For one, if I only photographed a scene where the range of lighting fits neatly in 10 zones maximum, I'd be avoiding awful a lot of excellent opportunities. Wait... make that 8 because most paper can't even show all 10 zones. More like 7 to 8.
For two, I first see the scene by my eyes. I scan the field. My brain automatically adjust my iris (in my eyes), compensate for excessive and lack of lighting and construct the scene in my mind. Camera, on the other hand, has a fixed exposure for a given shutter release. It applies to the entire frame of the film. (unless one uses grad filter, etc). Dodging and burning are often necessary to print the scene as my my eyes saw it and my mind reconstructed.
Plus.... the photograph need not be an accurate depiction of the actual scene. It is not always a documentary rendition. It can be an interpretation of the scene. In other words, that's what I want the viewer to see - through my lens and my mind.
Photography to me, is an artistic expression - not a forensic evidence.
Unless you are spoiling for an argument (an even then), I think these are very immature and ignorant statements. I might agree with the relative lengths I've seen some go to, which involve split second timing, but that is their process, not mine to judge. In the thousands of prints I've made, I've only encountered one case where the straight print was good enough to be considered a finished fine print, and that was only with one size. Other sizes from the same negative required small adjustments to match the the straight one.
Originally Posted by cliveh
With natural light one doesn't get to fine tune lighting conditions, that is why one needs to adjust developing of the negative. There is no way a monochrome negative can normally translate the emotion of any color scene to monochrome substrates without intervention – the visualization of the photographic artist.
Showing off "some special skill", as you say, is ludicrous. I have never seen a case where fine art prints are accompanied by "maps", unless the creator of the work desired to convey classical methods clearly to others. This act of internet altruism I have done myself (Making a Fine Art Print –> Print Record), without apology to you, and no financial gain to myself, simply for the benefit of others.
You are a very silly person.
So, Clive, I guess this is one of your photos:
I suppose it was your intent for my eyes to be drawn to the bright foreground, and stay there, looking at nothing else in the photo? Because that's what's happening.
Burning and dodging don't exist to cure errors in exposure--they're there to shape the viewer's interaction with the photograph, stressing what is important, subduing what isn't. Nature doesn't always cooperate with what we were seeing, and how we want other people to see that.
the way i see it is no matter what is done with a camera, it is manipulating whatever scene is in front of it.
slow exposures manipulate time just like instant exposures of a millisecond do the same. ( i won't even go into filters .. )
developing the film and converting it into a negative manipulates the scene even more, soft invisible grain, hard grain reticulation
( i won't go into intensification or negative retouching either )
then printing it ... chemistry paper, hands on the print, ice in the bath, hair dryer, water bath, burning, dodging, wide open lens, stopped down, obstructions,
graphite dust on the print, abrading it with a knife ... inks, oils bleaches paints ...
there really is no such thing as an unmanipulated straight print ...
[snip snip snip]
I would try to take the middle road in this discussion. Again, there is such a thing as special/good light, or "found" light if you want to call it that. And knowing how to use it is a very useful skill. That said, there's nothing wrong with whatever tools and techniques someone may use to achieve their artistic vision. We have to be tolerant of each other's workflows and appreciate the diversity of approach...
As long as you get the print that you want , who cares how you achieve it. Your visualization of the scene is far more important.
We can argue whether it should be achieved in camera, in the darkroom or the computer all day, but in the the end, what does it matter.
A good print is a good print, no matter how it is created.
The painter always has a complete set of lenses with him...his eyes... and he can always make a perfect composition in his brain and create the painting he wanted to capture. However for someone like me who only has one lens, I have to compose the scene to include the specific portion of the landscape that I visualize in the print and then when I get back into the darkroom, crop in order to achieve that vision. Cropping for artistic control is one thing....cropping to correct a mistake is another.
Originally Posted by cliveh
I don't know why everyone continues to say things are OK for artistic reasons and not to correct mistakes.
They must be perfect practitioners of the art or science.
I for one make mistakes with almost all of the pictures I make and have to employ certain tools to correct them in varying degrees.
I hope one day to be as good as all of you.
I just find the whole of this debate depressing. So many problems in this world are caused by people creating self imposed rules of their own thinking and then trying to force others to comply by any means possible, criticism, coercion, ridicule etc. Surely we should all be allowed to use the techniques that work for us without being ostracized. Crop, burn, dodge, tone, two bath, hot finger, bleach, warmtone, cool tone, lith, water bath etc, are these all banned in our totalitarian state?
Same here. When you look at the print you feel that dodging or burning is necessary, it most likely is. The Both it are not a rescue operations but part of the creative process of the human in the thedarkroom.
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie