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  1. #21
    ann
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    i can only speak for myself, but i always develop the paper to completion. the times and contrast may vary but not the development. different papers may call for different times; ie. ilford's cooltone time are different than the standard rc papers. some warmtone papers may require betwen 2-3 minutes, but that time is determined before the exposure and doesn't vary.

    just watching the print in the developer and pulling when "one thinks" it is ready, IMHO, is a poor method for learning. watch the clock.


    learning to print by "instinct" comes from lots of practice and experience, it isn't something that just comes to mind out of the blue.
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

  2. #22
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ann View Post
    learning to print by "instinct" comes from lots of practice and experience, it isn't something that just comes to mind out of the blue.
    I found the best way to train my instincts was to make about 2000 prints/month. Same paper, developer, developing time (roller processor), etc. I could guess both exposure and VC filter correctly 99% of the time. That was 20 years ago, and it doesn't hold that closely without practice, although the experience still pays dividends when making adjustments.

    Lee

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    This is probably a stupid question but I need to understand this instinctive printing. Do those who print by instincts (and not do a test strip) always develop the paper at the same time or does the time in developer very according to what they see as it develops?
    Just to be clear, in case I'm one of those you are referencing, I don't print by instinct at all. Intuition and instinct are not the same thing. Also, most people think that intuition is something like extrasensory perception. It isn't. You could call it "experience", I suppose, but that's not quite right. Experience is what trains the intuition. Lee is right, though, if we can agree on terms. Making thousands of prints helps a lot; especially if you think about it while you are making them!

    Also, to answer the question you ask, assuming it is addressed to a group of which I'm a part, I do make test strips but not graduated test strips, one pop and develop, and I NEVER vary the development time. ONE VARIABLE! Everything else is held constant. If you start working with a bunch of variables, you can't ever learn because you really can't know what is producing the result you are getting. When students tell me that they are "messing around" (common!) we have a very pointed discussion.

    Another helpful practice is to take a small piece of paper, cut it in half, put one half of it under something in the darkroom and take the other half out in the light for a few seconds. Process both at the same development time/agitation that you give your prints. Hold them in the tray you use to evaluate your test strips for comparison. Print for the white, by adjusting time or aperture, and when you get a white that comes close (it won't match exactly, at least if you care about detail, but it should generally be as close as possible without losing detail), then compare the black. As I mentioned above, if you can't find a black that matches the black patch, or if areas go black that should have detail, adjust the contrast accordingly.

    Another tip: Always use the same light for making decisions about prints. If you don't, you are adding yet another variable. I used the same light for about thirty years, and since I'm building a darkroom now, the same light is going in it.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by bowzart View Post
    That's one reason I don't use graduated test strips. For me, it's one pop for the whole strip. The other reason is that the usual 5, 10, 15, etc. sequence gives unequal steps, which, after making those idiotic things for ten years or so, I finally could stand no more. The procedure couldn't be simpler. Looking at the whites only, is it too light or too dark? Correct that, and when it's right, (and only then) look at the blacks. Are they too light or too dark? If too light, need more contrast, if too dark, need less.
    Yep. This is the procedure espoused by Graves in Elements of Black-and-White Printing. I had been addicted to those stupid graduated strips before I read that book.

  5. #25

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    These days armed with the fine instructions on Ralph's site, the test strip printer can be done quickly in plastic with a laser cutter. I had one completed by a friend who has access to such a cutter. It's all the test strip printer you'll ever want. Previously I had been able to do what you want to do with a Paterson test strip printer but it was time consuming as it involved moving the printer. With the darkroom magic printer it is easy, quick and idiot-proof and on 6x4 or 5x7 sheets there is a white strip between each exposure which allows a better comparison between exposures than the Paterson strips which tend to blend in with each other.

    pentaxuser

  6. #26
    fotch's Avatar
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    Hey bowzart,
    If you felt slighted or under attack, I was not intending to single out anyone person or persons. Nor do I question that some printers can do pretty good by using instinct, intuition, flying by the seat of their pants.

    I usually make test prints however, there have been times that you just know what the exposure should be. In my case however, I have found making test prints worth the effort when I wanted the best prints I could make. Perhaps not enough experience or knowledge, doesn't matter, it works for me.

    However, I am always interested to know a better way. I asked just to make sure that this was something to think about because pulling a print before the right time would of convinced me it was not.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  7. #27
    bowzart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    Hey bowzart,
    If you felt slighted or under attack, I was not intending to single out anyone person or persons. Nor do I question that some printers can do pretty good by using instinct, intuition, flying by the seat of their pants.
    It takes a heck of a lot to make me feel slighted. No problem there. Didn't cross my mind at all.

    Maybe you don't, but I question that anyone can print by instinct, and "flying by the seat of their pants" is not at all a reliable way to work. There may be a darkroom in Batman's house, but if so, I've never worked there.

    I don't think you are quite getting what I'm saying. Sorry if I'm not being clear enough. If you have questions, it would probably be best to contact me via PM as I don't want to take up more space on this thread.

  8. #28
    Wade D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    When I do my test strips I have to cover up sections of the paper. The result is that the areas of different exposure are themselves on different areas of the image. I have seen plans to make a device that allows you to make comparisons using the same bit of image by making a test strip that slides across a slot. Does anyone know where I can see the plans or if you can buy such a thing new?
    Looks like your original question has been answered and much more! That's the fun part of this forum.

  9. #29

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    Making a test strip maker

    As promised, the weekend was wet so I made one to Ralph Lambrecht's design. I used 3 and 6mm MDF and it has come out very neatly. Only thing I would say, is put a shim of off-cut photo paper under the back of the hinge to lift the door up the thickness of the paper. Then it is perfect.
    Richard

  10. #30
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    In that design, I understand that there is a slot in the top that the paper exposes through, and the device itself is not moved. But I don't understand how you slide the paper sideways under the slot to expose different sections, and how you know how much to slide it each time to prevent overlap or gaps.
    f/22 and be there.

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