You know Ray, I would probably not dignify what seemingly is a passive aggessive comment other then that I was a recipient of your thinly veiled aggression on a photograph that I posted.
Originally Posted by Ray Heath
I have taken the time to view those images that you have posted. I think that perhaps you might benefit from critiquing your own work before you assume the position of judging the value of work by others. Just my opinion.
There's obviously some history sufracing here..... I, for one am very appreciative of Murray detailing his findings. The willingness of the members here to share their knowledge and information so openly is the reason I initially subscribed to APUG.
Searching my way to perplexion
you guys still don't get it
you post endlessly about how to print well but make no attempt to consider the larger 'picture', you then get defensive when a 'newbie' dares to express a contrary view
as for the thinly veiled aggression, the thinly veiled part was my temerity in asking why do you not grace us with your best/final work
and yes, i do critique my own work, constantly, we all should, constantly
if you don't like my work tell me, and explain why, hell i'm always hoping to learn something
have the balls to put yourself out there, shit, i do
Murray-while it is all well and nice that a new formula for papers and films appear here on a regular basis I see no real advantage to Glycin developers at all. Especially with a paper like Ilford Multigrade IV. This is one of the least flexible papers made today. With the right negative and lighting during exposure the paper comes into its own. Seriously-you're willing to tell us that some "magical" quality suddenly appeared because of this elixir?
I happen to have a friend who owns a chemical supply house right down the road from me. I've been compounding homebrew formulas for well over ten years now. Fact; it is the paper and the inherent qualities of that particular paper which are the deciding factors for print quality. I used Glycin on Forte and at first thought it was the holy grail. It wasn't. Zone VI developer works just as well. Glycin is also a dirty developer around the darkroom. True it probably lasts longer but it's all relative. Cost vs. Utilization. Now if you were going to discuss Ilford Gallerie; a paper which can be manipulated in oh so many ways by developer use then I believe we have a discussion. I've done it so I know firsthand. And lately have gone back to using this exact paper but with Amidol and a waterbath. Not because the blacks are any better but for ease of use and the incredible longevity of the tray life during the printing session. You see the blacks in the Gallerie are aleady incredibleit's IN THE PAPER. I've tried all kinds of formulas on all kinds of papers and the results are usually the same. Modern papers do not react all that differently in different developers. They have been optimized for use with D72 type developers because that's what the public wanted. Ease of use and repeatability. Whether that is a fortunate or unfortunate situation I'm not the one to say.
So here's what I propose. You send me a print on your paper and I'll gladly send you a print on the Gallery. If I see it then I'll believe it....
Photographers should spend more time perfecting their art than trying to find the magic bullet...I've done both and much prefer the latter.
In closing I just want say that Murray may have made a wonderful developer which works for him. My post is much more directed at the "newbies" who are looking for ways to improve their printing. That part is easy; go find one of the master printers and do a workshop with them.The Sextons and the Barnbaums of the world use the LEAST exotic developers around. That $500-$1000 dollars you give away will reward one in so many ways. Most of all in time and monies spent at later dates...
"Photographers should spend more time perfecting their art than trying to find the magic bullet...I've done both and much prefer the latter."
You really prefer the former, yes?
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Right...I mixed it up after my long winded post...
Just a Thought...
It occurs to me that there are a number of different paths to arrive at the same destination. Looking around in the postings, we have those that Zone, BTZS, average, use sensitometry, densitometry, stand, semi-stand, etcetera.
When anyone asks a simple question about FP4 in D76, the woodwork comes alive with those extolling the virtues of PMK Pyro-HD, D23, HC110, Rodinal, Pararodinal, Xtol, Diafine, Neofin, Perceptol, Ilfosol, Ilfotec, Microphen, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Good film for a particular purpose? Good Paper? Best lens? AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHH......
Maybe Murray has been sniffing too much Edwal negative cleaner. Maybe not. Maybe there are too many elitists. Maybe not. But the bottom line is that we are all here to share what we are doing, how we do it, and offer the results as testimony of our craft (or lack thereof). Me, I'm sick of D72 based developers. Michael and Paula have tailored some concoction of Amidol to their purposes. Maybe you naysayers should PM them and tell them to get with the program and use something a little more conventional. Then their prints could be better. Just a thought....
When you come to a fork in the road, take it...
Hi Peter, thanks for your post.
I agree with you about Ilford Galerie...it's a beautiful paper and was the one I switched to after Zone VI 'improved' Brilliant with Brilliant II and changed the contrast. I also agree with you that a graded paper like Galerie is much more flexible in the developer than Multigrade IV, and I also used to extend developing times or use Zone VI developer and Selectol Soft in combination to get intermediate grades of contrast.
I switched to variable contrast paper when I began using masking techniques, because (and this is purely a personal choice) I felt I gained a level of control I couldn't with graded papers. The combination of sharp and unsharp masks in concert with variable contrast gives me so many choices, sometimes I find it overwhelming.
When I started printing I used what Ansel used, rationalizing if after all his years of experience those were the equipment, techniques and materials he had chosen, that if my prints sucked it could only be because of me, and not any other link in the chain. For those just starting out, there's probably no better way (aside from a workshop or appreniceship) than to find out and use the equipment, materials and techniques of the photographers they most respect.
Originally Posted by Peter Schrager
Finding this combination of paper, developer, and toner is all based on touchy-feely, interpretive, emotional stuff...nothing you can plot on a graph. I liked Ansco 120...I felt Ansco 130 had too much 'snap & sizzle' for my tastes...I liked the keeping qualities of Glycin...so why not shuffle the deck and make a developer of my own, to suit my work and my way of seeing?
All I know is I've made my choice, am confident in it, and can start reprinting everything without any doubts whispering in the dark.
Send me a PM with your address and I'll mail you a print.
Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 05-01-2006 at 09:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
Murray's taking a little too much flak for being willing to share his hard work. He found something that works for him, and shared the results. It doesn't follow that something else might not work just as well. So what.
Print color is important; and developers, fixers, stop baths...can have a significant effect on this, especially if toning is done.
Ray apparently thinks that technical excellence, and the work required to get it, is unimportant, or at the least that it shouldn't be discussed without delving into the murky waters of what counts as good art. Bull. There are plenty of venues for that, including various threads here on APUG. My experience is that these aren't very enlightening.
Ray, if you don't like technical discussions, don't participate in them. Start a thread called "Ray's Profound and Illuminating Thoughts on the Nature of Art". I'm sure that it'll be riveting reading. Butting in and blasting away is not only rude it's a waste of time.
Let's reverse this. Say you start the thread suggested above, and you write a well thought out essay that clearly took a lot of time to come to, but you don't mention anything about technique. Suppose then that someone, much like you, comes in and says something like: "Sheesh! All you people do it talk about the nature of art! What a waste! You haven't even considered the technical requirement of an excellent image! Think about, say, cello players. Do they spend more time gazing into their navel ruminating about what makes excellent music, or do they spend most of their time becoming technically proficient? The latter, of course. You losers clearly don't have the chops to make excellent images, and so all of your pontification regarding the nature of art is a waste of time!"
The correct answer is that both artistic vision and technical ability are important, and one should be able to discuss one without having to also write a treatise on the other.