Latest lenswork Web AudioBlog
"A Half and Hour of Darkroom Work"
Somehow, I just don't relate to what this guy is saying. He's kinda come down a notch in my book.
I enjoy Brooks' blogs a lot but he got the terminology wrong on this one. I used to be digital and there's no such thing as darkroom work, it's just computer work. When you're doing computer work there's no real difference between manipulating a picture or writing a letter. So working on it a few minutes and printing a few prints doesn't mean much. Darkroom work is in a unique league of its own and so are the rewards. It takes longer but it's much more satisfying.
Personally I don't find Brookes Jensen to be too evangelical of digital methods. I'm assuming this was the problem. In this Blog I think he was only making comment about an epiphany he'd had when thinking of how things have changed, particulary in the efficiency of his printing process. Perhaps I've oversimplified it, and there are greater things at work here (?)
The [color=black][font=Times New Roman][font=Verdana][size=2]philosophical approaches he employs in editing his magazine are what really count for me, and as a result in my opinion Lenswork is a very good magazine.[/size][/font][/font][/color]
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[color=black][font=Times New Roman][font=Verdana][size=2]He makes no secret of his use of digital methods, and advantages that brings him. Do you think he should?[/size][/font][/font][/color]
Last edited by John McCallum; 02-08-2005 at 06:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I have no time for darkroom work but I've figured out a way to "modularize" it.
I think I mentioned this before on another thread but here it goes again. Instead of putting in entire hours of time in the darkroom, I look at it as being very static. Nothing moves in there so...:
1. I go in and put neg in holder, place in enlarger. That takes about 30 seconds. Leave.
2. I go back in, when I have time, later on, to fix size of easel, focus and what not. That takes 3 - 5 minutes. Leave
3. I "guestimate" an exposure based on how I did it before and make a test print or 2 or 3 test strips. Another 5 minutes. Leave
4. I leave test print in box and come back later.
5. Here's where Jon probably didn't have a Nova slot processor, but I make the test print[s]
I've spent about 20 minutes all together doing this but not 20 contiguous minutes. I've done this in between getting kids ready for something, folding laundry, making dinner, etc, etc.
I only go in about 5 minutes at a time afterwards and make prints. Once I get the print I like, I expose a bunch of paper, and not develop it yet, but develop when I know I have 10 minutes free.
Multitask! I know you guys do it on the computers...
Work, read email, shop at amazon, work, read email, shop, AIM, shop, work, read email. Not like you are spending 4 hours on that project plan you are supposed to be doing right?
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I cut and sort some of the negs I recently shot... That didn't take too much time...
Sitting down at the computer for 30 mins and fooling around and getting some results is the same in my book as my neg sorting.
But when I print... I PRINT! I tend to print a lot of negatives and dedicate myself to the task at hand. Had I moved to digital, I could see sitting at my computer for a day doing production work in a similar fashion.
Sure there is less setup and cleanup with digital, but there are similar small tasks that happen everyday on the wet side of the photography world too.
Just my $.02
John, I agree with you certainly that Brooks isn't in your face about his affinity for digital work. The problem is that in his mind, he believes he was doing DARKROOM work. That philosophical mind-shift is the proverbial 'slippery slope' IMHO. Therein lies the rub doesn't it?
Originally Posted by John McCallum
Ahhhh, now I see what you are getting at. Right. I don't know what that digital darkroom thing means. You are either in a real darkroom, or in front of your computer.
Originally Posted by SchwinnParamount
Damn, you read my mind Brother.
Originally Posted by eric
I don't think he should be secret about it at all, nor should any of us. For one thing, if he were hiding what he does then he wouldn't provoke thought and discussion. But I think he missed an important distinction on this one. Squeezing in your Photoshop time is not the same as doing darkroom work. As he points out in the blog, the traditional darkroom takes a lot of time. You don't squeeze it in and that's what I find magical about the darkroom. It's meditative.
Originally Posted by John McCallum
A few months ago in one of his blogs he talks about the discovery of going out photographing with the car radio off and he explores the idea of calming down and being alone with his thoughts and how it effects his photography. Why would it be different with printing? Well, to my mind it isn't. The darkroom has a way of being meditative. What Brooks is describing is the antithesis of that. Squeezing in a moment to work on your pictures. What he's describing isn't work in the darkroom. I have no beef with digital, but I feel that the terminology is important.