'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

Started Aug 19, 2014 | Discussions
Henry Falkner
Henry Falkner Forum Pro • Posts: 13,958
'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

The other 'Organic' Thread is full. This one is specifically about how you print your digital pictures.

Henry Falkner wrote:

Everything about film is toxic, except the gelatine used in the emulsion. That has to be cleaner than the jelly you eat.

I was a photographic technician in the film days.

JulesJ was using the word organic for one of its other meanings.

Response was -

I do agree with you though when it comes to the film process being toxic, especially color. To be fair to film, one also has to consider how toxic the process of manufacturing digital camera sensors is. Then you have the manufacturing of inks for those who use inkjets.

I am not familiar with plastic production. Fibreglass circuit boards seem benign.

I deliberately chose the chemical meaning.

I'm sure you know this considering your experience, but a final thing to consider is that the vast majority of printed photos are still produced on traditional photo paper. The main thing that has changed is digital files are projected onto the paper instead of a negative.

As much as I like digital I am very happy that I can still print my digital photos to traditional photo paper. In fact, all my printed photos are now printed to traditional photo paper.

Here is my latest print on my studio wall -

Warehouse Stationary did it 46"x33" on matte paper and laminated it. The print comes from the same camera as the picture above, after I enlarged it 3x in PSE7.

There is no smell in that printing department! it is open plan.

A photo-paper print machine to do this would use half their floor area, and gallons of chemicals, cubic meters of water and kilo watts of electricity for drying prints.

Now I consider 'organic' printing unnecessary in most cases, and irresponsible.

Henry

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fmian
fmian Senior Member • Posts: 1,551
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

Henry Falkner wrote:

I deliberately chose the chemical meaning.

As much as I like digital I am very happy that I can still print my digital photos to traditional photo paper. In fact, all my printed photos are now printed to traditional photo paper.

Now I consider 'organic' printing unnecessary in most cases, and irresponsible.

I don't quite follow. You seem to be contradicting yourself.

By 'traditional' photo paper are you talking about the RA-4 process? That is currently the most popular with quick cheap minilabs and uses heaps of chemistry. It's also used in the high end LAMBDA printers.
If so, isn't that considered an 'organic' process? C-type printing since the 1950's is pretty much the same thing as RA-4.
Otherwise there are dry labs out there but from what I've seen the quality sucks b*lls.
Apologies if I am incorrect on any of this or have misunderstood.

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JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 44,938
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

Henry Falkner wrote:

The other 'Organic' Thread is full. This one is specifically about how you print your digital pictures.

Henry Falkner wrote:

Everything about film is toxic, except the gelatine used in the emulsion. That has to be cleaner than the jelly you eat.

I was a photographic technician in the film days.

JulesJ was using the word organic for one of its other meanings.

Yes. Every comment I made was referring to the make up of the image and the clusters of silver halide grains crested on the film and paper in the wet process. At no time was I talking about the chemicals or polluting materials used in photography, film or digital. If anyone thought that then I'm sorry that they miss understood what I was saying.

As for the gelatin being the only non toxic material, I would argue that the basis of paper (before any whiteners, chemicals etc are added) was pretty non toxic as I believe it's made from trees.

Response was -

I do agree with you though when it comes to the film process being toxic, especially color. To be fair to film, one also has to consider how toxic the process of manufacturing digital camera sensors is. Then you have the manufacturing of inks for those who use inkjets.

I am not familiar with plastic production. Fibreglass circuit boards seem benign.

I deliberately chose the chemical meaning.

I'm sure you know this considering your experience, but a final thing to consider is that the vast majority of printed photos are still produced on traditional photo paper. The main thing that has changed is digital files are projected onto the paper instead of a negative.

As much as I like digital I am very happy that I can still print my digital photos to traditional photo paper. In fact, all my printed photos are now printed to traditional photo paper.

As opposed yo what? Metal, acetate?

Here is my latest print on my studio wall -

Warehouse Stationary did it 46"x33" on matte paper and laminated it. The print comes from the same camera as the picture above, after I enlarged it 3x in PSE7.

There is no smell in that printing department! it is open plan.

A photo-paper print machine to do this would use half their floor area, and gallons of chemicals, cubic meters of water and kilo watts of electricity for drying prints.

Now I consider 'organic' printing unnecessary in most cases, and irresponsible.

