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  1. #31
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Sharpness Revisited - a JOBO Rotary Process Saga (pt2)

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hi stone
    not to get philosophical on you but yea you are right
    darkroom work allows the printer to excessively manipulate
    a negative, as does a camera. method of processing, chemistry &c ..
    there really isnt much of a difference between the two end results
    modern can look great, traditional can look like crap, and visa versa ..
    i guess what pisses a lot of people off is that by using modern technology you
    are side stepping / bypassing a skill set they worked ( and still are working )
    at mastering .. and the sidestep has made their skill set irrelevant ..
    enjoy whatever it is you want to do, the photo world is changing by leaps and bounds
    even as we post to this thread ( calumet closing american stores )
    so in the end your methods may be more relevant than those who
    dont like modern methods ...

    sorry to be a stone in your shoe ..
    Good point on the relevancy factor, and skillset, so it's not that they think it's not good enough (or they may) but more about how they are subconsciously upset that their skillset that was difficult could be so easily produced with out those skills.

    That makes a lot of sense and I could see being sore about it.

    But that's really true of all digital vs analogue, at least I'm learning half of it. And perhaps in the end I will learn the full skillset. Only time will tell...

    However I would say, that scanning as a way to deduce issues is more accurate and repeatable, because the factors are all the same, same light output, same optical path, the temperature doesn't affect it, etc.

    I would guess that many of those who don't like scanners and put them down, have never mastered the skills to use a good scanner properly. Heck I wouldn't claim to be a master scanner, just an average one. There is a skillset in that procedure as well.

    Anyway I'm just happy I found something that works!

    Now into testing Acros100...
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  2. #32
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with scanners, digital enlargers and lambda printers, but in the past (and I'm sure it will continue in the future also) people have falsely presented inkjet prints and other faux artifacts of hipster culture as darkroom-made silver prints.

  3. #33
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    There is one thing about darkroom printing that is amazingly consistent, Stone, and that is the contact sheet.

    I make them, because I'm not that great at reading negatives. When I lay the negatives on the photo paper, inside a contact printing frame, I give exactly the same exposure every time, at exactly the same contrast filtration, and I develop the same photo paper in the same developer, at the same temperature, for the same amount of time, every single time.

    That is the unmanipulated truth about my negatives, and they give me a very quick indication of how my negative exposure and processing is going, how I need to adjust, how consistent I am, and which negatives I should bother looking closer at.

    Then, my own little hybrid version of working kicks in, where I make test scans of the negatives I think are going to work, just to see that it's sharp and doesn't have any physical damage (for whatever reason), before I take it to the darkroom.

    Then I print, and when I do I tweak the hell out of the prints, because at this stage the process is no longer a standard process, it is an expressive process, where I add and subtract tone where I think it works, at different contrast grades, I diffuse and flash the paper if needed, and make a couple of iterations before I write the final print map down and make a final version.
    Of course then I will tone the prints in various toners too.

    So you are right that both digital work flow from film and darkroom work flow from film are manipulative. In the digital domain some gets added automatically (unless you know how to turn it off), and in the darkroom it gets added by the printer. But there is a portion of the process that is highly standardized, just to make sure that I keep within a certain workable range. There are variables that I don't want to affect the final result too much, and then there are variables that I want to be able to adjust as much as possible in order to make the prints the way I like them.

    But, sorry to be drifting the topic here... I just wanted to give my view. Your process is fine with me, and as mentioned earlier, it really is all about how good you are at using your tools that matters. And having a good time, of course.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #34
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Nothing wrong with scanners, digital enlargers and lambda printers, but in the past (and I'm sure it will continue in the future also) people have falsely presented inkjet prints and other faux artifacts of hipster culture as darkroom-made silver prints.
    Are there any decent lambda printers available for normal budget folks?

    If I learn to darkroom print I will still want to print my transparencies as I do now, with a lambda/lightjet but I send it out, someday it would be nice to do it in my future darkroom I think.
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  5. #35
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    There is one thing about darkroom printing that is amazingly consistent, Stone, and that is the contact sheet.

