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  1. #11
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    This is something that I frequently struggle with and am interested in this thread as well. I judge my test prints and prints in the darkroom under an incandescence light bulb in a reflector. Sometimes I'll move around the house checking the test prints in different lighting, but since I mostly print when it's dark outside I cannot use soft window light which I feel is ideal.

    When I view my final prints I've made through the years I always view them under soft window light mixed with some interior house lighting. This makes the images pop. I find MGIV FB slammed in selenium can look slightly greenish still under house lighting, but under soft window light it just glows a cold charcoally blue black that is just spectacular. The opposite effect can happen with sepia toned prints. Under yellow house lighting they look very warm and when viewed under soft window light will appear much colder and lose much of the sepia tone. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. I'd like to put track lighting up in a room in my home to have a little gallery. Anyone know of any lighting or what color temperature most mimics soft window light?

  2. #12
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I've heard florescent brighteners in bw papers can make the whites brighter. I would guess that florescent light that's rich in uv could change how prints look. I saw some of Kertez's prints and they don't look as bright. Is that because older papers lacked brighteners? I love that look.

  3. #13
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    View finished print in the same illumination as it will be displayed e.g. gallery spots (low voltage daylight-temp halogen lamps), or a bright (not reddish) indoor lamp.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  4. #14
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Great tip. Is there a "standard" for galleries?

  5. #15
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    For consistency sake I always examine my prints in the same light, by a window at daytime. Sometimes I look at them in other lighting as well, and subconsciously I check that it works in those conditions as well, but daylight really is the acid test.
    I believe as long as one is consistent and does it the same every time, at least you can tell someone what type of lighting you think the print works best in.
    "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

  6. #16
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    Great tip. Is there a "standard" for galleries?


    Not that I can say for sure. Ilfochrome specified low voltage, 20-25w daylight-balanced halogen spots offset at a specific distance (I have the specifications around here somewhere I'll look for) which would I think closely approximate conditions you would find in a gallery displaying photographic works. I modelled my own north and south walls (Ilfochrome prints on both) along the specs published for ideal viewing of Ilfo' classic prints.

    A single low voltage spot lamp for examination of finished prints would suffice. Incandescent lamps are not ideal as they are often reddish/orange. Fluoro is often green biased.
    Last edited by Poisson Du Jour; 08-22-2012 at 11:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  7. #17
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    i use rrelatively dim darkroom lighting for print evaluation,roughly EV6, which in my case comes from a single 60wbulbfrom 2m away.whatever looks good in dim lighting will look great in brighter illumination. using bright fluorecent lighting in the darkroom to evaluate print progress is a big mistake IMO,because what looks good then will look bland and without sparkle in normal room lighting.from dim to bright, bo problem. the other way around is tricky
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  8. #18
    Mr Man's Avatar
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    Hi Ralph, I am tempted to give the 60w bulb method a try. As I said I currently view near a window out of direct sunlight and while the tones look good there when moved away from the window they loose their sparkle and look to dark. I don't think many people who are likely to buy my work are in the position of installing a lighting system to view the print under ideal conditions, they will most likely just be hung on a wall where there is space and they look OK.

    As for galleries, if a gallery is trying to sell works then the lighting is usually good (it is in their interest to make the work look as good as possible) but I find the lighting in many public galleries to be terrible. These places are run by curators and, as with the dry mounting verses archival mounting argument, they appear to think that any photon falling on the work will instantaneously fade the image into non-existence. I can understand being cautious for major historical works that may have been created when the properties of the materials were not fully understood but surely a well produced photograph created on quality modern materials should be able to stand a reasonable amount of UV filtered illumination without degradation. A new gallery near me that was recently completed at a cost of millions of pounds of public money installed a lighting system that was obviously sold to them as being state of the art archival lighting that consisted of LED spot lights. The spots produce a small circle, approx 60cm, of dim, what can only be described as, grey light and then fall off into almost darkness. When illuminating large works there were a few pools of dim light and the rest could hardly be seen.

  9. #19
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    . using bright fluorecent lighting in the darkroom to evaluate print progress is a big mistake IMO,because what looks good then will look bland and without sparkle in normal room lighting.from dim to bright, bo problem. the other way around is tricky
    "using bright fluorecent lighting in the darkroom" is also a big mistake because they continue to emit light after they are turned off, some up to 5-10 minutes. That is not helpful in a darkroom.

    John Powers
    "If you want to be famous, you must do something more badly than anybody in the entire world." Miroslav Tichý

  10. #20
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Hey Ralph, thanks for the useful information. You come up with some specifics on viewing. My darkroom has incandescent lights so that's not an issue. Another issue is dry down.

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