Henry

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I would think that the laminate is not very organic.

having answered a couple if your points above. Since you did mention me in your op, I am a little confused as to what your point is. Are you saying that the whole (digital?) photography process is a polluting one? A non organic one? Whatever that means. It would be interesting to hear exactly what your angle is.

bosjohn21
bosjohn21 Forum Pro • Posts: 18,846
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

I believe the making of paper considered very toxic and damaging to the environment

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John aka bosjohn21

Henry Falkner
OP Henry Falkner Forum Pro • Posts: 13,958
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

fmian wrote:

Henry Falkner wrote:

I deliberately chose the chemical meaning.

As much as I like digital I am very happy that I can still print my digital photos to traditional photo paper. In fact, all my printed photos are now printed to traditional photo paper.

Now I consider 'organic' printing unnecessary in most cases, and irresponsible.

I don't quite follow. You seem to be contradicting yourself.

By 'traditional' photo paper are you talking about the RA-4 process? That is currently the most popular with quick cheap minilabs and uses heaps of chemistry. It's also used in the high end LAMBDA printers.

I stand (sit) corrected. I have not used a mini lab for more than a decade. I am also not familiar with the LAMBDA printers

I will ask what process Warehouse Stationary is using for those large prints they do for me.

Henry

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Henry Falkner
OP Henry Falkner Forum Pro • Posts: 13,958
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

JulesJ wrote:

Yes. Every comment I made was referring to the make up of the image and the clusters of silver halide grains crested on the film and paper in the wet process. At no time was I talking about the chemicals or polluting materials used in photography, film or digital. If anyone thought that then I'm sorry that they miss understood what I was saying.

Yes, I did twist your line of arguments by concentrating on the chemical side

As for the gelatine being the only non toxic material, I would argue that the basis of paper (before any whiteners, chemicals etc are added) was pretty non toxic as I believe it's made from trees.

The photo paper itself is benign, the chemicals for processing it are less so. At Colour Processing Laboratories we also used a process called Cibachrome, which was based on fade resistant dyes. That used to rot the shirt off the technician handling it in a working week.

I would think that the laminate is not very organic.

In my sheet transparency processing days it was acetate. It does not stretch or warp.

having answered a couple if your points above. Since you did mention me in your op, I am a little confused as to what your point is. Are you saying that the whole (digital?) photography process is a polluting one? A non organic one? Whatever that means. It would be interesting to hear exactly what your angle is.

Again, I did twist your subject. If I caused offence, I apologise.

I liked the chemical photo processes when that was all there was to be had. But I retain my film cameras solely as historic curiosities. I most definitely no Longer want to spend 30 out of 40 working hours each week in a dark room.

Thank you, Jule, for your patience to respond to this thread.

Henry

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JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 44,938
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

bosjohn21 wrote:

I believe the making of paper considered very toxic and damaging to the environment

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John aka bosjohn21

I blame the Egyptians! Well we (environmentalists) seemed to have missed a trick there. I have seen many campaigns against unenvironmental issues over the last forty years, but never one against paper. I know that computers were mean to herald the paperless age, but i think they create more.

JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 44,938
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

Henry Falkner wrote:

JulesJ wrote:

Yes. Every comment I made was referring to the make up of the image and the clusters of silver halide grains crested on the film and paper in the wet process. At no time was I talking about the chemicals or polluting materials used in photography, film or digital. If anyone thought that then I'm sorry that they miss understood what I was saying.

Yes, I did twist your line of arguments by concentrating on the chemical side

I once again apologise if I was missunderstood. By referring to the chemical process I was distinguishing it from the digital one. As in one developed films and the paper and fixed them in 'chemicals'.

As for the gelatine being the only non toxic material, I would argue that the basis of paper (before any whiteners, chemicals etc are added) was pretty non toxic as I believe it's made from trees.

The photo paper itself is benign, the chemicals for processing it are less so. At Colour Processing Laboratories we also used a process called Cibachrome, which was based on fade resistant dyes. That used to rot the shirt off the technician handling it in a working week.

I remember Cibachrome well, it was regarded as pretty good in it's day. We had a Cibachrome process at colege.

I would think that the laminate is not very organic.

In my sheet transparency processing days it was acetate. It does not stretch or warp.

Quite, tears though!

having answered a couple if your points above. Since you did mention me in your op, I am a little confused as to what your point is. Are you saying that the whole (digital?) photography process is a polluting one? A non organic one? Whatever that means. It would be interesting to hear exactly what your angle is.

Again, I did twist your subject. If I caused offence, I apologise.

No problem, I can hold my own on these forums and have for over ten years. I enjoy the 'crack' (Irish term) of the discussions.

I liked the chemical photo processes when that was all there was to be had. But I retain my film cameras solely as historic curiosities. I most definitely no Longer want to spend 30 out of 40 working hours each week in a dark room.