    I make them, because I'm not that great at reading negatives. When I lay the negatives on the photo paper, inside a contact printing frame, I give exactly the same exposure every time, at exactly the same contrast filtration, and I develop the same photo paper in the same developer, at the same temperature, for the same amount of time, every single time.

    That is the unmanipulated truth about my negatives, and they give me a very quick indication of how my negative exposure and processing is going, how I need to adjust, how consistent I am, and which negatives I should bother looking closer at.

    Then, my own little hybrid version of working kicks in, where I make test scans of the negatives I think are going to work, just to see that it's sharp and doesn't have any physical damage (for whatever reason), before I take it to the darkroom.

    Then I print, and when I do I tweak the hell out of the prints, because at this stage the process is no longer a standard process, it is an expressive process, where I add and subtract tone where I think it works, at different contrast grades, I diffuse and flash the paper if needed, and make a couple of iterations before I write the final print map down and make a final version.
    Of course then I will tone the prints in various toners too.

    So you are right that both digital work flow from film and darkroom work flow from film are manipulative. In the digital domain some gets added automatically (unless you know how to turn it off), and in the darkroom it gets added by the printer. But there is a portion of the process that is highly standardized, just to make sure that I keep within a certain workable range. There are variables that I don't want to affect the final result too much, and then there are variables that I want to be able to adjust as much as possible in order to make the prints the way I like them.

    But, sorry to be drifting the topic here... I just wanted to give my view. Your process is fine with me, and as mentioned earlier, it really is all about how good you are at using your tools that matters. And having a good time, of course.
    Good info, thank you, I value this post.
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  6. #36
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    Are there any decent lambda printers available for normal budget folks?
    Of course not, but that is why they invented the "Free Craig's List Enlarger"

  7. #37
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Of course not, but that is why they invented the "Free Craig's List Enlarger"
    Yup, but unless you've got a free stash of well stored cibi paper and chems... That enlarger does me no good! (I have a 4x5 enlarger already just in storage). Though the way I'm going, I might need an 8x10 (or at that scale is it a 10x10?) enlarger

    I just figure eventually like all of this equipment, most of the printer companies will go completely digital and at that point they will get rid of their lightjet-lambda printers for dirt cheap prices (I hope) I'm sure the lightjet brand is cheap, I'm told it's a terrible technology compared to Lambda and so maybe they are out there?
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    Yup, but unless you've got a free stash of well stored cibi paper and chems... That enlarger does me no good! (I have a 4x5 enlarger already just in storage). Though the way I'm going, I might need an 8x10 (or at that scale is it a 10x10?) enlarger

    I just figure eventually like all of this equipment, most of the printer companies will go completely digital and at that point they will get rid of their lightjet-lambda printers for dirt cheap prices (I hope) I'm sure the lightjet brand is cheap, I'm told it's a terrible technology compared to Lambda and so maybe they are out there?
    Lambdas are very large units that are somewhat cost prohibitive for the single user to install and maintain.
    Kick his ass, Sea Bass!

  9. #39

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    If you step outside of the purity for a moment that the A in APUG stands for and look at photograph making as an art and craft, then it doesn't matter whether one makes a Salt Print, or a Platinum, or Silver Gelatin, or gasp, scanning and then print digitally. Some people would prefer certain look and certain characteristics over the others. There is no one "best way." However, to do any of these techniques well, then one must master it. No one does anything exactly the same, but it's the result that matters.

  10. #40
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by didjiman View Post
    If you step outside of the purity for a moment that the A in APUG stands for and look at photograph making as an art and craft, then it doesn't matter whether one makes a Salt Print, or a Platinum, or Silver Gelatin, or gasp, scanning and then print digitally. Some people would prefer certain look and certain characteristics over the others. There is no one "best way." However, to do any of these techniques well, then one must master it. No one does anything exactly the same, but it's the result that matters.
    I absolutely agree. The medium one chooses to work in is a purely personal choice.

    Mastery is interesting, the input requirements change with each line of output; a Salt Print, or a Platinum, or Silver Gelatin, or Carbon, or scanning and printing digitally. To really get the best from each of these outputs it takes a different line of thought and practice from start to finish. A great negative for Ilford MGIV might not be so hot for carbon.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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