Q&A: About Photography General

What is the difference between a traditional and digitally printed image?
At PhilPankov.com all of the photographs you purchase are traditional prints. This means that the images have been shot by exposing film to light by use of a camera. The resulting negative has then been used to create the photograph by shining light through the negative onto light-sensitive paper. The exposed paper is then treated to a complex series of baths to develop the image and ensure it is no longer affected by light and that it resists fading for the next 100+ years.
This is a very different process from digital photography. A digital photograph is taken using a computerized camera which is then uploaded to a computer where it is typically enhanced digitally to improve the color and quality of the image. The image is then printed onto paper using inks.
Currently there is much debate between digital and traditional photographers about the merits of both types of art. Philip Pankov has chosen to continue printing each image himself using the traditional method described above in order to offer his art buyers a truly personal piece. He, like many other photography purists, believes that there is no match for the vivid depth and tonality of a traditional print. While the inks used in digital printing will fade and change over the years, a photograph printed in the labour-intensive archival method used by Philip will remain exactly the same for generations.

What does Hand-Printed mean?
Unlike the majority of photography available for purchase today which is machine or computer printed, Philip continues to use traditional methods to create each print. This means that Philip uses a labour-intensive process of manually exposing each photograph and taking each print through a series of chemical and water baths before hanging the paper to dry in the darkroom overnight. As each print is individually produced there are naturally some variations between each one giving the photograph its own personal signature.

What is a traditional darkroom?
Photographic paper is altered when it is exposed to light. Therefore it is necessary to work in a light-controlled environment when hand-printing photographs. A darkroom is a special light-sealed room where a photographer exposes the photographic paper to light in a very controlled and carefully timed manner to ensure the image has the desired appearance. Red light bulbs are used to enable the photographer to see what he is doing as the photographic paper is not affected by the particular light they emit.

What is a Silver Gelatin Print?
Silver Gelatin is the name given to the emulsion coating on the photographic papers used by most traditional photographers today. It is composed of light-sensitive silver salts that darken the paper when it is exposed to light and then to certain photographic chemicals. A Silver Gelatin Print, like those available here, are photographs produced using photographic paper with this Silver Gelatin emulsion.


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