I agree.

Thank you, Jule, for your patience to respond to this thread.

Henry

Why wouldn't I respond?

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bford Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

Henry Falkner wrote:

The other 'Organic' Thread is full. This one is specifically about how you print your digital pictures.

Henry Falkner wrote:

Everything about film is toxic, except the gelatine used in the emulsion. That has to be cleaner than the jelly you eat.

I was a photographic technician in the film days.

JulesJ was using the word organic for one of its other meanings.

Response was -

I do agree with you though when it comes to the film process being toxic, especially color. To be fair to film, one also has to consider how toxic the process of manufacturing digital camera sensors is. Then you have the manufacturing of inks for those who use inkjets.

I am not familiar with plastic production. Fibreglass circuit boards seem benign.

I wasn't talking about fiberglass. I specifically said sensors and inks for inkjets.

I deliberately chose the chemical meaning.

When considering the environment you have to look at the whole thing, the bigger picture.

I'm sure you know this considering your experience, but a final thing to consider is that the vast majority of printed photos are still produced on traditional photo paper. The main thing that has changed is digital files are projected onto the paper instead of a negative.

As much as I like digital I am very happy that I can still print my digital photos to traditional photo paper. In fact, all my printed photos are now printed to traditional photo paper.

Here is my latest print on my studio wall -

Warehouse Stationary did it 46"x33" on matte paper and laminated it. The print comes from the same camera as the picture above, after I enlarged it 3x in PSE7.

There is no smell in that printing department! it is open plan.

A photo-paper print machine to do this would use half their floor area, and gallons of chemicals, cubic meters of water and kilo watts of electricity for drying prints.

Come on, you should know as a former lab technician that it would not take "gallons of chemicals to produce such a print.

Now I consider 'organic' printing unnecessary in most cases,

And yet most labs still print through the traditional wet process.

and irresponsible.

Again, when considering the environment you must look at the bigger picture.

Henry

__
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bford Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

Henry Falkner wrote:

fmian wrote:

Henry Falkner wrote:

I deliberately chose the chemical meaning.

As much as I like digital I am very happy that I can still print my digital photos to traditional photo paper. In fact, all my printed photos are now printed to traditional photo paper.

Now I consider 'organic' printing unnecessary in most cases, and irresponsible.

I don't quite follow. You seem to be contradicting yourself.

By 'traditional' photo paper are you talking about the RA-4 process? That is currently the most popular with quick cheap minilabs and uses heaps of chemistry. It's also used in the high end LAMBDA printers.

I stand (sit) corrected. I have not used a mini lab for more than a decade. I am also not familiar with the LAMBDA printers

I will ask what process Warehouse Stationary is using for those large prints they do for me.

Henry

Yeah Henry, nearly all labs still use the traditional wet process for most of their printing.

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SeeRoy Senior Member • Posts: 1,666
'Organic': now meaningless

It's time to retire the word "organic" for a couple of decades other than in the lexicon of chemistry. It joins a long list of words that have been beaten to death - "awesome" being perhaps the first amongst them.

bford Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: 'Organic': now meaningless

SeeRoy wrote:

It's time to retire the word "organic" for a couple of decades other than in the lexicon of chemistry. It joins a long list of words that have been beaten to death - "awesome" being perhaps the first amongst them.

I agree with the word organic but there's nothing wrong with the word awesome. It's pretty obvious what people mean when they say something is awesome.

By definitin even organic  food is not organic since whatever man applies to it is natural since man is part of nature. That said, I wish our fruits and vegetables didn't have have anything added to them besides water.

Henry Falkner
OP Henry Falkner Forum Pro • Posts: 13,958
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

bford wrote:

Falkner wrote:

I am not familiar with plastic production. Fibreglass circuit boards seem benign.

I wasn't talking about fiberglass. I specifically said sensors and inks for inkjets.

I can't talk about sensors. All ink set printers I had used water based inks, except one which used spirit based inks. The fumes from that caused corrosion inside the printer, from which it died. Nothing goes down the sink.

I deliberately chose the chemical meaning.

When considering the environment you have to look at the whole thing, the bigger picture.

I am comparing home production environments - wet and dry. The ink cartridges I throw away are nothing like the volume of packaging and chemical solutions that I would need even just for 35mm film processing.

I am comparing laboratories I was working in then, and the dry lab I am using now. See below

A photo-paper print machine to do this would use half their floor area, and gallons of chemicals, cubic meters of water and kilo watts of electricity for drying prints.

Come on, you should know as a former lab technician that it would not take "gallons of chemicals to produce such a print.

