Harvey Wang’s Book & Movie ‘From Darkroom to Daylight’ Interview Photographic Greats on Pros & Cons of Digital & Analog.

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

Documentary photographer/portraitist/moviemaker Harvey Wang has released what looks like a real must-have reminder of the best (and possibly the worst) of analog and digital photography, and my guess is it will be a brilliant gift for anyone remotely interested in photography.

Just a quick note for the sticklers: I have not seen a copy of the book myself so am proceeding on the basis of information published by its publisher, the author and an online magazine article. I do hope to obtain a copy sometime soon though.

The book is titled ‘From Darkroom to Daylight' and, in Harvey Wang’s own words, it “explores how the dramatic change from film to digital has affected photographers and their work”. But, judging from the excellent, well-illustrated article about ‘From Darkroom to Daylight' at Lenscratch, the fine art photography daily, there is more there than meets the eye.

In ‘From Darkroom to Daylight', published by Daylight Books, Harvey Wang interviews over 40 influential, important photographers about the transition from darkroom to digital and a wealth of opinions, beliefs and understandings is revealed within.

Mr Wang has illustrated his book with beautiful monochrome portrait photographs of his interview subjects and he has made a documentary too, though I currently don’t have any details about how and where the movie can be seen.

When I made this photograph recently I was reminded of what I loved about the analog/photochemical era of photography and what I love even more about the digital era. It took me minutes to obtain results today that used to take me hours. If I had an ink-jet printer to print this, I would still be ahead in terms of time, print quality and archival qualities. All without wrecking my health. Shot with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 with Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens, then processed with DxO OpticsPro, Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 and Alien Skin Exposure X using the Kodak Panatomic-X film emulation preset. Digitally split-toned to simulate developing a print on silver-rich baryta paper in Kodak Dektol with benzotriazole then selenium toning it.

When I made this photograph recently I was reminded of what I loved about the analog/photochemical era of photography and what I love even more about the digital era. It took me minutes to obtain results today that used to take me hours. If I had an ink-jet printer to print this, I would still be ahead in terms of time, print quality and archival qualities. All without wrecking my health. Shot with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 with Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens, then processed with DxO OpticsPro, Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 and Alien Skin Exposure X using the Kodak Panatomic-X film emulation preset. Digitally split-toned to simulate developing a print on silver-rich baryta paper in Kodak Dektol with benzotriazole then selenium toning it.

The book’s interview subjects are a wonderful list of luminaries of the photographic world, consisting mostly of photographers, some also moviemakers, as well as photographic printers, one pioneer of digital imaging in ex-Kodak engineer Steven Sasson, picture editors, educators, curators, Photoshop co-inventor Thomas Knoll and photographic conservators.

I have not found a complete list of Mr Wang’s interview subjects but the photographers amongst them include a number from whose photographs and methods I have learned so much over the years – Charles Harbutt, Jerome Liebling, George Tice, Elliott Erwitt, David Goldblatt, Sally Mann, Susan Meiselas and Eugene Richards.

I was also pleased to note that master monochrome printer and photographer Richard Benson features amongst the interviewees. He has long been the go-to guy great photographers have hired to point their work and to make the color separations for their photo books and supervise their printing process.

I love this quote from Mr. Benson:

“Silver is basically dead, and by God, it should be. It’s overdue. It was great while we had it. I think the digital capture is far superior on every level.”

So do I.

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From Darkroom To Daylight

Harvey Wang: From Darkroom to Daylight

Harvey Wang’s Book From Darkroom to Daylight feat image

Via Lenscratch:

As a film photographer, I am intrigued by and appreciative of the heroic efforts of photographer and filmmaker Harvey Wang to examine the state of photography in 2015. His efforts have resulted in a book, From Darkroom to Daylight published by Daylight Books, and a movie with the same title. The project began as a personal exploration of how the dramatic change in photography from chemical to digital processes has affected photographers and their work.

At first, a love letter to the silver process and darkroom, From Darkroom to Daylight touches on the history of photography, the coming of digital, and what became possible with digital methods. The story is told through the voices of many artists whose work and methods embody various aspects of the story. Harvey has spoken with over 40 important photographers including Sally Mann, David Goldblatt, Platon, Sid Kaplan, Richard Sandler, Jeff Jacobson, Stephen Wilkes, Constantine Manos, Gregory Crewdson, John Cyr, Alfred Gescheidt, Adam Bartos, George Tice, Jerome Liebling and Susan Meiseles.

The film took five years to complete and was shot by cinematographer Derek McKane and a talented group of other shooters, edited by Edmund Carson, and scored by Stephen Greenberg, Jeet Baidyaroy, and Jesse Maynard. Everyone involved has donated their time and talents.

Read full article at Lenscratch “Harvey Wang: From Darkroom to Daylight”

Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from Lenscratch)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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