My comment was that if there were no clouds and as the author of the the work he felt clouds were needed to convey his thought that would be a way to do it. While Uelsmann's photography may not be everyone's taste if you get the chance to see actual images up close and personal you can't help but to be impressed with his printing skills. Remember he has been doing that well before Photoshop and personal computers became mainstream.
Photography is communicating a visual representation of an idea, a message or sharing a vision. Burning, dodging, split contrast printing, toning and whatever else one may do to make what they feel will best convey their art are all manipulations to the original capture. Creating an image with PS or Illustrator etc are just other mediums. Pencil sketches, charcoal, oils, watercolor etc each have their place and appreciation. Why get hung up on film or digital --- take each for just a different form of expression.
I try to understand how long time I would need when flashing the paper, or burning the up half image without compromise the blacks.
Based in this test, it looks to me that I would need expose the paper for at least 3 sec, or burn the sky for 3 sec, in order to make the sky a bit light grey.
But I have a strong feeling that I am look at it in a very wrong way:
This 3sec dodge is what I actually did to come up with the result I posted before.
You have a good horizontal demarkation at the fields and distant tree line. Dodge below that and try a grade oo burn above it. You will find the tees and branches do not change but the sky will.Ther is a good chapter on this in the Way beyond Monochrome book.
"There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).
Thank you... I will try tomorrow.
Cannot agree with this at all.! Sorry, but even the act of burning and dodging, bleaching, toning, unsharp masking is in some way altering the image. It has been practised since photography was invented and has a long and venerable history and the notion of an 'honest photograph' belongs squarely in police forensics. I would try the flashing method at first to see if you can get a decent sky out of it; if not, then try printing in a different sky. Try both methods and see which one you like! I've done it several times and 2 examples are in the gallery.
Originally Posted by noacronym
Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.
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Regarding the honest print thing - I get your point, noacronym, but how far you go with that is subjective. I could say that the print is not in color, which certainly the scene was. Is all black and white photography dishonest, or just abstract? This is murky ground (and has been as long as photography has been around), and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I had to chime in after Blighty's comment. Maybe this discussion belongs in the Ethics and Philosophy forum.
Originally Posted by marciofs
Thanks for sharing your test strip. I'm thinking about advice from a book "Looten's on Photographic Enlarging and Print Quality" and seeing that you have the darks well represented with the most exposure times... up to the sky represented with the least times.
Maybe flip it around - so that you can see what happens in the skies when you give them extremely long exposure times. Not that it would be what you would finally give them at print time. But to show you what potential drama might exist in the sky at print times you might not normally choose. He gave an example where the test strip showed decent "straight" print at 20 seconds but with skies at 80 seconds the clouds became more dramatic.
Your print, I like with blank sky. The advice from Lootens is generic - for next time you find a tough negative and you don't know what the sky shows - maybe you will find one where the sky needs to be made dramatic in the print... His generic advice is to make test prints that show far more and far less exposure than you think you will ever give. So you will know what is too far in each direction.
A black & white image is a partial recording of the subject, just as a drawing is, as opposed to a painting.
Originally Posted by George Collier
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
Originally Posted by Bill Burk
I actually tried to expose the sky for longer and as I had realised before, there is no information. But at least it is not pure white to the point to annoy contrasting with the dark areas. And I dodge the dark areas so it can show more contrast.
I think I can make it even better but I am happy to know how to. I prefer spend papers printing some others photos.
I would try two things in combination:
1) Flash the paper
2) Do a split-contrast print
Burning in, is really hard when you have a lot of branches and stuff like that, flashing and 00-filter should get you a long way salvaging the highlights as much as possible, maybe even in combination with a dodge on the darker parts, as you'll probably need quite long exposure-time with the 00-filter to salvage the highlights.