Enlarging notes

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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  2. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Thanks for the link. It would be interesting to see the original darkroom notes and compare them with Iniro's notes would they be the same or are they very different due to the introduction of multigrade paper etc...
    Again thanks
     
  3. Dave Martiny

    Dave Martiny Member

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    After reading the article, scroll down and read the comments until you get to the one by Andy Umbo. He basically says that in his experience, that level of manipulation in those prints would be wishful thinking, and that most likely none of them received anything like what the markings indicate. Unlike him, I make no claim to being an expert printer, but just based on my admitedly limited experience with dodging and burning, it does seem to be a bit of a stretch, that so many changes would be necessary to achieve the final result, or that the result of so many changes could be so seemless. In fact to me, some of the changes seem almost random, with two identical adjacent regions being given different times, with no discernable difference apparent in the final print.

    I'd be curious to hear opinions from some APUG printers.

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  4. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I, too, make no claims to my printing expertise, other than to say after 40+ years, I'm pretty good. :whistling: But, I think you might be on to something ...
     
  5. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I have been printing for a living since 1976 , those notes are a joke and completely useless and very misleading to young printers.
    Basically turning a simple process into a complete useless diagram that nobody in their right mind would follow. It is very misleading and complete useless info.


    I suggest that one should , look at the neg, look at the easel , and look at the print as it emerges in the developer, by observing one will make better prints.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The more I print, the more I agree with Bob, but I have to say that for me to actually remember the sequences when I print, I HAVE to write it down. Especially if I make a burn with a harder grade. My brain is not capable of remembering.

    So, I have tons of printing notes, but when I go back and print a negative, years down the road, I never follow them anyway. I re-interpret the negative, just because it's more fun that way. I think with time we change how we see, how we print, and what we like, so it seems a little stifling, perhaps, to go back to printing a negative in a way that you don't appreciate anymore as an artist.

    Then again, before this thread I was re-reading the Pablo Inirio piece, and his print notes and scribbles of famous photographs are so complex that my head spins. I don't think I could work that way.

    Perhaps there's a bit of a personality thing baked into what approach we take too. Or 'schools' of thought that are simply different?
     
  7. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I agree with all above, but thought I would let others comment first. It makes him look skilful though.
     
  8. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    So true

    These are just notes. A tool to help him save time when he wants to go back and reprint the negative. Nothing beats years of experience in the darkroom.
     
  9. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I have seen copies of Richard Avedon's printing maps and they are very intense.

    For years I kept notes, and recommend that to my students; on the other hand with years of experience and the loss of materials those those aren't that important.

    In Larry Bartletts book on Black and White printing (which i highly recommend , ) he shows printing maps, much simpler and certainly make more sense.

    Perhaps some of these where work notes, ideas, not necessarily carried out when once working under safe light.
     
  10. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I think it really depends on the personality, and the nature of the forms/shapes in the picture. It is one thing to make things complicated for the sake of complexity, but another thing entirely for a specific image to require complex and exacting procedures to support an honest aesthetic. I've always believed in keeping things as simple as possible - but - stopping at nothing to achieve the result you see in your mind's eye. Some pictures need lots of careful work. Some don't. So I just don't like it when people apply rules to this sort of thing, what makes sense, what is useless, etc. Like when people say all prints should be simple or something is wrong. That is complete crap. It's usually just the sign either of a lack of technical skill, a disinterest in print quality, or plain low standards.
     
  11. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    We are putting tones on paper, this is a visual thing not a written thing, you should concentrate on the negative and let its natural balance come out.
    50 % of dodging and burning is to compensate for the generational loss of density mainly at the edges of the print.
    the other dodging and burning is to lead the viewers eye to areas of interest.
    This is a very simple concept and after a few prints obvious to printmakers.

    One would have to have 30 years of experience in printmaking to believe that what the OP is showing is the way to make prints. Those notes are silly and any compentent printer would throw them out.


