The Silver Darkroom blog is on hiatus

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Another Analog vs. Digital Discussion

I am not an audiophile.  I am a musician and enjoy listening to my fairly large and certainly eclectic CD and LP collection.  And yes, I do listen to both CDs and LPs.  The reason for both is mostly pragmatic.

I started collecting records in high school (nothing out of the ordinary there) and when CDs essentially replaced LPs in the marketplace, I started buying CDs.  But, I did not throw away the LPs or the turntable.  And, in fact, I bought another turntable when the college era one finally got a bit worn and unstable.  I still buy used LPs occasionally at the local used book and music stores.

Not being an “audiophile”, I do not normally read audiophile websites or blogs, but this one was linked on a photography site recently, and I found a couple of blog posts relevant to the “analog/digital” thing photography is going through.  Digital technology replacing analog is not limited to photography.  It not only happened in audio and video, but in other things such as pipe organs, for instance.  (How’s that for esoteric?)

Anyway, as can be seen from this post, there is no reason not to use and enjoy both with audio, and perhaps, too with photography.

Audiophile: Another Analog vs. Digital Comparison


PS: I disagree with the blogger’s assessment of how long it takes to “prepare” and LP to listen.  Just put the record on the turntable … 


Not a landscaper …

I just returned from Big Bend National Park. I made photographs: film and digital. I have not yet processed any of the pictures. One cannot go to a place like Big Bend and not make some pictures.  I had some more revelations about my own work while doing so, however.

I wrote the following as a blog post several months ago, but never posted it. So, here it is now. In a few more days, I’ll post more specifics about the Big Bend and its epiphanies.

I am not a landscape photographer. This is not really that dramatic a revelation or realization. It simply dawned on me quite a while back that I should stop trying.

Admit it. Those of us that use film cameras and shoot black and white film have at one time (or many) done that big sweeping landscape. We may have actually been where Saint Ansel was (that view of Half Dome from Glacier Point, for instance). Or, we looked at something as grand as the Grand Canyon, or as common as the woods behind our own house. But we took a picture of it, because that’s what one does.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve done it hundreds (thousands?) of times.

It really came home to me after visiting Iceland in September of 2013. It was a purposeful photographic trip with several other photographers. Had a great time. Came home with well over 300 negatives and over 400 digital images. They were mostly fine, but I looked at the photographs as a group and thought: “meh.”

Several months later, May 2014, I took a 25 day driving trip from Texas through New Mexico and Arizona to California and back. Several national parks, natural wonders, cities, vistas, and again, hundreds of photographs. But these didn’t “meh” me as much.

Why? Because I was not trying so hard. And, (this is important) I was not trying to photograph “New Mexico”, or “California”. I was just making pictures of what I saw that interested me, and sometimes that may have been the landscape. It was even Half Dome for a couple of days.

Iceland can be a photographer’s dream. Hard to take a picture that isn’t exciting. But of the hundreds of images I took while there, this is my favorite:

Iceland glasses

It does not say Iceland.

You know, like:

Iceland lake rocks

I have exhibited two photographs from the Western US trip:


water fountain

Neither are landscapes (obviously), but were taken at a national park. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I will continue to take photographs that can only be classified as landscapes, but only when they present themselves to me on their own.

Show, book and magazine

This morning, I had photographic illustrations published in a regional magazine here in Texas: IN Magazine. They did an article on the Aeolian-Skinner pipe organs that are also the subject of my book, An American Classic, and some of the photographs (also in the book) were used for the article.

IN article Pg 1

IN article Pg 3

Plus, an article about the book was published in the Dallas chapter newsletter of the American Guild of Organists.

Crescendo 110215 7

And today holds a trip to the frame supplier for the last few frames and mat boards needed for the exhibition prints to be hung next week in Kilgore, Texas.

Busy, busy, busy …