Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/11/19

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Subject: [Leica] Lou Reed, now Salgado...
From: bamboozld at (K Landdeck)
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 10:54:19 -0800
References: <> <>


I was at the Salgado event (the main one anyway, not the small,  
intimate dinner one for large donors) in SF and as far as I remember  
he didn't go into any details of his post-processing, except to say  
that his assistant "adds grain" to the files and then prints them as  
digital negs.   He did relate that he prints the digital negatives at  
large sizes and has asked photographer friends to pick out the digital  
prints from analog -- no one did better than random guessing.

What I took from the whole story was that he still prefers the process  
and look of film: darkroom printing and film grain.  He related at  
length that he would still be using the Pentax except that the hassles  
of traveling with large amounts of exposed film through airports with  
irrational (and often simply perversely capricious) security personnel  
rendered it impractical: too much time wasted in security offices, and  
too many ruined rolls of film when security at multiple stops insist  
on x-raying.  (The savings in weight and bulk were also appreciated;  
apparently on his longer trips the volume of film really added up.)   
Since he can replicate both the look and the final step in the film  
process (darkroom printing), he is satisfied with digital capture and  
the hybrid workflow.  I would be interested in seeing if he continues  
this hybrid process if/when he starts using a S2/M9.

I was very interested in this part of his talk because I too work in a  
hybrid fashion (though it's the reverse of his), and have toyed with  
digital negatives for doing alternative processes (cyanotypes and salt  

As an aside, I have to agree with Richard's assessment in the blog.   
The contrast was awful on the slideshow.  But even fixing that, it was  
pretty clear to me that Salgado (at least thus far) is no landscape or  
nature photographer.  His talent is definitely with photographing  
people.  The images in Genesis (thus far) were far below his past work  
in my opinion.


Only connect.
bamboozld at

my photography:

On Nov 19, 2009, at 6:54 AM, Craig Semetko wrote:

> Now I'm referencing it, Richard:)
> In the blog you say:
> However, he still uses it like in the film days: his assistant makes  
> contact sheets for him, and his camera is modified to give the same  
> 645 ratio he is used to. He also has the images processed to look  
> like Tri-X. For prints, a lab  converts the data into a 645 negative  
> and prints using traditional darkroom process!
> Did he say how he has the digital files processed to look like Tri- 
> X? Is is assistant using a certain software program? I know there  
> are a number of programs out there for this; I'm wondering which one  
> or what process replicates Tri-X accurately enough to his liking.
> TIA,
> Cheers,
> Craig
> On Nov 19, 2009, at 4:44 AM, lug-request at wrote:
>> Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2009 16:00:55 -0800
>> From: Richard Man <richard.lists at>
>> Subject: Re: [Leica] Lou Reed has an S2 and an M9
>> To: Leica Users Group <lug at>
>> Message-ID:
>>      <7ac27f4f0911181600s57982babm9fa41e0ff48c6fe0 at>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>> One or more photogs were shooting with an M9 extensively a few months
>> before the info was leaked, so I wouldn't be surprise if some photogs
>> have been shooting with a S2 for the last couple months. Real life
>> tests and all that.
>> I hope Saldago get one, my blog entry:
>> still get half a dozen hits every day and more if yet another person
>> references it in another blog post (or email like this one :-O )
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In reply to: Message from csemetko at (Craig Semetko) ([Leica] Lou Reed, now Salgado...)