Sorry, just found your response... pardon my late reply!
Originally Posted by Ray Heath
I think digital has increased the quantity of photographs taken by a factor of 12,369,438 times or so, without any change in quality. So I think what digital has done is decrease the quality by dilution. Too many people taking too many shots based on too few thoughts. And too many people using basically the exact same tool and getting roughly the same output.
I don't think that an experience film user is 'narrow minded' if they prefer not to go digital. I forayed into digital (briefly) and thought it was fun, in the same way that a toy is fun. But at the end of the day I thought, geez, it is basically impossible to distinguish yourself with digital capture- almost everybody has the exact same tool and hence the exact same capabilities in terms of what they can actually capture.
So much of what I love about film photography is the diversity of equipment (RFs, TLRs, LF, pinhole, you name it) and hence unique capabilities. Recently I went to do some sport shooting and I noticed that everybody had DSLRs and everybody was taking basically the same shots, you know, at 5 fps. What's the point of taking a shot that anybody can take? I don't know, I just don't get any pleasure out of this herd mentality.
And I also love the personalities of the films that I use; and they are so diverse! Again it is about diversity, in my opinion. I like my slide and my b&w and my IR film. It isn't enjoyable to me at all to try to insert personality into a shot via photoshop. I don't see why I should emulate film effects when I can just go out and do the real thing. I like thinking about a shot before it is taken, I don't like the back-heaviness of digital, the idea that you make the photo after the capture.
I do think that people should use whatever tools allow them to express themselves. If that's digital, fine.
Digital is not such a bad thing; I wouldn't have discovered photography -- and film photography -- without buying a DSLR first.
So despite the trend of people "upgrading" to digital, some of them "come back" and some of them even "come" to film and chemical photography...
I started with a DSLR, and now I shoot LF, MF, 35mm, I do wet prints in silver, and I even do alternative printing... All that thanks to digital !
Originally Posted by Ray Heath
I was taught that the inclusion of the rebate was called the verification border. I print al of my personal work with the verification border showing. It is a self imposed rule that makes me work harder to produce a better image. Hardly a wank.
IM-not so- HO the addition of the verification border also enhances the drama or formality of the format.
Okay, back to the original question regarding the black borders, I heard H.C-Bresson's printer was using Leitz Focomat and Omega DII for printing with the borders. Focomat can give you a little space around the frame from a neg, but some frames are slightly bigger and wider than others depending on the shooting lenses and their apertures, so it needs some adjustment. Some people do file the neg carrier for that.
The same goes for the Omega. And the 4-blade easel is a must to cover the bleeding and keep sharp on the edges.
But I have also created black borders on PS after scanning my photos for publication. Basically I touched up the rough edges with a stamp tool, and that looked nice. The trick is that, just like traditional darkroom printing, you need to file the neg holder/carrier used for the scanner a little bit before scanning the images and allow scanning the original edges as much as possible. Then you will have a very smooth transition.
HCB was undoubtedly a brilliant photographer, and a pioneer to boot, but he wasn't perfect - no one is.
Think of all your negs that will never go beyond contacts - he must have had his share too.
Just because the public haven't seen them doesnt mean he didn't screw up on many images.
I have been wondering how to get a black border on my prints recently. I don't want to hack my carrier about.
I think I'll make up a mask for the print area, and just blast the borders to black.
At risk of this turning into another film vs digital debate (or flame war), I started out with (and still use) a DSLR, but when I realised that the lenses would fit the film bodies that are available for peanuts, I bought a couple. Since then, I have started a darkroom, and even ventured into E6 processing. All thanks to digital.
Originally Posted by buze
(although a nice little snub to digital; I was shooting an event with the digital, when the mirror drive pin wore through, rendering the camera useless.
I was very glad of the EOS 500 and case of film in the bag that day!)
Lens caps and cable releases can become invisible at will. :D
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If you wish to have a black border and do not want to file your neg carrier do one of the following:
- create a neg carrier from 1/8" black gator board. make the opening as large as needed.
- use an oversized glass carrier and black tape
I've filed carriers, made gator carriers and now only use glass. I also expose as little of the rebate as possible to reduce flare.
I just saw the documentary video/film about HCB today. Those of you who are obsessed about creating or not creating the black borders should see it, too.
I highly recommend it.
Brooks Jenson has an interesting editorial in the latest edition of Lens Work on just this subject. Apparently Adobe is coming out with a new software database designed to help digital photogs cope with the vastly greater number of images they are capturing. I tend to agree with your point about no great corresponding increase in quality. Analogous to a film photog using a motordrive to excess, I suppose. Same result in the end. Quantity doesn't necessarily translate to quality. Numbers of images are no substitute for well-seen images.
Originally Posted by keithwms
An alternative would be to cut a piece of Rubylith or Amberlith to the size of your enlargement, then carefully cut the amount of border you want. After that, you simply lay the ruby/amberlith down over your expose paper and let'er rip.
Enlarging the cutout in a neg carrier will increase the flatness problems already present in a glassless carrier.
Use a double glass carrier for 4x5 and mask off the stray light as required.