. At best, the place is adaptable, accommodating to a range of levels. 

who is on?

Mostly the photo fora are manned by the unknown offering advice and counsel to the not-knowing – the early learner being taught by the retired dropout.

The Actual

I have been on and answered questions – the response was mixed. What saved their portfolio effort they appreciated. What suggested an alternate way, they questioned; questioned to the point of rejection of me, doubting my credentials. Seemed strange that I could solve a problem that no one on two different forums could solve, but the alternate mode of working was devils work. Worse, the advice I offered on registration was given to someone just beginning their gum printing.

Would it matter that I’ve an MFA; learned printmaking from Richard Graf, Kathan Brown. Was Linda Connor’s first TA. Classmate of Mandel, Sultan … Taught art, including dye transfer — making collotype plates from the matrix film — making mats out of Tri-X and other films. If it did, how would anyone learn this stuff on a rolling stream of bits? Nope, they doubt because they know themselves, as well as knowing, accepting the obvious bullshit of their online colleagues. They share the lie of online fantasy life — complicit, like children stealing beer at a crowded stadium.


Any thoughts would be helpful,,, did I say it was driving me nuts??

Raised by the only professional printer frequenting the fora — he asked in two forums. Answers, but no solution. Answers by well known very vocal participants. So, since I was registered I provided the answer:

looks like ‘fisheye’ — in coating the over layer is rejected by the lower coat. cause is contamination. the deposits probably (if you could see them closely) would have a depression in the center down to the lower layer.. the ring is the coating that was supposed to flow over that open area.. yep. they can be brushed in to even out…

Within 6 months, Mr. Desperate was providing one and all the answer to their problems of mixing correctly. No reference given. He learned all of the methods of his portfolio from a group of avid amateurs, turning their answers into his business solution.


and the lone master who thought my named list was marker of territory ..a claim to ‘his’ value. I’m struggling to remember him. snow on steps. friend of Bret, writer of memoir about all the names he knew.

He missed my directed point that knowing other artists was one of the main values of being an artist. That even corresponding with them was a valuable means of development. Make yourself known, and accessible. Let those who are showing, those who are publishing, know of your work. What you are doing and where you are doing it. One of my mailings was to more than a thousand people. Postcards and postage were costing too much.

On this site is that list — not important for this post. It was part of my christmas list — I sent it in july. Same day for a dozen years. I collected names, addresses and phone numbers of photographers, critics, gallerists for years. I gave those listings to anyone who shared their details. Later, it served as the first mailing list for a beginning New York arts group.

I left. The Forum owner was kind enough to delete my posts and drop my ID from his site.

The short of my suggestion then and even more for now: Don’t just follow. Interact. To become interesting, know interesting people.

Another Getting Stuff

The camera center’s supply cabinet is the junk table of the internet. Finding good stuff among all the bad stuff means sifting, seemingly randomly, through what is presented. Naturally, the novice seeks answers from presumed experts – the foruatti. What makes them an expert? Their say-so.

What they say they know, and what they show they know are the significant elements of your risk.

Seeing in Colors

Because they don’t know what they’re talking about, they don’t see what they’re looking at.

A topic search about ‘tricolor’ turned up a discussion on a large forum. One of the posters remarked that they’d seen something interesting on ebay. They, nicely, posted a link which I followed. One of the high post pontificators pointed out that: “it is broken. Can’t work. I know because.” He didn’t know, but he deflected people. I suppose that he would rather be heard than to say something useful, or meaningful.

It doesn’t always work out. In this case it did. The box of goodies had come from a shop that did direct separations. The extras thrown in (because the seller wanted them gone) included filters, inspector guides, things from a working pre-press shop. Most of the things that anyone interested in making direct seps would need. Did the large forum braggart even look at the link? Did he even think?

In the picture on the left [‘two size tabs], we see what seems a typical 4×5 film holder. Except, when looking at it edge on, there is a ‘green’ edge, as well as a ‘silver’ back (instead of another slide). The other set of pictures show the elements of this ‘Green’ separation holder. The back slide discloses a platen, pressure-plate that holds the film toward, and against the separation filter (this one is green). You can also notice the notches for coding the separation negative. Those two ‘v’ cutouts would make 2 dark edge marks onto the film. After developing, you would see these on the edge of the film and know which separation this sheet was. Each color has a different notch code.

Direct seps are made with: 25, 58, 47 filters. These are inclusive enough to capture most of the colors of an outdoor scene. They’re available new from several manufacturers. 2020 prices range from $17 each, to $180 each. If you are still forming ideas, and gaining skills, go for the Lee’s (the lower price filters.)

Terms – refs

Direct separation; camera-separation; in-camera sep; tricolor — these are the same thing. None of them require us use RGB. Most of the examples you see will be those. If you are making dye transfer prints, these are assumed in the directions and example literature. BUT. they are not required. Any filter ‘separates’ — it is up to you to determine if there is meaning for you.

For further, very old, but worthwhile see this: 1916 Manual

Websites go offline – books are always offline. The book I’d suggest you reference is Spencer’s “Color Photography in Practice” [use “colour” to find more copies. ~ $4]

This is just a pencil, not a paint by number set.

If you do more, I’ll write more.