Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by ic-racer, Nov 3, 2009.
Poll for proof prints
i make a contact sheet for every roll of film. this is more for keeping track of images then anything else.
I find it terribly boring, especially if you do "proper" contact prints, but also find it very useful. I always do.
contact sheet for every roll, unless I know its destined for the bin in the next week or two. or I know I'll never print it, but want to keep the negs but no proofsheet.
i did for maybe 9 years
then i ran out of $$ and used
the paper for printing.
i got used to just looking
at the negative ...
i've been thinking of doing it again though ...
I only make contact prints from my 120 film. =) The right images really have a presence trimmed and mounted on good board.
I'm actually revisiting contact proof sheets. For a long time I didn't do them, recently I started doing them again. I'm finding that it is nice to have a positive to look at. As far as the negs I print I always inspect them closely with a loupe, checking for focus and any defects that might ruin the image.
Late in the game, I have found out that doing contact sheets makes sense for me. I find that I am more productive and I get a better sense of how and why the exposures look like they do.
I use contact proofs for cataloguing purpose only. I prefer to read my negs.
Never could read my negs - and still can't after all these years. My contacts are all done Grade 2, minimum exposure / maximum black and help me keep an eye on my entire process. I use a channel on my analyzer to meter between the frames and the enlarger set exactly the same each time - same lens, same aperture, same height and same lens extension. If there's a variation in the reading it gives me a heads up that something's changed. First thing I check on tee proof is the frame numbers and writing - the writing should be very clear and the clear film shouldn't be distinguishable from the black surround. If not there's something wrong with the process. Then the photos. Those negs that that are incorrectly exposed are really obvious and indicate a metering error. I can then work out what it was I did wrong. It works for me as a control over the entire process - in addition to seeing if there are frames worth pursuing.
I used to do contact sheet for everything, but now I only do them for medium format. I can get a good idea of what's on a 6x6 negative from the contact sheet, but it's more difficult with the tiny 35mm negs.
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I make a print for every roll. I'll squeeze it into the front of a printing seesion and, more oft than not, it's my first glimpse at my work. I love it.
No proofs ever! All negatives, blanks aside, are taken through to the best gelatin-silver photograph I can produce. That is the bargain I made with myself when I executed the original film exposure.
Nothing hits the cutting room floor. The work is the work is the work.
I like to look at the negatives through a loop and I make a quick print of those that interest me.....the print is always an RC print at the minimum time for maximum black through clear film with the enlarger always at the same height for 5x7. Since the purpose is to make a quick positive only, I don't bother with any other printing controls--this works very well when one is very familiar with your materials and processing.
Yes, I contact proof my films. I particularly find it useful when revisiting old work in case I've missed something. This does happen, one of those 'slow burners' that reveals itself over time. Often the quite unassuming image that you wonder why you initially took it. Then looking at a contact sheet, it dawns on you why you did take it
However I don't 'proof' my 8x10 negatives, those that are selected go straight to the finished contact print.
It is required in Photo 1, 2 and the advanced classes at U Akron. In the advanced classes half the class is critiqued every two weeks, ten 11x14 prints or larger on the wall and proof sheets on the professor's desk. My 7x17s all go on the wall, but if I were shooting roll film, proof sheets would be required.
Yes, I contact all of my film. Mainly for filing purposes, but occassionally I will pull a handful or two of filing sheets and browse the proof sheets, to see if anything catches my eye that I had previously dismissed.
I shoot too much film to have time to contact proof them all. But I'm getting better at it.
To me it's a great interpretive tool. It really tells me how I'm doing with my exposures and film processing. To make it truly worthwhile, the proofing should be done on the same paper you print, but I can't afford an 11x14 sheet of Ilford MGWT for every roll of film I shoot.
All contact sheets are minimum exposure for getting black through the film edge. This is another situation where using the same film over and over again really helps. I have the enlarger head height recorded, the bulb power, lens aperture, and exposure time noted for my cheapo Arista RC paper I use for this purpose. So that every time I make a contact sheet, the exposure time is exactly the same.
I find it useful, and wish I had done it on all my rolls to date, just to learn to understand film processing and its variables faster than I did.
Are you really selective when you shoot? I'm curious, as this approach would necessitate that I would shoot much less than I am doing.
However, every film frame I ever exposed were borne out of an idea, and as it stands now many of those ideas will never become printed and seen.
I always do contact proof sheets for 120 and 35mm.
Reading negs is nice,
but often one or two contacts on the roll will surprize me with results I didn't expect.
Cataloging is much easier for me with contact sheets from each roll.
Some of my sporting photos are offered for sale directly to the competitors by letting them sift through the contacts from earlier competitions with a magnifying glass and loupe. Works best when I had the same EV to use throughout the roll, obviously.
I used to, but now I've started scanning the negs and printing out contact sheets on a budget printer. I feel dirty doing it, but my time in the darkroom is so precious now, at least I can get this chore done up front.
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