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jd callow
03-11-2006, 01:00 PM
ditto

David A. Goldfarb
03-11-2006, 03:43 PM
One interesting effect of the print exchanges is that people get to see what other people's work is like and how they present it, and that tends to raise standards.

Sometimes, I think, it's meant holding up the Traveling Portfolio, because some member or other has felt that their work didn't measure up and wanted to produce a better print than they've ever made before sending it on. On the one hand that inconveniences the whole group, because the portfolio is delayed, but on the other hand, if the person who hangs on to the portfolio for two months becomes a better printer for it, well, isn't that part of the purpose of the whole thing?

So to those who won't participate, because they feel that their work is superior to the work they will receive in return, I would say--

It is always a challenge to improve upon one's own work, and the print exchanges are an opportunity to do so, regardless of the prints one receives in exchange.

If your work really is that superior, then show some generosity of spirit by sharing your work as Les McLean, Joe Lipka, Clay Harmon, and many other fine printers have done here in the exchanges, and maybe others will learn something from your experience.

SteveH
03-11-2006, 04:14 PM
Well....
I obviously vote 'no'. While I do agree that an excellent presentation will add to an excellent print, you still need an excellent print first. Someone put it best when they said "...you cannot polish a turd.". This idea has had too many requirements based upon everything BUT the print itself. To me, my idea of an 'elitist' print exchange would go something like this:

#1 - The print, that when you look at all your others, you honestly feel is best
#2 - An image that you learned something as you were creating it
#3 - An image, that once you were done, you dug it back out a couple of times just to look at it
#4 - An image that you believe will makes others feel as you do when you view it

Basically...An image of yours that you feel is above all of the other images you have made. After all, it IS about the photo....Right ? Now, I am not saying that you all don't do this now - for I don't know. All I am saying, is that if this were my parade, that is how I would do it.

Regards,

Rlibersky
03-11-2006, 04:16 PM
One of my biggest issues with print exchanges, and I have been involved in (here and other places) is the respect (or lack of) people give there own work:
- poorly packaged so it arrives damaged
- damaged somewhere in process and still sent (bent, wrinkled or even poorly processed)
- and my biggest issue - not even spotted

If I like an image I can mount it myself, there is no need for the print maker to do that, perhaps the image is excellent, but just not my taste. But sending out prints that are not even finished, with dust marks all over them is another thing.

Perhaps the question is how to teach the difference between a work print and a finished print?

I also will voted no but think this statement should be looked at. I have recieved many prints that would be worthy of hanging if the printerhad taked the time to spot them. Others look like they've been crammed into a bag in rage. Just my 2 cents.

Randy

Ole
03-11-2006, 04:48 PM
"Rage" is usually in the post. "In haste" is more descriptive of my contributions...

And I'm a lousy spotter. So lousy that I prefer to making the print over again - and again and again and again until the few remaining dust specs are unobtrusive enough to be overlooked without examination with a 10x loupe...

df cardwell
03-11-2006, 05:05 PM
Spotting hint: use a 1000w lamp in the room. Improves MTF of the eye.

Spotting hint: really fine brushes don't make fine points.

Ole
03-11-2006, 05:28 PM
Spotting hint: Use a bigger film. A dust spot the size of a grain of dust is acceptable, enlared to the size of a pea it's not...

Spotting question: Does anyone know of a spotting ink/paint/pigment that matches the reflectivity of a FB print? Well-spotted prints are ugly in the wrong lighting...

David A. Goldfarb
03-11-2006, 06:14 PM
Spotting hint--Well selected, well trained Richeson Miniature Series brushes make fine points.

Nige
03-11-2006, 06:24 PM
Spotting Hint 1 - Turn the print upside down, stops you looking at the picture and concentrate on the tones.

Spotting Hint 2 - Don't over-do it. Creep up to invisability. Knocking the 'white' off a spot is usually enough to hide it from a resonable viewing distance (i.e. hand held). Over spotted 'donuts' stand out like the proverbial dogs bollocks!

donbga
03-11-2006, 06:49 PM
Spotting hint: Use a bigger film. A dust spot the size of a grain of dust is acceptable, enlared to the size of a pea it's not...

Spotting question: Does anyone know of a spotting ink/paint/pigment that matches the reflectivity of a FB print? Well-spotted prints are ugly in the wrong lighting...
Spot Tone. Works for me and many others for decades.

Don Bryant

df cardwell
03-11-2006, 06:49 PM
Spotting hint: Use a bigger film. A dust spot the size of a grain of dust is acceptable, enlared to the size of a pea it's not...

Spotting question: Does anyone know of a spotting ink/paint/pigment that matches the reflectivity of a FB print? Well-spotted prints are ugly in the wrong lighting...

Spot Tone is fine. I prefer working from dried solution in a dish. Distilled water. Use test prints to match the tone. The reflectivity is fine. Add gum arabic if you need more gloss. Old timers ( like the previous owners of Ole's cameras ) started with india ink and gum.

The 'dot' ought to disappear.

donbga
03-11-2006, 06:53 PM
So far that's what they're doing. They are the ones not participating and when I asked them why? This 'quality' thing was the answer I got. There are many, many more than what the poll is indicating so far. It's the reason for me starting this thread.

Regards, Art.
So how about a large print exchange? Minimum size would be 11x14 up to a maximum of 20x24.

Maybe that would incentivize people to create a high quality print since it would cost more to make.

