1 learn to step back from your print (while printing) and see it with fresh innocent eyes, as if for the first time. So you don't get caught up in tunnel vision of some particular detail.
See it as if it isn't your own.
This is a great tip. Something I have a hard time with. I get so focused and into what I'm doing that it's hard to relax and step back and just take it in as an outsider.
If you have a print that you are very happy with, do some extras. Then you can use those extras as references in your darkroom.
If you want, you can even use them wet, to help you compare your current work with the references.
Don't print when you are too tired.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Make your print simple, don't over complicate the printing process, and don't print the negative when it is fresh in your mind, leave the negative in the file for a while till you forget the emotion you felt when you took the photograph, that way you come to the print with a fresh mind, I have printed a negative within days of taking it, then come back to it many months afterwards and produced a completely different print, and a much better print.
1) A critical eye and a perfectionist nature are a huge advantage for good printing
3) Visits to museums/exhibitions to see real prints
4) A good negative to start with (in terms of both technical quality and content)
Last edited by ooze; 03-29-2012 at 03:01 AM. Click to view previous post history.
1. Visit galleries and see a wider range of superb prints and see what is really going on. Pay particular attention to how bright the light tones are and how they relate to the shadows (and blacks) in particular. Look at the overall contrast range and how this is impacted by the lightest and darkest area. If you are inexperienced, you might find this quite a surprise.
2. Spend as much money on paper and film as you do new gear
3. Spend more time in the darkroom than you do on the internet.
P.S. I am failing miserably on #3 right now, but will reverse the situation in a month!