The hand operated duplicate sheet transparency processing line I operated had gallon tanks - first processor, wash, stop bath, wash, colour processor, wash, bleach, wash, fixer, wash. Yes, the chemicals came in powder form. But they went down the sink in liquid form. The camera sheet film processors had a bigger capacity.

Now I consider 'organic' printing unnecessary in most cases,

And yet most labs still print through the traditional wet process.

Maybe the one here in Devonport still does. But our mini lab at the chemist has disappeared years ago. Copy Shoppe uses lasers. The large ink jet printer they had is no longer there.

and irresponsible.

Again, when considering the environment you must look at the bigger picture.

The print processing machines both at Colour Processing Laboratory in Edenbridge, Kent, England and at Viko here in Auckland, New Zealand had a continuous belt 5 foot wide, dipping into chemical solutions and washes one after the other. At the end was a drier powerful enough to dry 5x4 foot prints (which I produced) in about four minutes. Our clothes drier is not as big and powerful as that print drier. All prints went through these machines. Viko had water recycling, which had to produce water cleaner than tap water to suit the processing needs.

Henry

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SeeRoy Senior Member • Posts: 1,666
Re: 'Organic': now meaningless

bford wrote:

SeeRoy wrote:

It's time to retire the word "organic" for a couple of decades other than in the lexicon of chemistry. It joins a long list of words that have been beatento death - "awesome" being perhaps the first amongst them.

I agree with the word organic but there's nothing wrong with the word awesome. It's pretty obvious what people mean when they say something is awesome.

By definitin even organic food is not organic since whatever man applies to it is natural since man is part of nature. That said, I wish our fruits and vegetables didn't have have anything added to them besides water.

I suggest you look up what "awesome" actually means in a dictionary.

bford Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: 'Organic' Prints from Digital Photos?

Henry Falkner wrote:

bford wrote:

Falkner wrote:

I am not familiar with plastic production. Fibreglass circuit boards seem benign.

I wasn't talking about fiberglass. I specifically said sensors and inks for inkjets.

I can't talk about sensors. All ink set printers I had used water based inks, except one which used spirit based inks. The fumes from that caused corrosion inside the printer, from which it died. Nothing goes down the sink.

Consider the bigger picture of manufacturing effects on the environment.

I deliberately chose the chemical meaning.

When considering the environment you have to look at the whole thing, the bigger picture.

I am comparing home production environments - wet and dry. The ink cartridges I throw away are nothing like the volume of packaging and chemical solutions that I would need even just for 35mm film processing.

I don't recall you limiting your environment comments to the home?

I am comparing laboratories I was working in then, and the dry lab I am using now. See below

A photo-paper print machine to do this would use half their floor area, and gallons of chemicals, cubic meters of water and kilo watts of electricity for drying prints.

Come on, you should know as a former lab technician that it would not take "gallons of chemicals to produce such a print.

The hand operated duplicate sheet transparency processing line I operated had gallon tanks - first processor, wash, stop bath, wash, colour processor, wash, bleach, wash, fixer, wash. Yes, the chemicals came in powder form. But they went down the sink in liquid form. The camera sheet film processors had a bigger capacity.

Those gallon tanks were for many prints, not one print as you said.

Now I consider 'organic' printing unnecessary in most cases,

And yet most labs still print through the traditional wet process.

Maybe the one here in Devonport still does. But our mini lab at the chemist has disappeared years ago. Copy Shoppe uses lasers.

Laser prints? I doubt that. Lasers are used in some lab printers to project an image onto the same traditional wet process paper to make c-prints.

The large ink jet printer they had is no longer there.

No surprise there as inkjet is apparently not suitable for mass printing or companies like Costco and Walmart here in America would use them.

and irresponsible.

Again, when considering the environment you must look at the bigger picture.

The print processing machines both at Colour Processing Laboratory in Edenbridge, Kent, England and at Viko here in Auckland, New Zealand had a continuous belt 5 foot wide, dipping into chemical solutions and washes one after the other. At the end was a drier powerful enough to dry 5x4 foot prints (which I produced) in about four minutes. Our clothes drier is not as big and powerful as that print drier. All prints went through these machines. Viko had water recycling, which had to produce water cleaner than tap water to suit the processing needs.

OK. And? That sounds like a very specialized setup that can't be compared to the typical wet lab.

Henry

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bford Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: 'Organic': now meaningless

SeeRoy wrote:

bford wrote:

SeeRoy wrote:

It's time to retire the word "organic" for a couple of decades other than in the lexicon of chemistry. It joins a long list of words that have been beatento death - "awesome" being perhaps the first amongst them.