Don Bryant

donbga
03-11-2006, 06:55 PM
So how about a large print exchange? Minimum size would be 11x14 up to a maximum of 20x24.

Maybe that would incentivize people to create a high quality print since it would cost more to make.

Don Bryant
Replying to my own post ...

What about a mini-portfolio exchange. 5 or more prints required.

Just a thought.

Don Bryant

Ole
03-11-2006, 06:57 PM
Minimum size would be 11x14 up to a maximum of 20x24. Or a big film exchange. Minimum negative size 8x10"?

Or - a "Historical camera" exchange? Camera and lens to be made before 1906, technique to be familiar to photographers of that time?

Bob F.
03-11-2006, 07:27 PM
My understanding is that the exchanges are a community event, to be entered in to in a spirit of mutual respect and good fellowship (sorry if I'm beginning to sound like a Victorian clergyman)...

I was not aware that the idea was to amass a quantity of "good" prints. If someone feels their work is too good for the general membership then by all means that can start their own "by invitation" group, but I can't help but feel they would be missing the whole point of the exercise.

Cheers, Bob.


P.S. What Dave said too....

papagene
03-11-2006, 08:08 PM
I voted no! because I participate for the fun of giving and receiving. As far as print quality is concerned, I send only prints I am satisfied with, that I would choose to hang on a wall. No seconds or unfinished prints.
Concerning matting/mounting the prints... I can't afford that. I have two or three prints waiting to be matted for a soon to be group show and I am going to have to scramble to afford the materials. So when I participate in an exchange I state up front that I would prefer UN-mounted/matted prints in return. And some day I will be able to afford to matt the growing pile of exchange prints.
The idea of an Elitist Print Exchange just seems to rub me the wrong way.

gene

donbga
03-11-2006, 08:12 PM
Or a big film exchange. Minimum negative size 8x10"?

Or - a "Historical camera" exchange? Camera and lens to be made before 1906, technique to be familiar to photographers of that time?
Ole,

The intent of my post was not meant to suggest just another exchange but rather create a venue or context to motivate people to produce their very best work.

Personally I think that producing a coherent small portfoilio would be very challenging and may spur people to invest more time than merely the time required to work in their darkroom.

Just my thoughts,

Don Bryant

ggriffi
03-11-2006, 08:43 PM
This should be treated like any 'gift' giving -- have a desire to give and be grateful about what you receive.

I agree with that. I will be in the "other" print exchange and it will be my first. I know that some of skillls lack but from what I have seen and read that's what it is all about.

g

Gay Larson
03-12-2006, 12:54 AM
Well I hardly know what to say. I've particiapated in two exchanges with APUG groups and each time it was a great experience. I tried my very best to send the best fiber based prints I could make. I received a lot of very nice prints that I am proud to hang in my home and a few that I thought could have used more work but it was fun waiting for the mail to see what I would get. And it was fun waiting to hear what people thought of the prints I sent out. I would hate to think we would discourage new members from participating and having the opportunity to enjoy such a fun experience. I did like it better when it was broken into a small manageable group of 4 or 5 people exchanging. I urge you not to make it difficult for new members or make it intimidating. Just don't particiapate if you think your work is so far above the rest of us. What a shame though.

gr82bart
03-12-2006, 06:16 AM
I am still learning the art/craft of enlarging. I only just consider myself able enough to make postcards.This is typical of the other side of the coin. People are way too hard on themselves.

So in the past round of exchanges, many APUGers will remember my PM encouraging them to particpate in the any of the print exchanges. I did this by going to the galleries and asking people whose galleries I thought had some merit (Who the heck am I to judge, right? Another thread.) I did so in an effort to increase the particpation rate and I also checked out their posting frequency and particpation in general. If they looked to be active, I sent them a PM. I had plans to do this again this round, but really have no time (although one would point out this lengthy post as a rebuttal).

So discarding all the "I have no time" responses, which is understandable, the rest of the responses fell into two camps - those that weren't good enough and those that were too good.

Well, the last part is my interpretation of their response. They've particpated before and consider some of the prints they've recieved of an unacceptable standard. Remember the whole "to mount/mat or not" debate? Or the RC versus FB paper debate? I mean that alone was 50/50 - many people have certain expectations. And that's just about materials.

I have feedback on a whole raft of 'quality' issues. The printing is poor, spilled coffee, discarded prints, no real effort put into the print, etc....

I think this discourages newbies like AndyK to particpate. So how do we get newbies to particpate?

Just don't particiapate if you think your work is so far above the rest of us.As I mentioned earlier, that's what they are doing right now. Some have participated in earlier exchanges at my encouragement, but have dropped out since due to the 'quality' issue.

I guess I wanted to get a discussion going on a couple things, besides getting more newbies and more particpation in general:


How to get these 'master printers' to particpate - maybe in their own club? Some have said they would, although the poll reveals their shyness, if they knew the others particpating were 'in their league'. Do we even care they are particpating in a print exchange or not?
How to get newbies access to mentors and peers in the darkroom area. I know, as a newbie, I have greatly appreciated the comments and feedback I have personally recieved in the Alternative Print Exchange. In fact the feedback has inspired me. How do get more of this access? Is this even a 'need' and is this too taxing on those whose printing skills we consider 'great'? Remember the debate around Per's free workshops? Would this just be another way to displace a professional's income?
Do I think too much in the morning and come up with these cockamany(sp?) ideas and should just go about my day without posting on APUG until I shake my head a few times?
Discuss away....

Regards, Art.