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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Van Buren, Arkansas
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    You know, if you print regularly, and use and "learn" one film and developer combination, you can get quite fast, .......but darkroom printing is a skill picked up by frequent repetition. Also, there is a difference between making the "ultimate" print and making satisfactory prints. I used to print a lot of 5x7 b/w RC paper prints from customer 35mm b/w negatives. I could print perhaps 25 prints per hour, but they were only satisfactory, but good enough for reproduction in a company newsletter. I would expose and print and develop in batches of 8 to 10 prints. When I'm doing "fine art" exhibition quality prints for myself, whenever I get an image I am satisfied with, I always make 2 or 3 identical prints. Never know when you might need another (or sell one). If the dodging and burning, etc., is complicated I take notes and keep the notes with the negative for future reprint. Nothing stresses out a darkroom session like using a temporary space and feeling like you are holding up someone else from using the space (bathroom). Much more relaxed if you have a dedicated darkroom.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Cheshire UK
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    Its not as easy as it looks......I got pretty good, but I had to, I averaged 1,200 prints per week commercially! : Perhaps I can help, pm me your home address and I will send you the ILFORD Multigrade Manual...should help a little bit....

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

  3. #13
    dpurdy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Portland OR USA
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    I get in and make work prints of all the stuff that looks like it has potential. Sometimes a test then a print and sometimes just a print no test. Then I use old dead mats and display the prints for awhile in my work space and look at them in different light. Eventually I get tired of some and get an idea of what I want others to look like. Then take the prints back to the darkroom and make a better print using the work print as a reference. When I know exactly what I want I can make a print in less than a half hour. Knowing what you want is the hard part.
    Dennis

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dedham, Ma, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    Argh. I know I'm an incompetent boob when it comes to the darkroom. I spent three hours last nigth in my bathroom darkroom trying to get a nice print or two made. Too uncontrasty. Too contrasty. Forgot to stop down the enlarger after focusing, got a really nice dark print. Miscellaneous errors in judgement.

    Show of hands please? Am I the only one who spends hours trying to get two prints right?
    I can relate to your experience.

    For me it's all about mood, sometimes my mood isn't right and I struggle to finish. I had the same experience when I was building field stone walls - I was younger - if my mood was good I could fly through the process of fitting stones (right brain, spacial stuff) and really impress myself. Then there were days when I couldn't see hardly anything going into place and much time would pass..
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

  5. #15
    CBG
    CBG is offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    I'd say the way to get the most great prints as fast as possible is to slow down and just get one really good one at it's own pace.....

    C

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Aptos California
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    In my last 4 hour session I got 2 ok prints and one I realy like.(A new record for me) forgot to stop down twice after foucusing!
    I am going through paper way to fast. need to improve test strip/VC filter selection prosess.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    35mm
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    I have yet to get a print i really like, I am struggling with spotty negs and dust on the carrier glass....grrrrrrrrr

  8. #18
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    Delta, British Columbia, Canada
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    This is what the postcard exchange is for. Get one right, and if you are consistent, another 30 or so follow thereafter .

    Matt

    P.S. Two in a three hour session sounds good to me.

  9. #19
    Rob Archer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    King's Lynn, Norfolk, England
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    I sometimes get a couple of prints that I'm happy with in a evening - but in the cold light of day the next morning........!

    I used to bash away in desperation, try this, try that... More recently I've tried to be a bit more methodical and evaluate the print at every step. I've also started making notes on the back of work prints, which (when I can find them!) really helps with repeats.

    If I can get 10 -12 good prints and one excellent one in a year I'm satisfied.

    Rob

  10. #20
    Maris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Noosa, Queensland, Australia.
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    I've done worse. Contacting a 8x10 negative once gave me a gelatin-silver that looked so good that I nearly choked on a gasp. And my eyes nearly fell out into the fixer.

    But that was not good enough. What if I nudge the contrast? What if there is a better density balance between richness and luminosity? And so on. Twenty five sheets of paper and five hours later I think I'm working in circles so I spread out all 25 photographs and have a seriously hard look.

    Yep, number one was the best and everything else was a variation on ok. To save the investment in time, effort and resources I kept the entire set and use it to show people who have never made a photograph the seriously arbitrary connection between camera work (camera play?) and the final picture.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

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