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Thread: Film testing

  1. #281
    Christopher Nisperos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Well, it is dreadful, but I think Adams's idea of emphasizing the "pre-" was to reinforce the idea that B&W photographers should think about how the world will be rendered in the print when making the image with the camera, rather than trying to visualize it after looking at the proof sheets, but you already knew that.

    The curious thing to me is that the idea of "previsualization" is in tension with AA's other famous dictum--"the negative is the score, and the print is the performance." So the message seems to be: previsualize, but don't be afraid to change your mind.
    Hi David,

    Putting aside the question of whether or not Ansel coined the term "previsualization" rather than "visualization" (which to me is no big deal .. he got his point across either way), I don't see how visualization goes against the concept of "the negatiive as score", etc. Here's why . . .

    As I previously mentioned in this thread, the idea of visualizing a final image before you even expose the photo is much akin to a composer humming a tune before he writes down its notes .... or, for that matter, a painter making a charcoal sketch on the canvas before makes the final painting.

    Obliviously, the photographer's immediate task is creating a negative— an intermediate step toward the final goal. However, a musical score is also an intermediate step, an just as a composer who writes a score must certainly imagine (even hear, in his head) how the music will sound in concert, the Zone System allows a photographer to already think in terms of the "performance" of the resulting photograph: that is, how it will look in it's ultimate use (on a wall, in a book, as a snapshot, etc.)

    What's your thought on this?

    Best,

    Christopher

    .
    Last edited by Christopher Nisperos; 02-16-2007 at 05:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #282
    Christopher Nisperos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by symmar_man View Post
    I found that reverse-engineering of the BTZS calculations an enlightening piece of writing. . . all of this discussion has only strengthened my belief in simplicity in my art. . . I understand my simplified ZS approach, thanks to Fred Picker. . .it works just fine for me. . .

    I am an engineer and I spend my days pouring over boring equations and graphs every day. . . photography is my escape from this drudgery and I don’t want anything that requires such rigorous engineering any where near me when I do get that precious time to photograph. . . I am so thankful that I had not even heard of BTZS until long after I had honed my photographic skills. . . my photography time is far too precious to even spend one second plotting any curve. . . I know my technique and my materials and they serve me well. . .

    It all depends on what you want. . . do you want to be an engineer and think the camera and film to death. . . or do you want to be an artist and create art???. . . that is your choice. . . I have made mine. . . thanks to all here that have only confirmed what I already knew. . . simplicity is the essence of creativity. . .

    B Dalton
    Exactly. For some, the Zone System is already "too technical" ... many do not necessarily care to go beyond it!

    This is not a criticism of BTZS, but rather an observation. Afterall, many people find the technical side of photography as fun and interesting as its creative side. However, I insist in saying that "real" sensitometry— a basic tenet of BTZS— is a second, seperate hobby*.

    Best,

    Christopher

    *"real" sensitometry as opposed to the Zone System's "bubble-gum" sensitometry

    .

  3. #283
    Christopher Nisperos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Howell View Post
    Food for thought:

    Andreas Feininger in his book on Darkroom which covers developing negatives states that with a properly exposed negative you should be be able to read newsprint though the denses part of the neagative, and see details when looking though the thinnest part of the negative. I just check a few of my 4X5 and 6X9negatives and he is right. Any thoughts?
    Paul,

    This is an old maxim which especially applies to negatives in which you wish to hold detail in the highlights (such as portrait negatives taken in a studio).
    Keep in mind that it also assumes, to a certain extent, that lower zone shadow detail either is not important to you, or that you can light your subject to reveal those values. Try, "underexpose and develop normally" (test first!). You'll get a thin neg. I call it "The Bone System" (you heard it here first folks!)

    Secret no. 256571983B-2: a good studio portrait negative, upon first glance, often appears to be "good" ... for the trash can! But don't be fooled... you'll see ever pore in your subject's face with a neg like this, though the printing can be delicate.

    Best,

    Christopher

    .

