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  1. #41

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    Completely agree. I would always suggest one make the best negatives he can. My point is simply that assuming one does not go down too many rat holes and doesn't read too much nonsense, it isn't all that hard to make good negatives, while developing top notch printing skills, tools and techniques takes more practice, and really expands the arsenal of creative controls.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I think the intention should be to make a great negative. It would be rather counterproductive to make crappy negatives, because at the end of the day we all screw up enough times anyway that we are challenged to make a good print.

    Sure it's more difficult to make a good print from a shitty negative, and it does teach us to appreciate AND recognize the good ones. The increased difficulty probably does make us better printers, but I don't think anybody here can recommend to make it a goal to make shitty negs just to learn to print.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2

  2. #42
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    My point is simply that assuming one does not go down too many rat holes and doesn't read too much nonsense, it isn't all that hard to make good negatives, while developing top notch printing skills, tools and techniques takes more practice, and really expands the arsenal of creative controls.
    That's the truth. I wish I could go back in time and have a little talk with myself about just sticking with the process I started with (which was working) and learn it in and out, following standard practices that worked for many people for years... At least I have learned a thing or two along the way and (thank god) have become a better printer in that time as well. Printing is definitely where it's at.

  3. #43
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Dougherty View Post
    That's the truth. I wish I could go back in time and have a little talk with myself about just sticking with the process I started with (which was working) and learn it in and out, following standard practices that worked for many people for years... At least I have learned a thing or two along the way and (thank god) have become a better printer in that time as well. Printing is definitely where it's at.
    I too think that the printing stage is truly where the magic happens. Of course the photograph has to be an interesting one to begin with, I'm not trying to rob the moment of framing the shot of its importance; I do think that is important obviously, but more of a base requirement and a foundation for producing the print. I love mulling over a test print in the darkroom, drawing up little 'print maps' to add or remove tone/contrast in areas where I feel it's needed, attempting to bring forward what I think is important with the photograph.
    Every time I go into the darkroom I feel like I learn something of value, and become a slightly better printer with each session. Some negatives are better than others and print themselves almost, while others are much more of a challenge. To create something consistent from both good and mediocre negatives is a very interesting ride.
    "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. #44
    naeroscatu's Avatar
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    After making a quick couple of prints last night and not getting what I wanted, I thought I'd ask this question:

    What is the single (or few) techniques in darkroom printing that you feel you mastered, that took your print making to the next level ?

    My prints last night needed some dodging and burning for sure, to make them "better", but they're a bit complicated for my current skill level, so I'm thinking its something I have to work on. Then I read about split grade printing, well maybe that's something I should try out, and then there's a device you can buy (Heiland ?) for this technique....

    Interested in hearing about your eureka moments !
    Steven, by all means I'm not new to film and printing but for reasons beyond my control I had to take shortcuts while keeping my hobby alive. Years ago scanning film and posting images came at a time when I could not afford a darkroom so my focus was to make best possible begatives in order to still have something acceptable to post in this forum. I don't feel sorry because I learned a lot about controlling my exposure testing film and film development. Then I was able to slowly build a darkroom in my basement, equipment was dumped by people switching to DX and everyting became affordable. I started making straight prints from my negatives. Despite the fact that my negatives were good I could never produce a print that I like, one that stands out.
    It is hard to define what is a good print but you can tell immediately when you see one. I understood that I have to actually go to the source to make that step in quality that I needed for my prints: watch a master printer turning a mediocre negative into a piece of art was the turning point for me. I recently had the opportunity to take a printing workshop at the Elevator in Toronto held by Steve Sherman assisted by Tim Rudman. Bob Carnie also shared some of his approach in oprinting and tonning. All the comments made in this thread by many experienced people make so much sense now. All this theoretical information that you read in books and forums is good but it means very little if you don't put your hands in the mix. I just started and it takes me 3-4 hours and 6-8 sheets of paper to make a print that is worth looking at (I don't say good...). All hard work but let me tell you, I won't do anything else in my spare time. Good luck and show some of your results.
    Mihai Costea

    "There's more to the picture
    Than meets the eye." - Neil Young

    Galleries:My PN & My APUG

  5. #45
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Hi Mihai

    That was a different Tim, some here know him as climbabout... a very good printer indeed, but we did not bring Tim Rudman here.


    hope you enjoyed the workshop.

    Bob

  6. #46
    naeroscatu's Avatar
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    My Apologies, Bob. Sure, I meant to say Tim Jones.
    Mihai Costea

    "There's more to the picture
    Than meets the eye." - Neil Young

    Galleries:My PN & My APUG

  7. #47

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    All of these suggestion are excellent points most of which took me many years to learn.

    The most important for me was several years ago discovering f-stop printing. It give me a method of consistent exposure control.

    At the same time it also gave me a repeatable method for consistent burning and dodging times and by adding the use of different contrast filters to my burning and dodging enabled me to really improve my printing skills.

    If you are interested in learning f-stop printing you do not need a special timer. Ralph Lambrecht's Darkroom Magic website has a f-stop printing times chart available as a downloadable pdf file.

    http://www.darkroomagic.com/DarkroomMagic/Darkroom.html

    I printed several copies and had them laminated for use in my darkroom. I take the values off the chart and enter them into my timer.

  8. #48
    baachitraka's Avatar
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    F-stop printing is indeed fun, but then like any other printing methods it is require to have a good to very good negative. :-|
    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
    Rolleicord Va: Humble.
    Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.

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