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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    Here's a question....

    In this rapid decision making stuff, problem I encounters are delicate highlights. The kind that's barely there. These gentle highlights disappears completely when the paper isn't dry. I can't tell the difference between paper base white and light exposure. If I exposed it to a point it's there, it's often too dark. It also changes appearance when it's completely dry and pressed. Hair dryer doesn't dry well enough to make the final call.

    How do you masters deal with this?
    Dry it more. Seriously. That is how you do it. The most subtle of highlights are critical for me as my pictures very often include bright lightbulbs/fixtures and call me crazy but I want detail in them. I will also often burn them down at progressively lower grades so that the tonality/detail is brought in without destroying local contrast within the highlights. This is similar to what Bob is saying, although I don't use grade 5 for that.

  2. #82
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    I had very similar feelings, tkamiya, that I was spending too much time working on a negative, at best able to get, very occasionally, two images in a session, sometimes one, but usually going back to it the next time, to finish working on it. I kind of felt guilty of using up so much precious time, and paper.

    Quote Originally Posted by jordanstarr View Post
    You need to revisit your technique, maybe even get a consultation from a Master Printer for a couple hours.
    I attended a wonderful workshop with a well-known master printer, which I have enjoyed greatly. I learned a lot. And I no longer felt guilty, as I learned that he would often leave a set-up negative in his enlarger for a week, or weeks, at a time, working on a print, repeatedly, day after day. I suppose that's why he would use a second enlarger for another negative, but in principle, it was a discovery for me, that someone could work on a print so much. It made me feel happier. I have never aspired to be prolific in quantity, though I admire, very much indeed, those who do—there are great, very experienced printers with tens of thousands of prints behind them. I would like to learn from them. I just don't think I could be one.

    As a result of my discovery during that workshop, I felt liberated not having to rush into needing to come out with a result on the night, every night. Sure, I would love to, and I will Se tone it, but I know I will usually get back to it, another day. With luck, on a 3rd or 4th night it looks good enough to me, but I still have much to learn! Now I only slightly regret that many of my past prints got a bit rushed. My plan, this summer, is to reprint several of them, slowly. I hope that slowly will get a bit faster, some time.
    Rafal Lukawiecki
    See rafal.net | Read rafal.net/articles

  3. #83

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    Hah!! Wait until you've been out of the "real" darkroom for 30 years. You'll give up and go hybrid. Hell... I haven't even gone hybrid. I can't even make myself capture a single image... a by-product of family/financial/health issues... and civil service hell. Hey... at least you're still trying.

    ETA: I think I'd best stop posting tonight. I don't want to get booted off this forum like I was another popular one... MY OWN FAULT though.

  4. #84
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Old-N-Feeble,

    Hope it gets better for you...

    You can still be a catalyst.

  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    You may regret asking that question.
    Indeed!
    Let me ask you something. If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?

    - Anton Chigurh

  6. #86
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinesh View Post
    Indeed!
    He has arisen.
    "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

  7. #87

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    If you are having problems with recognizing highlight density then simply teach yourself to do it. Cut a wet print in half, dry one half then compare the dry to the wet. After you do that a few times you should be able to see what you need to see. I evaluate prints in the fix. Works fine as long as you know what you are looking for.

    It sounds like you like "open" prints, so another tip for you is to look at the wet print then hold it up to a strong back light. If you see more detail in the shadows you might be printing it too dark for your tastes. I personally have a tendency to print too dark because I really like blacks and deep prints. I have to fight myself on this but at least I realize it which is half the battle.

    I am with Bob as far as burning with a #5 but like everything it depends. I also typically dodge with a #5 or #00 filter blue-gooed to a flexible wire. Frankly there is nothing worse to me than a dodge halo and it is nearly impossible to get one if you are using a filter. I also use filter sheets typically to dodge vast swaths of the print, like a foreground for instance. I rarely use cardboard for dodging.

    I like things as simple as can be so I follow the old principle of Occam's Razor. Usually the simplest solution is the best. Once I saw a printing diagram for a print from a popular photographer and the only think it told me was that the diagram was made to make the image look like it was impressively difficult to print. Printing really is a simple thing. All you are doing is getting the right amount of light onto the paper to make the image look the way you want. Simple. Try not to over complicate it.
    Last edited by M. Lointain; 07-03-2012 at 07:00 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: clarity

  8. #88
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    + 1 on using filters for dodging and burning
    ****Printing really is a simple thing. All you are doing is getting the right amount of light onto the paper to make the image look the way you want. Simple. Try not to over complicate it.****
    sums it up for me as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by M. Lointain View Post
    If you are having problems with recognizing highlight density then simply teach yourself to do it. Cut a wet print in half, dry one half then compare the dry to the wet. After you do that a few times you should be able to see what you need to see. I evaluate prints in the fix. Works fine as long as you know what you are looking for.

    It sounds like you like "open" prints, so another tip for you is to look at the wet print then hold it up to a strong light. If you see more detail in the shadows you might be printing it too dark for your tastes. I personally have a tendency to print too dark because I really like blacks and deep prints. I have to fight myself on this but at least I realize it which is half the battle.

    I am with Bob as far as burning with a #5 but like everything it depends. I also typically dodge with a #5 or #00 filter blue-gooed to a flexible wire. Frankly there is nothing worse to me than a dodge halo and it is nearly impossible to get one if you are using a filter. I also use filter sheets typically to dodge vast swaths of the print, like a foreground for instance. I rarely use cardboard for dodging.

    I like things as simple as can be so I follow the old principle of Occam's Razor. Usually the simplest solution is the best. Once I saw a printing diagram for a print from a popular photographer and the only think it told me was that the diagram was made to make the image look like it was impressively difficult to print. Printing really is a simple thing. All you are doing is getting the right amount of light onto the paper to make the image look the way you want. Simple. Try not to over complicate it.

  9. #89
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I just hope his sidekick MM does not surface as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    He has arisen.

  10. #90
    K-G
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Lointain View Post
    Printing really is a simple thing. All you are doing is getting the right amount of light onto the paper to make the image look the way you want. Simple. Try not to over complicate it.
    True , but different parts of the print need different amounts of light and often of different filtering. Just as the painting artist doesn't paint evenly with one color all over the canvas ( of course it's possible but it doesn't use to result in a masterpiece ) , the printer has to put in some effort to raise the photograph from a strait print to a real good one.
    Many years ago I attended a few workshops with the Norwegian photgrapher Morten Krogvold. At a darkroom session he first made a strait print with a few minor dodgings and burnings to show us. We all were amased by the quality of the print but Morten looked at it and said "it needs more improvement". He started to do more dodgings and burnings, with only his bare hands , with the skill of a true wizard. After three or four prints he came out with the most stunning masterpiece. From the beginning it was impossible for our untrained eyes to see the potential in the negative.
    Thats what hard work and training over a long time can give you. Skill !
    Good luck with your training.

    Karl-Gustaf
    Karl-Gustaf Hellqvist

    www.heliochroma.com

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