How to print 6x6 negatives

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Henry Alive, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    I am thinking to buy a Hasselblad camera, since I want to get better landscapes and portraits than those that I am getting now. However, I am not sure if it will be easy for me to work in a square format, as I have always worked with 35 mm format. I would like to continue printing in 12x16 papers. Could you comment how you compose and which format paper you use for printing photos? Is it difficult to get accustom to work with a square film? Is it a good idea to take 6x6 negatives and print in 12x16 paper?
    As always, thanks for your comments.
    Henry.
     
  2. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

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    I like square format a lot and often print my hasselblad shots square. Paper is rectangular, so some gets wasted, but that doesn't bother me. Sometimes I crop to a rectangle if the photo is one that would look better that way, a decision I usually make when shooting the photo so I can compose in a way that the photo can be cropped without losing something important
     
  3. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    If (!) your mind is open to it, you'll soon learn to see, compose, and print square. And you will love it.
    If, however, you get stuck in a "how do i make this more like 35 mm?" frame of mind, it will be hell.
     
  4. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    I like printing square! Of course, you should know that I'm a complete square. Makes keeping the car in one spot easier! Ha!

    I don't have any waste. If it's 8by8 from an 8by10 then I have a test strip for the next print. Same with other sizes. I keep the trimmings to use as test strips. Square mats & frames look rather unique and it's something I offer that you can't find at many places.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The square formats quite easy to work with, it doesn't take long to get used to. I print on 12x16 paper, but trim first which is great for test strips,

    Ian
     
  6. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Same here - 8x10 paper = 8x8 print plus a test strip! Works out really well.

    You can also always crop down the negative if you want, or get a 6x4.5 back for the Hassy.
     
  7. jglass

    jglass Subscriber

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    I'm interested in why you guys trim you 8x10 paper or other sizes to square for printing. I usually just print my squares (altho from a lowly Bronica) on the rectangle, since it will be matted to a square anyway if it gets that far.

    Do those of you who trim paper to square display these prints in some way that shows the entire print, or is this just for holding in a box, all the same size, etc?

    wondering. . .
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I window mount my prints, it makes sense to trim first just to save cutting up whole sheets into test strips. All my images have 1¼" white borders because that's what museums & galleries prefer,

    Ian
     
  9. wfe

    wfe Member

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    I think I've only ever printed a handful of square negatives in anything other than square and I have hundreds of negatives that I've printed. I simply compose for the format I'm shooting. I switch between square and rectangle with no trouble. It's never been something I give much thought.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Use a 4-bladed easel and center the 6x6 image on the rectangular paper.
    OR...get a 6x9 camera if you like the proportions of the 35mm frame.
     
  11. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    At my current level of competence in printing, I need all the test strips I can get! So I trim my paper first and save the offcuts. 11 x 14 Ilford Warmtone is expensive experimenting, so usually I cut the offcut into two or three pieces and test on what my eyes tell me are critical spots before risking a full sheet.

    Like wfe, I don't experience much trouble composing to the frame, whatever it is, and I generally (but not always) print with minimal cropping.
     
  12. anon12345

    anon12345 Member

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    I advice: Don't let the camera determine the shape of your final composition in print. You decide the shape of your final composition in print.

    Analogy: Just because a bucket has a round opening, this doesn't mean I can't put square, rectangular or triangular items into the bucket. It doesn't mean that I can't use the bucket to make a square sand castle. The shape of the bucket has no bearing on the final composition. Nor does the shape of the negative used to make a print.
     
  13. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    As many, I usually trim the paper and used the strip for test strips. The exception is when I print 5x7, in which case I like to keep the large margin at the bottom.

    The Rolleiflex is the first camera with which I print the full frame most of the time, and with which I can compose easily.

    Laurent
     
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  15. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    It doesn't matter what format I shoot, I compose for full frame, and print same. I trim my paper first for square format and use the off-fall for test strips.
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    It has.

