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  1. #111
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    A characteristic of a great print is that your eye can explore it and not get distracted by some flaw that could have been improved with a little dodge or burn.

    I stray from tradition on this... I'll consider a print good if my eye can explore it and see some flaws but not glaring distractions. If it would take much work to make only a modest improvement, I will consider accepting the print as-is.

    The best manipulation is that which you can't even tell was done.

  2. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    Devil's advocate here...

    If you look at a printed photograph who's impact is undeniably in the subject matter, framing, timing, lighting, the seen mastery of it all and it looks great in print, but printed super easy, perhaps just needing the correct contrast filter and no dodging and burning, is it not a great print?

    What is a great print then, a sheet of silver gelatin paper that has been labored over that just happens to contain a photographic image, boring, incredible or otherwise...?....or simply a *great* photograph well printed..?

    I only ask this because if I were to spend hours on a print only to see a boring photograph afterward, it would not be a great print, even if "Masterfully" printed.
    I have no argument with this, PKM. I'm not suggesting every print needs a lot of work to be good. My philosophy is you simply do whatever it takes to make the print you want to make. If a negative prints straight and it is exactly the print you envisioned, no point in tinkering for no reason. On the other hand if a different negative requires monumental efforts, nothing wrong with that either.

    And of course I totally agree there is not much point in a great print of a crap image. It always begins with the image. Just that some people believe it ends there, whereas I believe the print can make a big difference.

  3. #113
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I have no argument with this, PKM. I'm not suggesting every print needs a lot of work to be good. My philosophy is you simply do whatever it takes to make the print you want to make. If a negative prints straight and it is exactly the print you envisioned, no point in tinkering for no reason. On the other hand if a different negative requires monumental efforts, nothing wrong with that either.

    And of course I totally agree there is not much point in a great print of a crap image. It always begins with the image. Just that some people believe it ends there, whereas I believe the print can make a big difference.
    I agree a lot with what you say, Michael. Why go through the effort of making really great negatives, and then not capitalize on it fully at printing time?
    While I believe I spend less time on each print than you do, I still take great care when I print. I'm not absolutely obsessed with minute differences in tonality, but to get the right mood and feel in the print that I envisioned, is absolutely paramount to me. Rarely do I spend more than four sheets on achieving what I want, however, and I usually go from contact sheet to finished print in the same printing session. So while our working methods are different, I think our goals are the same. First - interesting picture. Next - make the best print that you can make.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #114

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    Makes sense to me!

  5. #115
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Great thinking Thomas and Michael!

    I try to keep my typical efforts below "monumental," but I have to agree... Every once in a while you have to work tirelessly. Like tkamiya's "mother and child" an important print sometimes takes you on a longer journey.

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