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  1. #11

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    As Noseoil suggested, stick with one film and one developer for a long period with one caveat. I would work with 2 films like a 100 and 400 speed combo. That way you can take advantage of any light available for shooting.

    The more film you shoot of one emulsion and use the same developer, the more of a baseline you establish for trying other film, paper chemistry down the road.

    The same applies to paper. Pick one paper or two (one neutral, one warmtone) and ring out the possibilities before trying new papers.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  2. #12
    BradS's Avatar
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    On the other hand, if you derive pleasure from testing films, do it. Follow your passion. Life is much too short to do otherwise.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by thefizz
    My question is this:

    Am I wasting too much time trying to get the right film and developer combination for my needs and should I just spend more time in the darkroom practicing my split grade printing, flashing, fogging etc., etc.

    ITime is precious, am I wasting it?

    Peter
    I buy whatever film developer is cheapest and go with that. For some reason I always use ilford film for B&W even though it is a couple of cents more expensive per shot than Kodak.

    I do keep the zone system in mind when taking photos and never use AUTO exposure except for 35mm photography. For MF I always use a light meter.

    Do I get perfect negs? Maybe 6/10 are good enought to print on grade 2, the rest print from grade 00 to grade grade 5.

    Do I care? No. To me the art is the image not the dev nor print process. Sure I can push/pull a neg to make it easier to print, but that creates a different image.

    Do I think you worry to much? Yes, I think you are wasting time in the dark that is better spent taking photos

    Just IMO:-)


    Graham

  4. #14
    thefizz's Avatar
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    More good advise, thanks everyone.

    Peter

  5. #15

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    I have recently done some film testing with Delta 100 using Les McLean's method. This was something I had been meaning to do for several months, especially after I started to use a Pentax Digital Spotmeter to achieve more accurate exposures.

    Basic film tests and the spotmeter have definitely improved my photography from a reliability standpoint, and forced me to think more about how the final print is achieved. However, I do not plan to do massive amounts of testing, now having settled on Delta 100, and Ilfotec HC as a film/dev combination that works for me.

  6. #16
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    Theres nothing wrong with testing.. As previously stated, it is merely a means to an end. Musicians do it when they're not performing. They're practicing their tempo or tuning their instrument. I don't know what painterrs do, but I'm sure they're perfecting their craft as well. Perfecting their color pallettes and stroke techniques?

    You can't expect a masterpiece unless your image contains all the intricacies of a great image. The subtle difference between a good image and a grand image is all very subtle! Photography consists of mechanical parts working together to create an image. Where you point your camera and compose your image is entirely a different issue. If we dismiss the mechanical aspects of photography, then we might as well be shooting with a point and shoot camera.

    The best quote I've read in a while was through zonesystem.com:

    "Sometimes, photography makes perfect sense. Little-by-little the relationships within the media will assemble themselves into a cohesive whole. This will happen faster if you can figure out when to let go of concepts you think you know in favor of concepts which I think I know . Such an understanding is difficult to come by and all of us love to believe a thing until it is proved wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt."

    But then again, too much testing and no shooting is also damaging. Minor White couldn't have said it better: "A technical photographer is like a butcher who spends most of his time sharpening his knives, but never gets to cut with them."

    I strongly feel that the photographer has to balance both technicality and creativity evenly. But dismissing one for the other is pure stupidity.

    Andy
    Last edited by djklmnop; 02-09-2005 at 06:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Money is not the problem. The problem is, I don't have any.

  7. #17
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    Good thoughts Andy on the balance of technicality and creativity. I'll admit at times I well get too tied up in getting all the technical stuff down perfectly. I do it just to eliminate all the tech variables so that I can just concentrate on taking the picture I want. At times, to eliminate one source of consternation (and wondering whether I my development time is suitable for the film and conditions), I take a deep breath, smile, and shoot anyways .

    I use the ZS all the time but not necessarily all the time to do the +/- development. I can't got too bent out of shape and chant the ZS montras, but I feel the ZS is a great tool, and not an end to itself.

    I have gotten more into testing recently due to newer equipment and all my usually things being discontinued on me. I think the manufacturers are trying to get back at me for abandoning colour for black and white years ago. Still mad at Kodak for dropping Kodachrome II just when I had FINALLY down all its idiosyncrasies in all kinds of lighting conditions Hmm, I maybe in the middlle of an evil conspiracy to prevent me from ever taking pictures again by taking away all my favourite films. Interesting thoughts ... not necessarily stable, but interesting ....

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