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  1. #1
    eric's Avatar
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    is there a right "print"?

    When I print, I usually like it just a little less constrast than most people. Is that too weird? I see a lot of great photos and I think the contrast is right on. But when I print and I'll make one that I *THINK* is constrasty for most tastes, but then I wind up making one less constrasty for my taste.

    Does this make the print "wrong"?

    I know the difference between a muddy print and not enough. But I think in terms of ranges, there's a low range of acceptable contrast and a high range of acceptable contrast. Is this how others percieve it or do you guys have a magic bullet that says "this is the perfect contrast".

  2. #2
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    It is the right print, if it pleases you, no matter what type of print it is, everybody is going to percieve in their own manner, the most successful photographers print for themselves and let it fall where it may with everybody else.

    Just my .02

    Dave

  3. #3
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    but then I wind up making one less constrasty for my taste.

    Does this make the print "wrong"?
    How can it? If it looks right to you, it is right.

    You might get some negative comment from a camera club judge or similar, but frankly, who cares?

    Cheers, Bob.

  4. #4
    reellis67's Avatar
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    Yo ho ho! I be seein' many images that I think are a bit overdone. I think it be a function of modern society (the bilge rats) which be preferin' the more direct approach. Them lubbers be likin' more saturation in color and more contrast in black and white than be there in reality. I be appreciatin' the subtlety of images that be realistic in appearance much more than images that be overdone, but others think I be nuts. I'm sure I am, but for different reasons. I be inclined to think you be able to appreciate the subtle rather than needin' to be clubbed in the head with a belayin' pin as it were. The old salts be likin' the real look and them young hands be hittin' the grog too hard an' can't see ifn' it aint popin off a' page. Ye be fine, sailor. It's them whats addled...

    - Yellowbeard

    (www.talklikeapirate.com) International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2005

  5. #5

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    The "correct" or "right" print is the one that expresses your original vision and feelings when you were making the photograph.

    When beginning photo student at the school come to me with a wet print, asking should it be darker/lighter, more contrast/less contrast... I tell them to first make a print showing what they saw when they took that picture. THEN, go back into the darkroom and make a print showing how you felt when you made that photograph. Afterwards...compare the two and see which you like best. I bet it will be the later.

  6. #6

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    How you print a particular negative depends on the viewing conditions under which the print will be seen. For example, if the location is brightly lit then you would print darker than if the illumination were average. This is often a tough decision.

  7. #7

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    I believe that a print must satisfy four criteria:

    A display print (wallhanger) must "read" properly in the proposed display area. Don't judge a print under bright light over the darkroom sink and then hang it in a dimly-lit living room.

    A print must be made for its intended purpose. A print which is "raw material" for a lithographer must be flatter than normal, or shadow/highlight detail will be lost in the printing process.

    The important subject of the print must read (or be hidden) properly. Perhaps the detail in an expensive white wedding gown is more important than the wrinkles in the groom's tuxedo. If you are doing a commercial catalogue of black leather gloves, detail in the client's gloves matters most, above everything else in the frame.

    As an amateur working for yourself, not prostituted to a commercial client, you must print to satisfy your own good personal taste. It is as much an expression of your art as the composition or placement of the focus. I personally find shadow detail and pastel softness much more pleasing than garish blatant contrast. In a print, lots of black is not beautiful.

  8. #8
    scootermm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outofoptions
    Kind of sad you would even ask this question. You need your own vision.
    thats entirely too rude.

  9. #9
    naaldvoerder's Avatar
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    Why sad? Everyone should question his/hers own vision ones in a while, not only artistic visions....

  10. #10
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outofoptions
    Kind of sad you would even ask this question. You need your own vision.
    Well I guess your name says it all, photography is about personal vision, and I always question my photographs, it is a valid question and very important question, all to often we get hung up on the process and forget the vision, I know for a fact, I am never 'outofoptions' whne it comes to my photography.

    Dave

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