A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Subject to Interpretation
Tuesday, June 28, 2016





The most recent interpretation June 27 2016

 In those days before digital cameras and when journalism and magazines were serious and almost reputable affairs photographers had to shoot with transparency film,Kodachrome, Ektachrome,etc. The reason was twofold. Communication between art director and photographer was in person or at the very least, as in my case, my slides and larger transparencies (anything larger than a 35mm slide was called a transparency) went by courier to Toronto or abroad.

There was little room for interpretation and accuracy was paramount (unless you were working for a super market tabloid). A slide, by necessity a finished product was what the photographer had seen and the art director, if a good one with a sense of ethical standards, would not vary in any way except for necessary (not in all cases) and judicious cropping.
The slide was converted into three colour separations (CMYK) which were cyan, magenta, yellow and the K was what determined in black the density (light or dark) of the picture to be printed by printing presses.

My Wikipedia has this on the enigmatic K: 
 
The "K" in CMYK stands for key because in four-color printing, cyan, magenta and yellow printing plates are carefully keyed, or aligned, with the key of the black key plate. Some sources suggest that the "K" in CMYK comes from the last letter in "black" and was chosen because B already means blue.

Interpretation some years ago


In those days before scanners b+w prints had to be printed in very glossy paper (reason for the popularity of 8x10 glossies) as true blacks did not appear black if the paper was matt.
With scanners and now with digital cameras all that is behind us. It has liberated the photographer from having to be absolutely accurate in exposure with slides. Shooting RAW makes it possible to fix any errors.

But there is an inherent problem here in that the art director of a very good magazine or a reputable newspaper cannot compare what the photographer shot as the very image he or she has received could be adulterated in all kinds of programs to modify the image into a later reality. From afar the photographer and the art director are not always looking at the same thing and there is no way of confirming the intent of the photographer unless the photographer is reputable.

Variant of the first one


As an example I am placing here three interpretations of a medium format photograph (Kodak VPS Colour Negative Film) which I took of the supremely beautiful Virve Reid in my garden under a Japanese Maple. Which is the best one? It is all open to interpretation. Which one would I have sent to a magazine? In many cases I liked to respect the job of the art director so I might have sent all three.




     

Previous Posts
From Modigliani to Olena Via Akhenaten & London Ar...

Madame d'Ora in Buenos Aires

A Boudoir In Purple

Las uñas - The Toe Nails

Art History on the Fly II - Tamara de Lempicka

Rosa 'English Elegance' 20 June 2016 On Its Way To...

What's a Ghetto?

Nu debout de profil

thinking about underwear

To My Father - June 19 2016



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