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Thread: Dull Prints

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    Dull Prints

    I recently photographed Marblehead, MA along the coast. Overall the exposures look pretty good, however, I am having trouble getting the prints to have more presence. The look a little dull and lifeless (colorwise). If anyone has any suggestions on how to correct this and get better looking prints, please share. Thanks.

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    rbarker's Avatar
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    There's not a lot one can do in an analog manner with color film after the fact. Although some manipulation is possible during (custom) printing, it's not like printing B&W.

    Note that I'm avoiding the mention of unmentionable techniques that might be applied by persons of dubious character.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

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    oops...i guess since i said colorwise one would assume i was printing in color. sorry about that. i am printing in b&w...so the blacks, whites, gray tones....

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    Les McLean's Avatar
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    What paper grade are you using?
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

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    rbarker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asegreti
    oops...i guess since i said colorwise one would assume i was printing in color. sorry about that. i am printing in b&w...so the blacks, whites, gray tones....
    Ah, OK. Then, your choices include (but aren't limited to):

    1. printing at a higher contrast,

    2. doing more dodging and burning,

    3. split-grade printing, combined with dodging and burning, to increase local contrast as desired,

    4. selective bleaching of the (almost) finished prints.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

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    hmmm...i am a student and somewhat new to this...
    anyway, i am using Ilford Multigrade Fiber paper

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    Thanks for your help...this is better than class....I don't think I am getting the most I can get out of my class. Teacher is unhelpful at times.

    I have been printing them with a 3.5 Ilford filter for the enlarger to make them more contrasty...and dodging and burning..I will keep working on it.

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    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    The real question is why are my negatives giving me "flat" prints. The answer lies in the negative. Is there a good gradation from clear to black on your negative, or is there a just a bunch of greys. Look to the negative when the prints don't look good.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

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    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

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    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asegreti
    I recently photographed Marblehead, MA along the coast. Overall the exposures look pretty good, however, I am having trouble getting the prints to have more presence. The look a little dull and lifeless (colorwise). If anyone has any suggestions on how to correct this and get better looking prints, please share. Thanks.
    Ah, Marblehead ... part of MY stomping grounds.

    I really could use more information ... What film was used, what atmospheric conditions, where was the film/ print processed...

    Different papers have somewhat different characteristics ... contrast, etc.

    Did you print these yourself - or ...? One common error made by commercial labs (everything from supermarket "one-hour" to some supposedly high quality) is stretching chemistry beyond its reasonable life ... that will most assuredly result in a dull print.

    So, anyhow .. more information, please.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

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    the negatives look pretty good to me......i will go through them again today. thanks for the tip....yet another thing going to school hasnt taught me.

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