Theres a liberating feeling...

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by rjas, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. rjas

    rjas Member

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    ...in ripping up a print you spent 4 hours making. I just spent that long trying to better a print I made the other day and I finally realized that if I really want a good print I better just wait until next year or the year after or the year after that, when I can reshoot it. I'm going to start ripping up more prints if they all make me feel this crazy.

    From now on, I won't show anyone any photographs that I don't think are great. I've wanted to do it for a long time, but I've promised myself from now on only the best I can produce will be shared, otherwise its the trash bin. That leaves about 0 prints I'm ready to show.

    I wonder if I should take up burning negatives too....
     
  2. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Take it easy!
    Print improvement is part of the process, as is occasional frustration.:wink:

    Cheers

    André
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I haven't ripped up any prints or burned up any negatives, but one of the deepest lessons I have had from watching an iconic master photographer is when not make a negative. (which is a great deal of the time.)
     
  4. Poco

    Poco Member

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    The most liberating move for me in the darkroom was deciding to put a time limit on how long I'd labor over any one negative. I'd often rough out basic exposure/contrast issues fairly quickly but then spend the next two or more hours on exquisite tweaking of this thing or that thing -- only to find the prints were barely distinguishable when dry ...or worse, that I was steadily working myself into some dead end direction with all the refinements and the first one or two prints, when the image was fresh to me, were actually the best.
     
  5. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Unless the negative is beyond any reasonable hope, I'd avoid destroying negatives. Your darkroom abilities/techniques will expand so that previously unprintable negatives may become feasible - at least that's my hope ;-)
     
  6. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    There's nothing quite like looking at last years 'materpieces' and realizing they really suck, really.
    That is when you realize you're getting better, you're learning.
     
  7. bruce terry

    bruce terry Member

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    As JBrunner mentioned, not making negatives, carefully picking your poison, is a big help in reducing frustration over quality on down the line. For me - obsessively sparse anyway - when I know I'm working on good stuff (to me) I'm well-wired during development and subsequent printing - of course that makes failures that much more disappointing. In that regard about a year ago I stopped being a cheapskate and started making 2 identical negs to protect myself and/or allow experimentation. Big Help!!

    I've never regretted pitching crappy-looking negs right out of a quick rinse, and God, the prints I've thrown away! Some bad stuff I do keep if it links to my notes and can stand as an example of a screw-up, but I even dump that junk soon as that particular goof is no longer a danger.

    rjas, In eight years of 8x10 I have 2, maybe 7, finished prints that I feel are really good, so maybe you're right on track?

    The flip-side of my M.O. is I'd be a better technician if I'd make more negatives.

    Bruce