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January 21, 2013
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On dA, the galleries for Darkroom Photography are split into two categories - Digital and Traditional.

Digital Darkroom is for Photographs which have been digitally processed or edited with the use of computer software to emulate traditional and alternative film darkroom techniques.

La chica del metro by ensilencio

Traditional Darkroom is for Scans of photographic prints and negatives where the images have been physically developed and/or printed using traditional and alternative film darkroom techniques. This gallery is not for digitally created or edited images.

alternate ending by LostOneself

It seems like an obvious difference, right? How much further explaining really needs to be done? Well, just a little, because there are a few exceptions to what you might assume to be hard and fast rules.



The Rule

Photos created with the involvement of a digital camera should never be placed in Darkroom > Traditional.

The Exception

While photos taken with a digital camera and posted straight-out-of-camera or after being processed with computer software should NEVER be placed in Darkroom > Traditional, it is acceptable to submit darkroom prints created with digital negatives to this gallery. A digital negative is created from a print of a digital photograph on paper or transparent material and can be used to make a contact print, usually with alternative processes like cyanotypes or liquid light.

Holy Death cyanotype by mrabanal
This cyanotype was created using a digital negative.



The Rule

Camera data should never appear on the deviation page of a traditional darkroom photo.

The Exception

Not everyone has access to a scanner, so people often have to take a digital photograph of their traditional darkroom print or Polaroid photo to submit it to dA. This will result in camera data appearing on the deviation page of a traditional darkroom photo. It doesn't stop it from belonging in Darkroom > Traditional. It just means that a camera, rather than a scanner, was used to digitise the image for submission to dA. Some scanner data will also show up as Camera Data on dA.

Extra portrait by AustinE15
This traditional darkroom print was photographed with a digital camera to digitise it for submission to dA.

Self portrait with wet collodion process by elultimodeseo
This traditional darkroom piece has scanner data showing up in the Camera Data section on the deviation page.



The Rule

Photos shot on film should always be submitted to Darkroom > Traditional.

The Exception
While film photos generally belong in the traditional darkroom category, if you have used computer software to edit your film photo (obviously apart from digitising it to submit to dA), it belongs in Darkroom > Digital. While an extremely minimal amount of editing is acceptable for the sole purpose of making your digitised image more closely resemble the physical print (sometimes scanning or photographing a physical print can slightly alter the colours or contrast), ANY further digital editing, like using Photoshop Actions, textures or turning a colour photo monochrome, means that the resulting image belongs in Darkroom > Digital, NOT Darkroom > Traditional.

Sky pass by BobRock99
This photograph was shot on film and edited using computer software.



When it looks like film but isn't film

It is also worth noting that digital images edited to look like film images (for example, using Photoshop editing to create Holga-like light leak effects or adding a Polaroid-style frame to a digital photo) DO NOT belong in Darkroom > Traditional!

:bigthumb146135239:
This digital photo has had light textures added, so it's happily at home in Darkroom > Digital



Correct categorisation and Daily Deviations

When submitting your work to Photography > Darkroom, it is definitely worth making sure that you've chosen correctly between the Digital and Traditional galleries because it will aid the chances of your work being featured as a Daily Deviation and also in darkroom feature journals. I browse literally every submission to the Darkroom gallery in my on-going hunt for awesome art to feature and if there's any doubt about the category a photo is submitted to, I won't feature it, however amazing it might look.

books for sale by noxpop
While browsing Darkroom > Traditional > Instant Film looking for photos to feature, I found this one, in exactly the right place.



Use Artist's Comments to your advantage

If you use a digital camera, rather than a scanner, to digitise your traditional darkroom prints for dA, it is definitely worth mentioning this in the Artist's Comments for those pictures! You might also want to consider including in your comments the camera and film that you used for your traditional darkroom photos, some information about the materials and techniques used in your alt processes images or the equipment and software used for your digital darkroom photos.

Inclination by IvanAndreevich
Check out the detailed Artist's Comments for this picture. You can find out where it was taken, along with the camera, lens and filter used, and the software used to process the photo.


Add a Comment:
 
:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Professional Photographer
I agree, the whole categorisation thing specifically relates to dA's gallery system which exists to make some sort of search/browse-able order out of the many millions of pieces of art here. Outside of that, art is art is art, as far as I'm concerned :aww:
Reply
:iconelectricjonny:
electricjonny Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Wait, what?

In a few simple words, post this again? There is much to acknowledge about traditional darkroom photography.

I just ask, what the fuck are you posting?
Reply
:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Professional Photographer
You can, of course, just ask what the fuck I'm posting, although it would be nice if you'd chosen not to be so rude. It wasn't necessary. I'm always happy to answer people's questions.

This journal exists to address a few very specific things that relate directly to the darkroom categories on dA, even more specifically, when to choose Darkroom > Digital and when to choose Darkroom > Traditional in relation to a small amount of issues that I've noticed popping up quite a few times that affect how I choose images to feature as Daily Deviations and in technique-specific feature journals.

That's ALL the journal is about - those few, specific things relating to categorisation on dA. That's it. Nothing else. Just a small bit of information about a small area of dA. It's not a guide to traditional darkroom photography by any means, or even remotely attempting to encompass anything further or more detailed than the aforementioned very small set of dA-specific issues.

Linked at the side of the journal entry, is Darkroom Photography Articles, a list of things I've posted (so far - it's just a start!) about digital and traditional darkroom, including a Project Educate week's worth of informational and historical stuff and journals about various techniques. You'll also find separate journals containing detailed information about each sub-category within digital and traditional darkroom, as they currently exist on dA.

If there's anything in particular that you'd like to see covered in future journals, or any amazing darkroom-related resources or darkroom photos that you love on dA, you're always welcome to send them my way :aww:
Reply
:iconelectricjonny:
electricjonny Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I am sorry, but I just didn't notice what this journal was supposed to be about. Reading it again, and your comment, I can see better what it is supposed to be about. But it is still a bit vague. Often times, with this group, I see journal after journal, but don't see any clear point to the journal. Why am I reading this? What is it telling me? Most of the time they feel like an excuse to paste feature after feature. And honestly, I do not care for that.


But to get to the point, darkroom photography has always been rather confusing. To me. I guess since I learned photography traditionally, with a pinhole camera developing the paper in traditional darkroom chemicals. To have a "digital" category is odd, to me. But I can see when and where that type of category can be used, now.
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:iconleichenengel:
Leichenengel Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks that helps recategorizing some of my artworks that I put into photomanip years ago xD
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:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Professional Photographer
I'm glad you've found it helpful :aww:
Reply
:iconleichenengel:
Leichenengel Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes yes - also the Miscat-series. They are very helpful not only for me but in general - when the serie is finished you should possibly post them in a neat order somewhere where people can easily access them. In that case if we find miscats we can link them there without having to leaf through piles of other blogs xD
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Very informative, I definitely learned something! Thank you :)
Reply
:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Professional Photographer
Aww, I'm glad! You're welcome :hug:
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Fantastic article! :)
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