I agree with the word organic but there's nothing wrong with the word awesome. It's pretty obvious what people mean when they say something is awesome.

By definitin even organic food is not organic since whatever man applies to it is natural since man is part of nature. That said, I wish our fruits and vegetables didn't have have anything added to them besides water.

I suggest you look up what "awesome" actually means in a dictionary.

Lol. The meaning of the word is in the word itself. Look closely.

Erik Magnuson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,247
Mass producton

Henry Falkner wrote:

I am comparing home production environments - wet and dry. The ink cartridges I throw away are nothing like the volume of packaging and chemical solutions that I would need even just for 35mm film processing.

Yes, certainly for home and local studio production inkjet footprint is much, much smaller and cleaner.

The print processing machines both at Colour Processing Laboratory in Edenbridge, Kent, England and at Viko here in Auckland, New Zealand had a continuous belt 5 foot wide, dipping into chemical solutions and washes one after the other. At the end was a drier powerful enough to dry 5x4 foot prints (which I produced) in about four minutes.

Bulk printing machines are designed to produce a lot of output per hour.  If fully utilized, they tend to cheaper even accounting for all of that chemistry and electricity.  But they are terribly inefficient for small scale work.

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Erik

Aberaeron Senior Member • Posts: 6,016
Re: 'Organic': now meaningless

bford wrote:

SeeRoy wrote:

It's time to retire the word "organic" for a couple of decades other than in the lexicon of chemistry. It joins a long list of words that have been beaten to death - "awesome" being perhaps the first amongst them.

I agree with the word organic but there's nothing wrong with the word awesome. It's pretty obvious what people mean when they say something is awesome.

By definitin even organic food is not organic since whatever man applies to it is natural since man is part of nature. That said, I wish our fruits and vegetables didn't have have anything added to them besides water.

You must know that crops require nutrients apart from water. Nothing much grows in pure water and growing crops in a reasonably fertile soil always depletes the fertility by the very act of removing it, even if all your No1 and No2 was replaced in that soil. It would be nice if all the parasites, insects and crop diseases did not exist either.

I too wish that all my food could be produced from fresh air and rainwater. For one thing it would be abundant and almost free of production cost. Wishing it does not make it true or make it happen I'm afraid.

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bford Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: 'Organic': now meaningless

Aberaeron wrote:

bford wrote:

SeeRoy wrote:

It's time to retire the word "organic" for a couple of decades other than in the lexicon of chemistry. It joins a long list of words that have been beaten to death - "awesome" being perhaps the first amongst them.

I agree with the word organic but there's nothing wrong with the word awesome. It's pretty obvious what people mean when they say something is awesome.

By definitin even organic food is not organic since whatever man applies to it is natural since man is part of nature. That said, I wish our fruits and vegetables didn't have have anything added to them besides water.

You must know that crops require nutrients apart from water. Nothing much grows in pure water and growing crops in a reasonably fertile soil always depletes the fertility by the very act of removing it, even if all your No1 and No2 was replaced in that soil. It would be nice if all the parasites, insects and crop diseases did not exist either.

I too wish that all my food could be produced from fresh air and rainwater. For one thing it would be abundant and almost free of production cost. Wishing it does not make it true or make it happen I'm afraid.

Was this post necessary? Could you not figure out from the context of the discussion and my remarks that I was talking about the chemicals that man adds to produce that makes it not organic by the commonly used definition?

Henry Falkner
OP Henry Falkner Forum Pro • Posts: 13,958
My Personal Response

bford wrote:

Henry Falkner wrote:

bford wrote:

Again, when considering the environment you must look at the bigger picture.

The print processing machines both at Colour Processing Laboratory in Edenbridge, Kent, England and at Viko here in Auckland, New Zealand had a continuous belt 5 foot wide, dipping into chemical solutions and washes one after the other. At the end was a drier powerful enough to dry 5x4 foot prints (which I produced) in about four minutes. Our clothes drier is not as big and powerful as that print drier. All prints went through these machines. Viko had water recycling, which had to produce water cleaner than tap water to suit the processing needs.

OK. And? That sounds like a very specialized setup that can't be compared to the typical wet lab.

So I am telling you about the bigger picture, and you complain.

You missed one of my mistakes. There was no wash between the first developer and the stop bath for transparency processing.

Off Topic: Motivated by some inconsistencies and the tone of your replies, I had a look at your profile.

If it does say who you are, and where you are, I have missed it.

You have not started a thread recently.

You have not taken part in any challenges.

You have nothing in your galleries.

If you do have a camera, it is not listed.

Henry

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