I do BW photography from 52 years ago, I copy my negatives from 41 years ago.
I started in LF photography 30 years ago.
I took a workshop with Bruce Barnbaum 12 years ago.
I Work with a Mamiya 645 with 4 lenses, Linhof 6x9 with 3 lenses and Shen Hao 4x5 with 4 lenses, a Sekonic light meter, a LPL 4550 enlarger, a Beseler 23CII that use condensers.
For 15 years I have tried to calibrate my system according to many authors based on the zonal system. I took hundreds of plates and hundreds of rolls. I dismissed many negatives without deep work to achieve expression. And my search never give me the feeling of happiness, failed to integrate all the process fully inside me. I could not convey in the print what I saw and felt in front of my subject.
Two month ago I decided to follow the idea of Bob Carnie I read on this forum, I took two boxes of paper RC 8x10 and repeated many times each copy as needed to conform to the results was achieved with each negative -got printing 17 times only one negative- to find and unite all the resources I knew but did not come to integrate into my work: Burning and Dodging, Split Printing, Bleaching and preexposure. After the first succes, I was able to know how to organize my search in each different negative, how work with good local contrast and maintaining the overall contrast, how direct the viewer's seeing to each area of the image.
Finally I see that this is the step I was missing in my work: integrating the resources of negative exposure and development (based on Zone System), printing, developing and finishing my prints. I have been very pleased, and in the next days I make my first new exhibition after 30 years ...
Thank you very much to the community, was a great company in this trip.