    You do compose for the frame you happen to have.
    Composition is nothing but arranging things inside a frame, and you can do that equally well - differently, but equally well - throwing the same things around in different frames.
    You do run into things that will not sit good, no matter what you try, and then you compose to an imagined frame, and cut away the parts that are not part of the composition later.
    But you do compose, square, oblong in many different aspect ratios, and round even.
     
  17. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I usually looked at my 6x6 negative that they could be printed in the traditional rectangle either horizontal or vertical. More than enough negative to permit cropping. Same as with any negative in that they may not proportion out exactly to the print paper.
     
  18. anon12345

    anon12345 Member

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    I agree there with fotch, most definitely.

    "I compose within the frame I have, and not for the frame I have." There's a difference.

    I have noticed, and I am amazed at how many folks believe that the shape of the negative must dictate the shape of the final print . . . a camera that produces a square negative must have the elements arranged within the framework as to produce a print that is also square. That may not be the case here in this thread . . . but, I make a point to place the elements desired well within the limits of the "camera's view" as to give me the option to print any orientation (or shape) desired. I do like ovals so. A camera that produces a square negative can easily be used to produce a panoramic image in print, if "we can think outside the box". ;-)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2010
  19. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Tell us this, how many different aspect ratios do you have in your portfolio?

    You seem to assume that people who compose inside a given frame do so because they don't understand how composition should work, and don't know that it could be done another way.

    Composition is not about a frame dictating how you arrange things inside it, but you dictating how things are arranged inside that frame. The world is not full of ready-founds, objects that have a natural frame around them. We do that to those objects. We arrange them inside a frame, any frame, such that it looks good.
    You see, that's called creativity.
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Agreed. There's a kind of laziness not composing to the frame, and a lack of artistic confidence as well.

    Ian
     
  21. anon12345

    anon12345 Member

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    Excellent. I can see we're in 100% agreement. And "Darn", I was looking for a good argument. ;-)
     
  22. redrockcoulee

    redrockcoulee Member

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    I print square with the paper in portrait mode so that even just in a portfolio it has white space around it and more space below than above. Usually printing 6 3/4 to 7 1/4 square and thus the print has a finished look to it and it is actually easier to mat and frame as the window of the mat does not have to be as exact as I have the white of the paper showing.

    I compose for the square as that is one of the major reasons I shoot with a Hasselblad or a Rolleichord instead of a 645 or 67. I also shoot 35mm and LF and in each case compose for the frame I have. Of course sometimes I compose with cropping in mind and sometimes I crop in the darkroom as I decide a different aspect improves the image but for the most part I try to be full frame. I do not think I am a slave to the aspect ratio of the camera rather I choose the camera for its aspect ratio whenever practical. I also just happen to love the square format of 6X6 and the more square ratio of the 4X5 over 5X7 or 35mm.

    If you wish to crop to any other ratio or always print full page and let the paper decide, that is your choice. If however you do end up cropping a high percentage of your images to a more "standard" ratio in the landscape orientation than perhaps the 645 back or a 645 camera is more suited to you.
     
  23. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    My camera formats = 6X6cm & 4X5. Sometimes I print square with the 6X6 negatives but that format gives me a leeway for a vertical or horizontal. After a while it becomes second nature to compose with a little extra on top or bottom or either side or square. It wasn't mentioned which lens was to be used.
    Jeff
    http:/www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I am sure the majority of the photos I have taken using a square format have ended up printed to a rectangular image. I look at square format as providing a rotating image frame, without need for any rotation :smile:.

    That being said, I do have images that I have shot on square format and printed square - where the subjects themselves dictate that.

    I like and use a grid screen to help with composing my shots.
     
  25. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    But how many different formats are there in your portfolio, Dann?
    :wink:
     
  26. anon12345

    anon12345 Member

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    How many ways can you cut a piece of photographic paper? ;-)

    I do not have a portfolio. But, if you like, give me a couple months and I will print one just for you.