  4. #284
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Nisperos View Post
    Hi David,

    Putting aside the question of whether or not Ansel coined the term "previsualization" rather than "visualization" (which to me is no big deal .. he got his point across either way), I don't see how visualization goes against the concept of "the negatiive as score", etc. Here's why . . .

    As I previously mentioned in this thread, the idea of visualizing a final image before you even expose the photo is much akin to a composer humming a tune before he writes down its notes .... or, for that matter, a painter making a charcoal sketch on the canvas before makes the final painting.

    Obliviously, the photographer's immediate task is creating a negative— an intermediate step toward the final goal. However, a musical score is also an intermediate step, an just as a composer who writes a score must certainly imagine (even hear, in his head) how the music will sound in concert, the Zone System allows a photographer to already think in terms of the "performance" of the resulting photograph: that is, how it will look in it's ultimate use (on a wall, in a book, as a snapshot, etc.)

    What's your thought on this?

    Best,

    Christopher
    I like that reading, and I suspect Ansel would as well, but I think there are people who take either side of that equation to the extreme--believing ardently that a "real artist" knows what the print will look like at the time of exposure (or arguing that only a vintage print made close to the time of the exposure conveys the artist's "true" intention), or alternately pointing to a heavily manipulated print like "Moonrise," and claiming that Ansel was all "darkroom magic." That's why I would say that these two concepts are "in tension" rather than saying that they are incompatible with each other.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #285

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Nisperos View Post
    However, I insist in saying that "real" sensitometry— a basic tenet of BTZS— is a second, seperate hobby*.

    Best,

    Christopher

    *"real" sensitometry as opposed to the Zone System's "bubble-gum" sensitometry

    .
    In fact, I would use the term "applied sensitometry" rather than "real sensitometry" as it is used in BTZS. There are quite a number of differences in the way words and terms are used in BTZS that are different from the true science of sensitometry. On more than one ocassion this has lead to misunderstanding on this forum relating to the vocabulary of BTZS. I doubt that we have seen the last of this.

    Sandy King

  6. #286

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Nisperos View Post
    Paul,

    This is an old maxim which especially applies to negatives in which you wish to hold detail in the highlights (such as portrait negatives taken in a studio).
    Keep in mind that it also assumes, to a certain extent, that lower zone shadow detail either is not important to you, or that you can light your subject to reveal those values. Try, "underexpose and develop normally" (test first!). You'll get a thin neg. I call it "The Bone System" (you heard it here first folks!)

    .
    Andreas Feininger was a PJ, I reread his others books over the weekend including Light and Lighting, he took a very differnt approch than others including AA, and I would tend to agree that lower zone shadow details were not as critcial to his thinking at to AA. I tested Forma 400 120 this week end using the speed that matched reading the newsprint though the highlights and seeing details in the shadows were dead on.

  7. #287

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    comments

    A friend of mine in Australia who is a BTZS devotee we met several years ago looked at my negs suggested to test my system(camera exposures 8,10,12,14,16, seconds using FP4 developed in my jobo and compared negs
    reduced the film speed to 64 and then did the same test my negs were much more info in them and using my anylser 500 got a print at gd 2 with full blacks to whites,prier to this a gd5 print was my only way of getting full blacks etc.
    I have read with interest and somewhat the flamouts from different postures and would simply like to add to comments
    1. in the BTZS software you have a choice to use either incedent or zone metering called Lo Zone or Hi zone.
    2. the thing I like about the software is you have not only the exposure time but the development time and if you keep to the accuracy of the times/exposure and development they are the best negs I have ever seen
    (one former mentor commented to me regarding the eveness of the negs with full detail)
    I am dumb as you come on the maths of the system and the helpfull guidence
    to get me to this point I am quite amazed that more is done to ensure the growth of B+W rather than ego stroking from the allways highly educated and opinuated devottees of either system

  8. #288

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    g'day bazz

    being a non-believer of the Zone, the BTZS or any other system, it seems to me that having to use grade 5 to get a full black must mean you were doing something grossly wrong in metering, exposing or processing and as such probably any system would have helped

    it doesn't have to be complicated



 

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