Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/29

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Subject: RE: [Leica] The Future Is Now
From: Harrison McClary <>
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 13:16:10 -0500
References: <>

>Please don't view my comments as disputing the fact that some
>very knowledgeable folks told you how they like to work. But, in
>the spirit of the the thread, The Future is Now (which I
>interpret as cutting edge technology), I would ask them if
>they've seen the very latest Black & White work from Jon Cone's
>shop. Jon has achieved a break-through and his technology
>produces "continuous tone B&W prints" (no dot) with an ink jet
>printer. This stuff is advancing at incredible speed. Without a
>doubt professional photography procedures are in serious

I was referring to color outputs.  They use very high end imaging 
systems that are much more expensive than the Epson printers...seems 
he told me the last one he bought was 5 figures at least.

>And my other point - The idea of sending out prints or slides for
>publication has gone away in my day-to-day commercial business.
>Publications as rule would rather have me supply the scan and a
>proof than bother doing it themselves. And I don't mind. I can
>produce 25 publicity CD's photos quicker and cheaper than the
>prints. Plus I have control over retouching and the final result.
>I also don't have to release original chromes and sweat over
>their care or return in good condition. I don't know about
>others, but back when we sent out originals, I could count on a
>good percentage of them getting lost in space or returned with
>finger prints and scratches.

Yes, most of the times I do publicity I send scans via e-mail or on 
cd, but there are still a lot of people at PR firms who have a hard 
time believing this is the way to go, don't ask me why.

>I also find it interesting that
>>  digital since the beginning.  He is so into digital that a few
>>  ago they totally ditched all wet work are are now exclusively
>>  digital.  So if wet was not better why would he tell me to go
>>  knowing that I will have to go to a different lab?
>So if wet is better why did he dump it and move to total digital?

He went digital because he felt it was better for the kind of work he 
is doing.  I have seen his outputs and they are awesome, better than 
photographic, my entire portfolio is on his outputs.  But what I was 
saying and what he and others in the field have told me is that if 
you are going to have a print made to later be scanned it better be 
from a real print, not from a digital output.  The majority of the 
things he does are blow ups of people, music artists mostly, that are 
life size and bigger.  For that work the digital is better.

>Please understand that I continue to love my B&W darkroom and
>it's 3 enlargers from 35 - 8x10. I'm definitely one of the
>dinosaours but i see the future flying at me at light speed. I'd
>love to play with Jon Cone's system. But for now I continue to
>marvel at the image oozing up out of the white paper in the
>smelly soup. I suspect if I ever move to total digital printing
>that I will miss that magic moment in the darkroom. Although the
>standing feels damn hard on old abused knees.

And I am no darkroom purest.  I have been digital imaging for longer 
than most on this list, I bet.  I was scanning negs on an old Leaf 
transmitter back in 1990.  I used the old AP leaf desk to touch up 
negs and output them for use in our paper back then.  I know digital 
is a great tool, but there are times when it is not the way to go.  I 
use what is best for the job at hand.  35 mm film either slide or 
neg, 6x7 if needed, 4x5 if needed, or digital.  I do not care, just 
what fits the bill and gets me a check.

- -- 
Harrison McClary

In reply to: Message from George Lottermoser <> (RE: [Leica] The Future Is Now)