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.

Buying Dye Transfers

The big sale is over. It was last fall: M. Johnson and Ctein held another going out of business sale. The inventory just keeps taking up space. After 5 years, it hasn’t gone down enough. And we need to flog something, so… Like Mad Man Muntz ( an original TV discount sales store) we go out of business until we pay off the electric bill.

Why does this matter to me? The same reason weeds in the garden do: what you feed grows; if it takes over the garden, there is no garden.

Why Buy Prints?

I buy art because it satisfies my expectations. It does this by challenging me; brings me to another set of expectations. The more the work feeds my work, the more likely I will buy. I do collect. I don’t invest.

should you buy because it is a dye transfer?

I ask myself: is it immediately useful, instructive, completing : will it continue to enrich me; provide more questions, motivations for my work.

Am I buying out of fear of missing out? If yes, then I’d skip it.

The Pitch

The pitch is the alert. The premise of the sale: act now, act fast, this is a limited offering, this is rare, this is worth much more than you will pay.

How many times do you go out of business .. for as many times as there are buyers at the gate.

  • the online adographer.
  • the ad before the ad.
  • a memo to announce the forthcoming memo
  • colonel blimp reporting
  • ctein being, blimpishly ctein..

Prestige of Process –

Self promoter who has become the big name by writing about. You are collecting a one time sale. There is no after life for this work.

The Ctein shelf: these are souvenirs. Souvenirs of someone else’s vacation trips.

Buying An Example

A mature artist has an after market. ctein doesn’t. His sales are to aficionados, so are of value only among themselves. They are scraps, examples. He isn’t placed in the conversation in any way other than that of the tech writer— a long way from meaning, but very close to standard commerce.

You Could Have Bought

During the month long sale what else could you have bought around that price ($700)?

How about — Barbara Morgan original print sold for $900; William Eggleston chromogenic sold for $790; Jerry Uelsmann sold for $1085.

These were auction prices with buyers premium.

However, Jim Marshal sold for 781 w/bp. A Steichen for Vanity Fair sold for $535 w/bp.

If you wanted it because it was a dye transfer, you could have bought a dye transfer off eBay for less than $150 — from proctor & gamble, reader’s digest, or similar publication art departments. You will even have a good example of commercial art retouching from decades past. You would have a reference document demonstrating why dye transfers were the mainstay of advertising — easy to retouch.