Practice 3: Reproductive Processes: Tools, Materials, and Processes
Is any copy an exact match of its original? In genetics, identical twins and clone/ parent are the only pairs that reproduce with the same DNA. Yet, although there may be a genetic resemblance, environmental conditions in and outside of the womb often prohibit physical resemblance. Although there are many instances of identical twins, even those raised in different environments, who have grown to have the same interests, habits, and outlooks, identical twins do not always share the same physical or character traits. Just as the environment impacts physical resemblance with siblings, photographic reproductive processes present interesting questions of duplication. The methods and tools involved in capturing the source will determine how that subject is represented, and how its image may be reproduced further. The method of duplication will impact what information is lost or retained and how existing data is presented. Reproductive Processes: Tools, Materials, and Processes invites you to think of photography as the act of reproduction, which may involve making records on film and digital media, or generating copies of images through rubbings, needlepoint, or other materials. Images are malleable and transferrable. This chapter demonstrates some options for capturing, processing, and reproducing images, and encourages elasticity in considering how a subject’s image may be rendered and duplicated through various media. Any image or object, whether positive or negative, can be used as a matrix for making multiple copies. A charcoal rubbing of a grave headstone provides a negative of that physical surface, its texture and markings. Chemical, digital,
and transfer processes allow you to generate endless versions of an image. The techniques discussed here range from low-to high-tech, from analog to digital, from 2D to 3D, and from the handmade to the commercially reproduced. “Low-tech negatives and positives” introduces various ways of generating negatives or copies through transfer, rubbing, and painting processes. “Recording images” describes how images are captured on black and white or color film and digital sensors, and how to process that digital data or turn film-based latent images into negatives. “Processing images: developing film” describes how to develop black and white film. “Printing images: traditional processes” describes black and white papers, chemistry, and processes for wet darkroom printing, including test prints, contact sheets, and enlargements, as well as other processes such as liquid light and cyanotype. “Processing digital images: digital workflow” advises on a particular system for working with digital images, and describes ways to organize and format images in the Adobe software products Bridge, Lightroom, and Photoshop. “Printing images: digital printing” explains the steps involved in printing digital images. “Other printing options” highlights other available avenues, such as commercial printing or photo kiosks, and reveals other methods artists utilize to recreate images.