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  1. #11
    nsurit's Avatar
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    There is a certain fickleness about the darkroom gods and you still have the same breakdown and clean up. Something just isn't right about that . . . Bill Barber

  2. #12
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    Oh yeah.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  3. #13
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    I mostly agree with David Brown. It should not be that difficult to be consistent, to do the same thing the same way, each time.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  4. #14
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    I think I agree more with David than Clive, but I have had days that it really felt like nothing would go wrong. But the only times I remember days when nothing went right were when I hadn't been using a darkroom as much and could use it whenever I wanted. Once life had gotten to the point where I couldn't pop down and print whenever I felt like it, the days I did get were more likely to go right. But I also found that I had to go in with a plan. If I just go in and expect inspiration to hit and be able to pick what to work on then, it wouldn't go as well. I had to know ahead of time what I'd be working on.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    I mostly agree with David Brown. It should not be that difficult to be consistent, to do the same thing the same way, each time.
    The biggest struggle I have is with the spot metering. If I could figure out how to incident meter a negative I would.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #16
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    Lack of success in the darkroom is only revealed to me the day after. In daylight, after toning and allowing prints to dry, I have sometimes been completely disappointed in what I produced the night before. But, that experience all but guarantees I will be happy with the return visit, because I can adjust the failed variable and expect the results I anticipated with confidence.
    John Voss

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  7. #17
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    I'm still very much a beginner with printmaking. My experience is that both experiences (ie magic spurts v. technical skills) are true -- mainly because the more I do it, and the more I practice and read and think critically about *what* I am doing, the more likely I am to have a "good" day. I have found printmaking to be much less of a learning "curve" and more a series of plateaus.

    Recently I've been practicing with what I know to be objectively decent negatives and have gained some much-needed confidence. But then again, on the "magic" side, today I popped in what I thought was a junked negative (lovely shot, junky development, couldn't get a decent scan) and managed to get some pretty gorgeous 8x10s.


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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubyfalls View Post
    I'm still very much a beginner with printmaking. My experience is that both experiences (ie magic spurts v. technical skills) are true -- mainly because the more I do it, and the more I practice and read and think critically about *what* I am doing, the more likely I am to have a "good" day. I have found printmaking to be much less of a learning "curve" and more a series of plateaus.

    Recently I've been practicing with what I know to be objectively decent negatives and have gained some much-needed confidence. But then again, on the "magic" side, today I popped in what I thought was a junked negative (lovely shot, junky development, couldn't get a decent scan) and managed to get some pretty gorgeous 8x10s.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    One of the things that constantly amazes me is the flexibility of negatives.

    The basic thing that I had to "get" in order to start printing in a reasonable and reliable manner was how to set enlarger exposure for a given negative.

    In the beginning that took a lot of test prints, then later I got myself an enlarger meter. The meter made things repeatable without all the test strips.

    My meter died about a week and a half ago. It was not a modern meter, and older Beseler PM2L. I did have the foresight to buy a spare when I found one, but it was not calibrated the same, about 12 points different on a 100 point scale, little to my knowledge.

    Having that original meter die, then having to get used to the new meter threw a monkey wrench into the works in my darkroom. It took nearly the week and a half to sort out the calibration and get my head straight with the new meter.

    It is simply amazing to me how much a single tool or a single change in my process can affect the entire result. I made countless other unrelated mistakes in timing, in setting up chemistry, in forgetting filters, and I don't even remember what else.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by winger View Post
    But I also found that I had to go in with a plan. If I just go in and expect inspiration to hit and be able to pick what to work on then, it wouldn't go as well. I had to know ahead of time what I'd be working on.
    I'm with you, Bethe. I also find that I must have a goal, because if I don't know where I'm going I'm sure to arrive someplace else. My worst darkroom days are the ones where I just cannot seem to get in there ... family stuff gets in the way. The goal usually requires "blocks of time" to work meaningfully without interruption and put the world on hold. Many folks think that after retirement a guy just has nothing but time to do what he wants .... HA! I did early on consider buying a "wall clock for retirees" ( no hands) but soon realized that would not fit reality.
    Last edited by silveror0; 04-04-2014 at 11:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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