I think that is pretty good. If you think about the amount of time looking at a print that is framed and put on the wall, spending 2 weeks to get it just right would be fine. I have about 100 prints on the walls in my office and never remember how long it took once it gets on the wall. However, sometimes I don't spend enough time and put one on the wall that really isn't good enough and regret that I did not spend longer.
In my view, if you can generate one excellent print working in a bathroom darkroom in a month, you should be commended.
You are actually doing well to get two nice prints in such a short time. Sounds more like bragging than complaining! I would be leery of paying good money to have one of my pix printed if I thought the printer was moving as fast as you did!
Come back and repost your new experiences once you have spent a month's worth of time trying to get contrast masks just right on an expensive series of 16x20 Ilfochrome prints! Then you will understand frustration.....and why on Earth good, hand-made, individually unique analog photos ought command such high prices.
At least you have your own pix to print. It is such a hassle printing other people's film for them. You have no control over what they hand you. It doesn't matter what you *would have, could have, should have* done differently in camera and processing. You've got what you've got, and you've got to make it work with whatever that is. You are expected to be able to turn $hit into gold. Printing other people's screwed up film just stresses how important it is to get your own personal techniques nailed down. It also gives you tons of practice in the most challenging of printing situations, so that when it comes to your own work, it is a breeze, and FUN, like it should be!
So, just keep printing. Do a little every day if you can. You will get *better*, and that is the key; not necessarily *faster*.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 06-21-2008 at 12:45 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
I just returned from the community darkroom I teach at. I spent 3 hours and finished (4) 8x10 prints of the same 645 negative. Each print a variation but good enough to hang. I will let the prints dry at home and decide which one to tone and wash for permanence.
I often can get to a very good print within 15 min if I enlarge to 5x7 and use familiar paper from average negatives. Moving up in size, change paper, or have a negative difficult to print and you slow down.
At the end of the day craft takes time. A few FINE prints in 3 hours is not so bad.
It can easily take an hour or so to dial in a good print for the first time. More if counting set up. That's why when I get it, I usually print more than one. Not because I can't come back and print more with little difficulty once I have the notes, but to help make me feel a little bit more productive.
I like to pick 5-10 negatives, run an exposure test with the setting of grade 2, select the best exposure, print from the selected exposure, process and dry. I will look at the test prints determine what needs to be done for the final print. Another thing I do is when I a final print I will take 1 or 2 negatives run a test for later on. I find these methods helps me save time.
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21 June 2008
I usually will not set-up unless I know that I have 3-4 hours+ to work in the darkroom. If I get 2 to 3 prints I am satisfied. Sometimes I get none because I am proofing new negatives, operator errors in the dark, I am not "in tune" with the photo gods, ...
You are not alone. We all work at our own rate. When I was teaching photography the largest single compliant was that "why don't I have more prints done" during a 3 hour lab session. There were always exceptions, but some of the "quick prints" were not very well thought out.
The most print I have made in one session have been for the APUG Postcard Exchange.
P.S. I once read that Ansel Adams targeted 50 prints a day out of his darkroom, but he was a master and had an army of people helping him 8 hours/day.