Is this cheating?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    This is just a thought now. I'm wondering if it would be useful to use an image printed on OHP film to make contrast masks for enlarging. The the old days, it was very labor intensive. I imagine the work flow would be scanning the negative doing some adjustments in Photoshop, blurring the image then print in OHP. Does this thread belong in the Hybrid photo forum? Be nice to me if this post is a faux pas :wink:
     
  2. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Alan Ross is a proponent of this as an extension of his "selective masking" (purely analog) techniques. Alan prints all the authorized reproductions from Ansel Adams's negatives. As such he needed to find ways of reducing the manual labour involved in each print, as well as maximizing consistency from print to print.

    Making inkjet masks is a potentially powerful tool. It works like traditional silver masking, except you can go a step further and even print yellows and magentas on the mask to combine the effects of manual dodging/burning with multiple contrast grades.

    Indeed going to inkjet scanning to make masks is what I would call a hybrid approach, so not really analog. But if you are interested in the technique, Alan's Selective Masking articles/kits include detailed instructions (with example) on how to do inkjet masks.
     
  3. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Wow Alan Ross uses this technique? He's quite a printer. Seen his prints at the Ansel Adams gallery in Yosemite. Never though of using magentas and yellows. Genius. Split grade printing and masking all in one!
     
  4. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Come on , Cheat us as much as you want , making better art is more important.
     
  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Utilizing the tools you have at hand is not (technically)cheating, merely finding a workflow that allows you to accomplish what you need.If the internegative films were still readily available, you would probably still want to use a computer scan and print out a mask, far more convenient.
     
  6. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    This hybrid approach has never been appreciated here, not to mention many other methods of imaging to wet prints that involve a computer.
    I will be interested to see how this thread goes.
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    As opposed as I am to digitalizing, I must weigh in toward being practical. The expense and labor involved in making internegs and masking the way we used to do it, was daunting to say the least. If you can do it with modern technology, have at it. The end result is what matters here, a wet print that reaches out and leaves ya gobsmacked.
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    If you don't mind doing it, it's kind of silly not to take advantage of technology.

    It's too bad that I dislike sitting in front of a computer so much.
     
  9. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I don't feel so bad now. It's good to hear that APUGers are really pragmatic. Thanks Mustafa, Thomas and Rick. I hate sitting in front of a computer for prolong periods too. It already my day job.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    you can do it all you want, but i wouldn't post images in the gallery made from this technique
    you'll have people rallying with pitchforks and torches ...
     
  11. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    As an analog practitioner it is not something I would do. I have no interest in sitting at a computer to do any of my photographic work. I do silver and selective masking when required, but it's all analog.

    I brought up Alan Ross because he's got to make thousands (literally) of identical silver gelatin prints of Adams's negatives for sale and other uses. So any tool whatsoever that can improve efficiency and/or lessen drudgery is on the table. In several cases he's combined many layers of non-digital selective burning/dodging masks into one set so that he can essentially make each print in one exposure with all the burning/dodging incorporated into the mask layers. In this way not only is there less labour, but every print is identical.
     
  12. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

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    Nothing is cheating. The end result is all that matters.


    RR
     
  13. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Nobody will reward you with Nobel Photography Award. If he does accomplish a great print , it is done. As Romans says Finish rewards the job.
     
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  15. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Well, yes, obviously the end result is what matters, but presumably we're on APUG for a reason. We prefer the analog process from end to end, at least most of us. It isn't about the quality of the end product unless we're deluding ourselves.
     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I think many here have interests in both digital and analog techniques, and not one exclusively over the other.

    Anyway, if anybody asks technically how a digital mask is done, I'd be upset with the disrespect for the forum.
    But if someone asks whether it's cheating or not, I think it's applicable. Virtually the same results can be made using darkroom ways. But it'll take longer, and some (like me) would take more pleasure from it.

    It's easy to get on the bandwagon of taking the easy way out. My goal is to be satisfied with my efforts, and often 'easy' doesn't apply - only how good I feel about the print.
     
  17. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Some tools are great an new. This being one. That, and my lord digi-negs are nice!
     
  18. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    In the Lustrum Press "Darkroom" book, Emmet Gowin shows how he uses an acetate mask to do much the same thing you are describing.

    I think any tool you can use to make your art more effective is almost mandatory. We all have limited time on the planet, and even less time to devote to our art.

    As Rush sang in "The Spirit of Radio":

    All this machinery making modern music
    Can still be open-hearted.
    Not so coldly charted, it's really just a question
    Of your honesty, yeah, your honesty.

    And, if I'm being honest, I think DigiNegs should be just another forum on APUG, not banished to it's own poorly trafficked website. Seriously, what has done more to revive platinum and alt-processes than digital negatives?
     
  19. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    plus 1

    Neil can make some great lyrics.

    I have the Darkroom2 book where EG shows quite clearly the way to do this,, having a large negative helps.

     
  20. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Well said. The transparency material is one of the highest selling items on our shelves. I bet a lot of people on here have great Alt. Process stuff that they can't show. I know I have tons and new stuff we're working on all the time, but we can't go there.

    Anyways, back on topic.

    I once used a transparency and a sharpy and hand drew some dodge areas that were very fine and difficult and it worked great! Use what you got. If I have learned anything from watching the art market here in town, it's that %90 of people could give two craps less about how you got there in the image, but rather that the image is great to begin with.
     
  21. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    It's not cheating, but it is beyond the scope of this site. If everyone who complained about APUG's digital policies would go to the hybrid site, it would become more vibrant. This is the last bastion for the entirely analog workflow. Any deviation would start it down a slippery slope.
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    SNIP SNIP

    i agree, but the alternative that existed here called the grey area caused lots of trouble within the membership of this website.
    im not sure if you are able to read any of the long winded and venomous threads from that time period but it was not a lot of fun.
    and as you might read when someone posts questions about "are slide or negative scans allowed in the gallery" the troops are rallied
    to try to create an all print scan gallery where people who may scan film or slides are almost given 2nd class status because
    their work isn't "pure" ... i'm sure if there was some sort of a way to integrate the 2 sites sean would try to do it giving the hybrid people
    a way to be part of apug and visaversa because at a certain level they both need eachother ...
     
  23. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I have done it before, but it takes too long and requires planning (i.e. I have to leave the darkroom). I find a sheet of frosted mylar and a pencil is a lot faster and more malleable. Just my 2¢.
     
  24. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I'd like to hear more about *this*.
     
  25. ishutteratthethought

    ishutteratthethought Subscriber

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    APUG is what it is, an oasis for traditional photography. I too have no problem whatsoever with utilizing technologies to attain images. The websites are a million to 1 for digital/hybrid images vs analogue.
    APUG is hear to keep it traditional, that's all.
     
  26. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Whatever is fun for you. But just remember that there's a reason so many options in Fauxtoshop are named for graphics arts precedents.
    With a bit of soft pencil and a bit of red creosin dye you can do a helluva lot of things faster than using a scan with computer futzing - and at
    vastly less expense. I do all kinds of analog masking, esp for color work, most of it punch-and-register film techniques. But that Alan Ross low-tech approach will give you a lot of mileage in basic black and white control. I happen to enjoy true darkroom masking work. But it can really
    improve prints too.