Making real wet prints from a smart phone - SHT just got REAL

Buckster

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An idea for making real wet prints from a smart phone just got a lot of points on my Way-Cool-O-Meter:

Enfojer: An Analog Darkroom for Printing Your Digital Smartphone Photos

Extrapolating, it means you could easily transfer any digital photo TO your smart phone via DropBox or other transfer methods to print it, so it doesn't HAVE to be a shot taken WITH your smart phone - it could have been shot with any digital camera. And it already provides the means to print from film, like any enlarger.
 

Gavjenks

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That's pretty cool, yes, but also a little pointless other than just being nifty.

You can already order prints that size from like CVS or whatever for maybe $1, in color. And the paper isn't going to look like a film wet print, because it still has pixels, etc. from the phone.

So it's cool to read an article about, but as a product that anybody would want to use after the first guy who did it for novelty, this confuses me.
 

nycphotography

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Looking at the link, the real achilles heel of this is that the prints are restricted to the resolution of the phone DISPLAY, not the camera.

I'd rather just have Adorama do a 600dpi digital dye sub print and get the 36mp of a D800 in my 8x10.
 

amolitor

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This from the guy who lashes things together out of duct tape? Huh?

Anyways, it's not the same as printing them out at CVS or whatever, since you get to do the standard wet darkroom manipulation. Pixelization is less and less an issue with high res screens, and anyways this is not about hi fi, it's low fi. Defocus slightly if the pixels start to bug you.

I am surprised that an iPhone pumps out enough light to make it go.
 

tirediron

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Interesting - I can see this being a hit with the hipster crowd, but I have to agree with Gav, it seems like an expensive way to produce a product that you can make for <$0.50 at any big box store....
 

Derrel

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That's pretty cool, yes, but also a little pointless other than just being nifty.

You can already order prints that size from like CVS or whatever for maybe $1, in color. And the paper isn't going to look like a film wet print, because it still has pixels, etc. from the phone.

So it's cool to read an article about, but as a product that anybody would want to use after the first guy who did it for novelty, this confuses me.

It's more about the process than the final result. Making your OWN prints using a wet process is not the same as paying a pimply-faced clerk at CVS $12.99 for an envelop with some prints in it. Why am I not surprised that you are confused by this. Think about it a bit...maybe the confusion will clear up...
 

nycphotography

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Anyways, it's not the same as printing them out at CVS or whatever, since you get to do the standard wet darkroom manipulation. Pixelization is less and less an issue with high res screens, and anyways this is not about hi fi, it's low fi. Defocus slightly if the pixels start to bug you.

I am surprised that an iPhone pumps out enough light to make it go.

The only wet darkroom manipulation you get is "contrast" either by paper grade or by "filtration" which would have to be applied to the image itself.
You don't really get cropping, or even enlarging, as the enlarger head doesn't have any real up/down lattitude.

At the end of the day, this is a toy. One that can be fun to play with, at least for a week or so. Hey, kinda like an old polaroid. Probably going to appeal to the same crowd.

But there's really nothing here than can't be done BETTER with hipstamatic and a drug store print.
 

Gavjenks

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This from the guy who lashes things together out of duct tape? Huh?
I'm not trying to SELL things lashed together with duct tape.

Like I said, it's really cool just as an idea and things like this have definite value as sort of a one-of-a-kind artistic gestures for whoever came up with them and did them first. But after that, anybody else buying one gains no practical benefit, and they aren't really being artistically awesome, because they're just buying a product, not coming up with a cool idea. So what's the point?

As Tirediron points out, the point seems to be pretty much just exploiting hipsters at that point, who often fail to realize that commercial mass produced products are not really all that "avante garde" by definition.

Anyways, it's not the same as printing them out at CVS or whatever, since you get to do the standard wet darkroom manipulation.
Weren't you one of the people saying in another thread that there's no technical reason to do wet prints anymore?

Anyway, even if you weren't, I was. There's no technical reason to do wet prints anymore. There may be business reasons, just to be able to say it's a unique, old timey wet print and charge clients more money. But the actual image characteristics no longer really give you any latitude that you can't get digitally. And when you're using an i-phone, you sort of lose the whole "rustic charm" that makes it very marketable either. Could be wrong about that, but I doubt these command much of a premium...

I am surprised that an iPhone pumps out enough light to make it go.
Yeah, this is probably why it's limited to such a small size.
 

amolitor

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I am pretty sure you can adjust the enlargement. It's not a lot of up/down leeway, but there's some. You can burn and dodge to your heart's content, which together with contrast grade is the essence of darkroom work. You could make paper negatives and do salt prints, if you liked, and so on. There's stuff you can do.

No, there's no particular technical reason to make wet prints. You can do pretty much anything you want digitally these days. Well, you can't make unique objects, which can you can, wet. Does that matter? I dunno.

Anyways. It's stupid and wrong to dismiss this as a useless toy. It does a thing. It's an interesting thing, it's a worthwhile thing. It's not everything, it's a pretty specific range of thing. But it does that. If I had a smartphone I would totally get one. Will anyone else? Dunno.
 

nycphotography

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BTW, did you notice the trend that lomo is dying out? I read that somewhere but forget where. Basically Hipstamatic more or less does a similar thing and people aren't much buying the lomo and holga stuff at Urban Outfitters any more. I think this thing is attempting to hitch its wagon to that same dying horse.

There should be a way to short these crowd sourced things. I'd short this one for sure. I could be wrong, but thing has fail written all over it.

We can check back in a year or two and see who is right ;-)
 

amolitor

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These crowd sourced things cannot fail, actually. They either get funding, or they do not.

If they don't get funding, well, that's that. Turns out not enough people want one, nobody loses anything, and we all go on with our lives.
If they DO get funding (always assuming the project has been costed properly) then the money gets spent building some stuff which is shipped to the funders. Done.

Sometimes, if the funding goals are achieved, the fundees wind up with some tooling or some parts of whatever and might have a go at a business with a pretty awesome head-start. That business might fail, I suppose, but (again, assuming appropriate costing) it's got an excellent chance of achieving some kind of success. A proven, albeit probably small, market. Finished tooling, the operation is a going concern, etc. If they're not stupid, they can generally achieve some degree of success, or at any rate non-failure -- nobody loses a bunch of money, although quite possibly nobody makes very much money either.

Crowdfunding is pretty hinky and has a lot of potential pitfalls, but applying capitalist thinking to it is probably a mistake.
 

Ysarex

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There will always be a place for artists to take bad photos, make them worse, and thereby create art. I'm ordering mine today! And you want to bet I can't get one of the colleges where I work to make a class out of this: ART:277 Special problems - Enfojer process. Enfojer -- oh yes! I can see the gallery show announcement already!

Joe
 

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