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  1. #21
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
    No, there is no such thing of one technology better than the other one.
    I was thinking at this stage of film photography, BW is more accessible and attracts more audience. It is harder to set up darkroom for color photo work. It costs about $200 to set up a BW darkroom. But it costs much more for color, from chemical to processor.

    So the popularity.
    Nope. As others said, you may WANT a processor, but you don't NEED one. I used to print color in the late 90s and even though I had a Jobo I used trays. I hate the time consumption of drying and changing drums. It really slows things down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob-D659 View Post
    Room temp colour printing is dead easy, yes the outlay form chems is more, the paper is about half the cost, and colour enlargers are dirt cheap.

    Now if you have a problem judging the colour balance of a print, then yes it would be a royal pain.
    Color enlargers may be cheap - the bigger obstacle is finding one since no one wants to ship enlargers. But you don't need one even more so than you don't need a processor. I made a lot of color prints in the 80s and again when I took it back up in the 90s. I never owned a color enlarger. Filters work fine. As far as hardware outlay the only thing you really need that you won't already have for black and white is a set of color printing filters.


    Quote Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
    You almost never do color printing in open trays. You need to invest a film/print processor. Also, by not doing in the open tray, it takes some of the enjoyment away from printing photos. You can't see the images coming up.

    As to the enlarger, all enlargers can do B&W, but only the color head can do color printing. You can argue that any BW enlargers can do color printing with proper filters, but clearly that is a pain to do that.
    It is NOT a pain. Changing filtration with a colorhead takes a couple of seconds, with filters maybe 15-30 seconds. Far from a pain. Color heads are nice but more for the diffusion (I'll scarf up the first one ready to go I find locally for my D2 to use for black and white for that reason) than the filter changes.

    This is, I think, a fiction promoted in the photo press of the 70s when color printing started to take off. It's just not true.

    Same for the processor as I said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    It's really because there's far more controls and variables with B&W film processing and printing as a consequence thre's actually far more to learn and discuss..

    I used to do a lot of colour processing mostly E6 (E3/4 before that) and some Cibachrome/Ilfochrome printing, and also some C41 negs and RA-4 prints. Howevever once mastered there's few variables.

    Ian
    And this I think hits closer to the truth. You have some variables - you can dodge and burn as in black and white but the dynamic range of C41 makes this less needed. You can even burn with a different filter pack (and in that case the colorhead will become a lot handier than swapping filters, though I've done it with filters - but then I have an RA4 safe safelight which helps that a lot) but doing that is often tricky to get right and easy to overdo. In my experience it's more of an emergency measure to rescue very mixed lighting than a routine process.

    You used to have some contrast control, perhaps equal to about a half grade of B&W paper numbers, with different papers with Kodak's Portra/Supra/Ultra triad, but that's long gone. You an reportedly manipulate contrast a bit with developer additives (search site for details, I've not tried it) but at the reported expense of developer life and again, it's said to be not much range.

    It is, when it comes down to it, just not as much fun for many of us, nor do the results vary so much from a hybrid product squirted out of an ink jet as a beautiful silver print varies from that in black and white. I shoot color but I currently project it, scan it, or get commercial prints made. I may venture back into color in the darkroom, but considering my lack of time I'd rather devote what little darkroom time I have to black and white which I find more fun.
    Last edited by Roger Cole; 11-07-2012 at 12:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #22

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    Stereotypes are senseless. You can spend a lifetime learning to print either color or black and white,
    or learn the basics of either in half an hour. But for some reason the average high school tuba player
    is not welcome in a coat n' tails symphony orchestra, regardless of whether the performace is broadcast in color TV or black and white. Maybe if some of you were exposed to really high quality
    serious color prints more often instead of moth-on-windshield web smudges you'd understand the
    difference. But this does not mean color printing needs to be intimidating to a beginner. You can do
    basic RA4 in an inexpensive drum, and regular RA4 paper is more economical than those blank pieces
    of paper that get sold to the inkjet users. Just remember to be cautious with the chemicals, have
    good ventilation, and know how to properly control temperature. Printing from chromes (slides) is
    getting tougher in the darkroom, and has always been more complicated if you wanted good results.
    So it's easier to learn color printing by shooting color negative film.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
    The other thing comes to mind is that, BW photography is considered ART and color photography is mainstream and less of an ART. This has nothing to do with photography, but just with the concept of their popularity.

    If today I shoot with a TLR, others would think I'm an artist since I use an old and strange camera. But TLR cameras were so popular in the old days and they are hardly considered artists' tools.

    Actually by now almost all film photography should be considered ART since the mainstream has already moved on to digital....

    what a-r-e y-o-u talking about?

    Cant anything mainstream be art? and in any case what does this have to do with anything? Gombrich dident think photography was art, but luckily for us steichen did.

    Perhaps you are confusing the word art with craft. Is there anything that is not art?
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  4. #24

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    The other thing that makes BW somehow popular is that, all the intro photography classes teach BW photography with some go some depth. Often time color photography is not really taught. For example, my local high school recently closed down its color darkroom and sold all the equipment, including the darkroom furniture. But they kept the BW darkroom since they still teach BW photography as part of the class. I just do not know how long they are going to keep up the BW darkroom.

  5. #25

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    Suzanne is right isn't she? Most who shoot colour scan and we don't talk about that. I wonder how many colour printers there are here. 50?
    Steve.

  6. #26

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    Bob

  7. #27
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    I have enough trouble trying to get a black & white image correct and have a problem with coloured images. A black & white image can often convey a greater strength and meaning, as it draws more attention to tonal emphasis, contrast and composition. However, you have to have that black & white mind set to such an extent that even when I use colour I don’t bother to try and adjust to this medium, as I find this too difficult. Colour is just too complicated.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  8. #28

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    Color is now nearly 100% digital. Try DPUG.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by 37th Exposure View Post
    Color is now nearly 100% digital. Try DPUG.
    Not here (my darkroom and apug) it isn't.
    Bob

  10. #30
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I have a darkroom for both black & white and color processing and printing in Los Angeles, but because I work on the East Coast I do not have enough time to use it now. So I have to send my color work out. I have a place in Los Angeles that does only optical printing. They do my custom work.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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