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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    Exhibition quality print. A print you're proud of. A print you'd hang on your wall.
    Glad we narrowed it down, then.
    "People get bumped off." -- Weegee

  2. #42
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    1. spend as much time and test strips needed to get the right contrast and exposure.....then keep burns and dodges simple
    2. Don't listen to anyone else about how to print once you understand the basics.
    3. Print how you want to have someone feel when they view the print. If you can't imagine an emotion brought on by the print, try another one
    4. Learn to use print color as one of your tools to communicate with the image.

  3. #43
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    Lather, rinse, repeat
    Andy

  4. #44
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    And (to boldly state the obvious!) one can obsess at great length over every nuance of the printing process, but it helps to have a good negative of a subject that offers something to intrigue a viewer -- interesting or unusual composition, textures, mood, maybe even an abstraction of form or whatever. I only attempt to print a very small percentage of my shots. That is partly because I get carried away with "documentation" which produces a record of an event or historical item that I like to keep, but might be utterly fascinating to about 0.0003% of gallery visitors! Among the few I do print, I have achieved a bit of positive notoriety, so I guess I'm going in the right direction.

    In addition to looking at others work, getting comments about your own from people with relevant art or photography background could potentially be useful, (assuming they're not too nasty. I mean honesty can be offered without cruelty!)

  5. #45
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Henderson View Post

    3. Embrace the philosophy that good enough is not. Let nothing stop you from making the absolute best photograph of which you are capable.
    To me this sounds like a recipe for driving yourself crazy, and I speak from some experience in that I was driving myself crazy. AA said he continued to refine how he printed some of his negatives. You will probably NEVER make the absolute best print you could ever make from a given negative. You will learn more, practice more and see differently in time. Not realizing when it really is good enough can have you just printing the same negative in variations on a theme over and over and over...

    I'm certainly not arguing for mediocrity. Try to set your standards high, but achievable. But trying to make every print absolutely perfect in every way can drive you absolutely nuts. You will NEVER get there There will almost always be some tiny detail that could be improved. Fine, improve it next time but recognize when you really do have something good and don't waste another month of darkroom sessions and materials trying to make a 0.05% improvement no one else is going to notice anyway.

    I have other thoughts that can wait fir when I'm not typing on the iPhone.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsas View Post
    Lather, rinse, repeat
    That's not an archival process.
    "People get bumped off." -- Weegee

  7. #47

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    1. See my post in the "dark vs bright" thread regarding not printing to final evaluation in a single session, particularly with difficult/complex prints. This can be especially helpful to people who are not printing every day (regardless of skill level).

    2. Standardize your approach to printing a negative (for example, I always start with a low contrast test print). Proceed in logical steps of increasing complexity as required, and do everything by eye rather than using enlarging meters, formulas, dry-down percentages etc.

    3. Don't be afraid of having to work your ass off on a print. Who ever said printing is always supposed to be easy anyway? You can have all the skill in the world when it comes to making negatives. That doesn't mean they should be easy to print. This is a fundamental error people make when trying to learn the zone system and other methods. It's about getting a negative that contains the information you need to make the desired print. That doesn't mean the print is going to be easy to make. The notion you can only make great prints from "great" negatives is nonsense.

  8. #48
    jp498's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    I'm afraid I'm guilty of this one. There is just no one around me that does this or knows anything about it. So I have no one to share my work with or get tips from. Sometimes I wish someone regional would be willing to visit me and watch me work in the darkroom and offer suggestions. That'd be amazing!
    A local town you photographed in the gallery is <2hr from washington DC. I'm sure you could find some analog activities and visit museums there.

    As far as someone visiting to help you, keep asking! If you can't find anyone local, put together a vacation package for someone to entice them. You could also travel on a vacation to learn darkroom activities as well (to a workshop somewhere). There are many ways to skin a cat though, and what works for one expert may not be the same for someone else.

  9. #49
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    I am surprised no one mentioned this but number one on my list is this.

    1. When you are finished the print... matt it , frame it, and hang it on your wall and enjoy it.

    2. Always look at the negative and try to visualize how the negative tone values compare to what you remember in the original scene.

    3. Make three prints that are slightly different, over time you will understand dry down with each emulsion.


    I also am warming up to Michael R 1974 .. his advice of above is pretty good as well.

  10. #50

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    One thing that helped me was building a test stripper that allows me to view a test strip showing the same print area at different exposures. Makes finding the exposure very easy. Also having a reference print hanging in the darkroom helps when you are struggling to find the right tune. A print of your own or others that you have viewed and liked over a period of time. Look at it next to the print you are working on.

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