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Black and White Photography, New York: Wednesday, May 26, 2004

It is sort of amazing to think that in a few years - I don't know how many exactly - film and the chemical darkroom will be a so old-fashioned as to be left to just a few practitioners.  It may have happened already. Of course, the automobile replaced the horse and carriage - though you can still have that old-fashioned feeling with a ride through Central Park.  But since film isn't something that gives you a physical sensation like the horse-drawn carriage - it will mostly be something for collectors and museums. 

The docent, an old guy with a laser pointer, will take kids through the darkroom, showing how the ancients mixed chemicals and placed light-sensitive paper in the mixture, watching under a red light as the image appeared.  How quaint it will all appear.

I can't say that the sprawl of automobile-laden highways, the bumper-to-bumper traffic has improved the quality of our lives - but maybe it has.  The highway of digital images will get just as jammed up - and it will become necessary to have more experts to separate the wheat from the chafe.  Well, already - attention spans have become attenuated and there is a kind of digital sprawl that is just as unsightly as urban sprawl.  I guess that's progress.

I read an article the other day about doctors who have been experimenting with brain implants that allow patients to control a CRT with their thoughts.  So I guess that will be the ultimate gizmo - the ability to send images straight from the "little gray cells."  Wireless of course.  What will it be called? CTC?  (Cortex to Cortex).

Vulcan mind meld?  After a while we'll just be like the Cicadas - lying in underground caves for 17 years (they even work on a prime number) - sending messages and images around the world, and then coming up to mate for a few weeks and make weird computer-based music.  Progess.

7:38:05 PM    

I did my first real production run of notecards yesterday on the Red River paper.  A lot of the orders that have come in for darkroom prints also include some notecard orders so yesterday was a pretty good test.  I did about 30 notecards and compared to the old process this worked out very well.  I let them dry overnight and now I go to see if they smudge -- nope -- they're fine.  I've settled on the Eboni - Carbon curve for the cards.  Not quite as black as the Eboni - Neutral curve (this is all MIS ink jargon) - but has a smoother look with less bronzing on the Frio paper.

Today and tomorrow will be darkroom prints and that should clean up the orders.  Then I'll be back out again on Sat. or Sun. with the new and improved rig.

As far as Pres. Bush's speech the other night -- no comment.  I couldn't watch it because I found myself staring at that bump over his eye (fell from his mountain bike they say) - and anyway is cadence was driving me nuts.  Though I did think the choice of the War College was fitting -- you can't make up this stuff.  Well anyway, everyone now knows this whole thing is a mess so no point going into it.  I might, if I can find the time, volunteer to work the phones for Kerry -- though I can't imagine it would be very useful in New York since this is not exactly a toss-up state. 

9:30:44 AM    


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