    If one is concentrating on notes like this to make prints then good luck with that, IMO these notes are simple wank.
    Printing should be simple and no my standards are not low if that is what you are implying.
     
  12. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Bob, certainly not implying your standards are anything less than top notch. But there are plenty of mediocre or hack printers around who preach that a good subject and a properly developed negative makes for a simple print. I just don't agree, and there are many examples I can point to.

    We've discussed this before, I think. I have nothing but respect for your experience, but our philosophies are totally different. I just can't agree that 50% of dodging and burning is for the edges and that the remainder is for directing the eye. That would seem to apply only to some types of subject matter, or to a particular printer's aesthetic preferences.
     
  13. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    We can disagree , I saw you post as an diss on simple printmaking that I enjoy doing.
     
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  15. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Making prints is just another art form

    Making prints is also another form of expression. We have different philosophies on how to approach it. There are no right and wrongs here. As Adams says "The negative is the score, and the print is the performance." How you interpret the score is up to you.
     
  16. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    How about the image is the music and the capture is what you hear.
     
  17. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Not at all, Bob. Apologies if it came off that way.
     
  18. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    What's the print, then? The recording? :smile:
     
  19. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Yes and if you dodge and burn when you play it back you are using the wow wow pedal.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2013
  20. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I suppose that much dodging and burning is possible, if your job is to spend all week perfecting one photograph.
     
  21. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    No, it's just Bull shit.
     
  22. Bob Carnie

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    I agree, my point in a nutshell, its marketing bull to make ones work look more complicated than it really is.

     
  23. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I can't claim to even begin to understand all that notation. Not that I'm capable of judging any printer's technique.
    Given that my monitor is not going to show subtle tones, I don't see many of the differences in gradation which the selective manipulation indicated would give, such as in the sky. It seems like the main difference is the final print is lighter. I actually like the more somber look of the first marked-up print if it were made a bit lighter overall, with just a little more lightening up in a few places. It would appear from the the intentions conveyed by the notes that there would have to be significant masking of straight lines.
    I'm wondering if these notes are a plan or just a record of what was done.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2013
  24. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    You're agreeing with this guy??? Yikes. I'm gonna have to get Dinesh in here to clean up this mess.
     
  25. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I can envision a professional darkroom technician, working for a major photographic consortium, having to (or being taught by mentors how to) use markup such as was illustrated - so that additional prints could be made by other printers.

    Working for myself, I make sketches on my notes. But they are very rough - generally a few dodge/burn notes (that I would know anyway if I reprinted the negative). I re-read my notes later to see what I used for f/stop and enlarger height - the notes are reliably useful for that. I get it that some printers don't need notes, or ignore them if they make them. Most of the time I am printing a new negative anyway, so the notes don't help in that case.

    When we try to expose and develop negatives for the perfect printable negative, it's not because we expect to be able to print without controls. It's just to improve the statistical possibility that any one negative won't be really hard to print. It's just a plain good habit.

    Most of my negatives do not require such heroic measures as the sketches show. But then none of my prints has hit the heart and soul of the public. I hope if it happens, that the particular negative is easy to print. Otherwise, I will farm out the work to Bob Carnie.

    But I imagine things are different when the negative you have to print has ALREADY hit the big time. Then you HAVE to work with the negative you've got. Chances are it's a bear to print, because the wonderful photographer who took the photograph... Was most likely NOT as capable a technician as you. I am speaking statistically, not with any one photographer in mind... A photographer who takes an amazing photograph is statistically likely to possess less technical ability than the typical APUG correspondent.

    My point is that I think it's practically a given that a "Lottery Winner" will require complex dodging and burning. I think the drawings are real.
     
  26. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council

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    I've never been able to duplicate a print from notes I've made of past printing. If I'm reprinting an image I may as well start from scratch using proven elevation and f- Stop but base exposure, burn and dodging simply don't hold up over time.