Printing with Fred Picker

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by ParkerSmithPhoto, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    Would you like to see "an immediate and dramatic improvement in your print quality"? Fred Picker will be happy to help. All you have to do is read the attached handy-dandy pamphlet entitled, with great imagination, "Printing with Fred Picker."

    This was in a pile of darkroom goodies I acquired over the weekend. I figured it would either bring back fond memories or promote the general welfare of silver prints in America and, either way, that it couldn't hurt to post it. :cool:

    It's a little too big to post on APUG, so you can download it here. Enjoy! And let me know if it helps.
     
  2. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Hey, thanks.
     
  3. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I have been printing for many years but this method looks like the best rational way to arrive at a quality image.
     
  4. pinholer

    pinholer Member

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    Ahh yes, I had forgottern about Fred Picker. When I got interested in large format photography, I read Pickers books and subscribed to his newsletters. Other excellent sources of information on technique were Ansel Adams books and the article written by Howard Bond.

    Picker was, I believe, first and foremost, a salesman of his products. He was always opinionated (what salesman isn't) but henerally had some good ideas and a fairly sound basis for doing what he did. If you run across his books or, better yet, a set of his newsletters get them. The information in them is timeless.

    Another good source, especially for the technically inclined, are the articles that Howard Bond wrote for the old Darkroom Photography. I don't know if Howard still gives his classes or not but the articles used to be available at the classes.
     
  5. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    Thanks for posting this. :smile:
     
  6. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    I would love to read some of those articles by Howard Bond. His book shot in the Greek islands, "White Motif," is absolutely stunning. He made some fantastic portraits as well. You can pick up a used copy on Amazon for about $10. He has technical details for each image (lens, film, processing, etc) so it's quite educational as well.

    Anyone have any of those lying around that they could scan? Maybe we need to ask APUG to set up a sticky for educational articles and so forth, things that are out of print, etc.
     
  7. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Just a couple of notes of interest:
    Years ago I purchased a Studio VI (Picker's brand) print washer and film washer as well as the electronic enlarger timer which I still use regularly. Somewhere along there we were in Vermont and went to Newfane thinking that was where he was located. It was a very small town so I stopped at a gas station/general store and asked where Studio VI was. I found out that Newfane was a mail drop for them and didn't really exist there. His book has good information and is very easy to follow if you can find it. The one I have is "The Fine Print".

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  8. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Its always helpful to see a photographer in action. Recommend viewing Fred's DVD, see Calumet's listing.
     
  9. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Years ago in graduate school I took a class from a fellow who had studied with Fred. It wasn't a photography class, but a few of us ended up working with this guy for the next two years.

    The second time we met as a class he showed us some of his work and we sat there in shock and said, can you teach us how to print like that?

    He of course taught us the methods that he learned from Fred Picker and it turned my world around; learning how to control my tools and technique.

    He was of course a salesman, but he made some great modification to equipment and had some wonderful tips and points about making better prints.

    I have the whole set of his news letters, still sitting on the shelve at school in case my students what to take a look.
     
  10. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Newfane was where Fred lived, and he just kept that as the address for Zone VI, which actually operated down the road in Brattleboro. You probably drove through Brattleboro to get to Newfane :smile:
     
  11. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Thanks for posting. I have used a somewhat modified version of this the last two nights in the darkroom. I have been meaning to tighten up ship in regards to my printing methods (and note keeping) lately. A combination of Fred Picker's advice and what I learned from Michael A Smith with a nod towards Multi-grade printing has really worked wonders for me.

    Anyone NEW to the darkroom would do well to follow this to the letter. Especially the part about taking your time and really looking at the prints, including turning them upside down.

    Thanks again Parker Smith.
     
  12. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    That said... I just realized I've been working in the darkroom for 15 years now. People with FAR more experience (and I realize there are many on this site ( and I have learned much from your contributions, THANK YOU)) might yawn a bit at that... but damn, that's a long ass time to this 34 year old.
     
  13. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I think the most important thing Fred taught, and a lot of people missed, is that you should develop a systematic process that works for you. By following the process, you can learn to make predictable variations. Michael teaches the same thing - though his process differs.
     
  14. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    the most important thing he taught-and it was hard to miss-wsthatwhatever you do, make sure you buy yaall your stuff from zoneVI. his printing expertise was -unfortunately excelled by his salesmanship. and he was willing to compromise the first for the latter.may he rest in peace,because,besides that,he did photography a great service.
     
  15. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I agree completely.
     
  16. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    So does Bob Carnie, the master split grade printer on VC paper, from whom I learned the technique. You can outflank this process just as well as you can Michael's contact printing process.
     
  17. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Sooo wish I could have made it up for that, Jim.