Alt. Processes - Who Are They?

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photomc

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There are the main stream Alt Processes most of us know like Plt/Pld, CyanoTypes, etc but what are some of the others. Like the Uranotypes that Mateo does, the wet plates Clay and Kerik have been working on, Tin Types.

What is the criteria for a process to fall into the Alt Process category?

Just curious and wonder if any of the Alt Process practioners on this site have ever considered doing an article (hint! :smile: )
 

donbga

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photomc said:
There are the main stream Alt Processes most of us know like Plt/Pld, CyanoTypes, etc but what are some of the others. Like the Uranotypes that Mateo does, the wet plates Clay and Kerik have been working on, Tin Types.

What is the criteria for a process to fall into the Alt Process category?

Just curious and wonder if any of the Alt Process practioners on this site have ever considered doing an article (hint! :smile: )

I think traditionally a process is considered to be an alternative process when it is a non-commercially manufactured process.

Judy Seigel recently wrote this in the alternative process mail list:

-----------%<-------------------------------------------------------

> Note: It is my understanding that Alt. or Alternative processes came out of
> the phrase 'An altervative process to commercially prepared materials.'


It's used in that sense now, but that's not the origin of the term,
apparently. As explained by Sal Mancini (in Post-Factory #2, page 9), In
1870 '"photography suffered a crisis"... early photographs were fading and
"the delightfully named Royal Fading Committee" was set up by the British
to find ways to produce lasting prints. The answer lay in metals more
stable than silver -- gold, palladium and platininum -- which the
committee termed "alternative photographic processes."'

-----------%<-------------------------------------------------------

There are several books about Alternative Photography that cover most but not all of the historical processes. Also you may be interested in visiting
http://www.alternativephotography.com/ if you haven't already done so.

Don Bryant
 
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I would probably define it as a photographic process that is not currently done by the masses.

I know that sounds vague, but let me offer a few examples...

When Palladio was offering PT/PD paper, it was commercially made. It was still under the AP umbrella.

Some would say Polaroid transfers and SX-70 manipulations fall under the AP category as well. While it is a commercially made product, it is a manipulation of materials.

Photocopies and transfering of images... There are a bunch of different ideas out there.

Pt/Pd for example was once considered a normal way to make an image... Not an alternative process.... Just like the fiber paper and film I'm using today... One day it too will be considered an AP.


joe :smile:
 

sanking

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Joe Symchyshyn said:
Pt/Pd for example was once considered a normal way to make an image... Not an alternative process.... Just like the fiber paper and film I'm using today... One day it too will be considered an AP.


joe :smile:

I would suggest that the silver gelatin fiber paper you are using today is already an alternative process. As a viable contemporary process it is in the category of the limping/stumbling/crawling dead.

Did you notice the full title of Mark Nelson's book on digital negatives? It is, Precision Digital Negatives: For Silver and Other Alternative Processes.

Sandy
 
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I would suggest that the silver gelatin fiber paper you are using today is already an alternative process.

Sandy,

You know... I think you're right.

(I need to stop thinking about it in my terms and start thinking about it in how the rest of the world views it.) My guess is that this is what will make images we all produce ultimately more valuable. A hand made piece.

joe :smile:
 

Shmoo

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Very interesting discussion! You could also add paper negatives, cross-processed film, and even toning (selenium, gold, et al) as well. It depends upon your experience with photography and your situation as to what qualifies as an "alternate process".

For me, the Polaroid work (lifts, transfers, manipulations) is an "alternate process" only because I don't have ready access to a darkroom currently.

regards.
 
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