8 thoughts on “Nothing… & Something

  1. As a retired photographer who photographed a lot of food for ads, mailers and catalogs this shot caught my eye.

    Pours are tough. Particularly with large format film (4×5) so since you never were really sure you got it right until the sheets were processed. Digital made it so much easier.

    Even so, if the pour did not look quite right you’d have to get a new stack or at least rotate it to a clean side. And clean the plate, etc.

    Yet, there is always a way to make a great shot easier. Acrylics. Have a prop house make a colored acrylic pour that you lay on the stack. And the same thin line from the cup. Or a combo of a real pour from the cup into a hole in the pancakes with the acrylic drip laid down. Then do a bit of retouch in post production. That is how those perfect splashes of vodka into a glass were made. Even the little drops in the air were added, then retouched for final results.

    I think this is acrylic. The drip is just a little rougher than a flow of syrup. Just guessing.

    The hand is nice. Probably a professional hand model. The real good ones, BTW, were also great at pours.
    They could make good money with the right market and agency.

    I loved what I did for 40 years. I miss some of it even today.

    Anyway, a bit of nostalgia for me. And nothing controversial either.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, today’s technology could do that. But then the pour still has to be good otherwise you just get a hundred images of syrup dribbling off the side.

        But when I was walking to work 5 miles, uphill each way in the snow, film quality was the ingredient for image quality. Hence large format. I can recall food shots that took hours to do. Steam was another issue then,too. Ice cream, usually faked with Crisco, powdered sugar, Karl syrup and patience.

        Digital was a godsend when the quality became good enough for full page reproduction in magazines, etc. probably around 2006,7,8 or so. Today, digital is better than the best film ever was. Except to the diehards who insist that film has a certain je ne sais quoi. And, yet, there are digital methods to even capture that “look” of various film types.

        Sorry to prattle on. It’s been my life. I still have a couple of clients whom I work for a few days a year in a rented studio with freelance assistants. Love to do it still. But my aging joints keep slapping me upside the head and saying “WTF are you doing?”

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Digital is okay, but it was the irregularity and fineness of the grain (silver nitrate?), i.e., sampling, in the film that gave the quality and incredible resolution. Blow up film 1000x and you still get art, digital turns to blocks. The regular pattern of the pixels in digital leads to poorer quality images at some magnification, and other noises not found in film. Wasn’t it Adams who said the magic is in the dark room?

          Sadly, with digital, there are billions more photos being taken, but no prints, no slides. Digital dust stored on media that has a 20-year shelf life.

          A thousand years from now, archeologists will wonder what happened in the year 2000 to the historical record.


          1. At the rate we are going, 1000 years from now humans will be scratching line drawings of cockroaches on cave walls 5000 feet above sea level. The elders will be telling tales of the ancients and the “big fire”.

            Your right about the archiving of 1’s and 0’s. That is a concern.

            However, much serious work has been printed on archival quality papers as inkjet. A local photographer, friend and colleague of mine, Glen McClure has been documenting working people for decades. First film, but digital since it got to be competitive with film. His shows here and around the world feature B&W prints 30×40 with astonishing quality rivaling 8×10 film. Not just detail, but a beautiful luminescence, too. Check his website.


            Check out the rest of his portfolio while there. There are also lots more “average” workers like the fishermen, horse country laborers, Cuban people, Italians and French people on the street, etc.

            As far as enlarging digital v film. Digital can be upsampled via software so that pixels are actually added and don’t become apparent. I remember doing wall murals for an office with an 11 mp Canon. Viewed at normal distances, they just looked fine with a look of grain. And these were cropped. And that was 15 years ago. Took forever to open since the images were at least a GB. Today’s computers and software make it a breeze.

            But like vinyl aficionados, who swear that the bumps, hisses, and other imperfections make the sound more “organic” and real, film buffs will say the same about silver.

            A great photojournalist was once asked about his technique, (aperture, speed, film processing, etc.) for capturing great images. His answer: “f-8 and be there”. And digital is lots more forgiving.


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