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  1. #11
    eclarke's Avatar
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    It just depends on what is important in the actual print, could be important in one print and a detriment in another print if you had to rob significant highlights. It goes back to your negatives, if they are well exposed, developed and have a good range then you have many printing options and you should print variations and live with them on the wall for a while to make this decision. I like everything I have seen of yours online and hope to see some in person in the future..Evan Clarke

  2. #12

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    black can be good, as can be white, grey works sometimes but not always.
    sometimes i use my shoe for a hammer.

  3. #13
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I have recently found myself in a situation where I've been confused about my printing style, and came up with a question I couldn't answer myself.

    In a b&w print, how important is black? Not maximum black, but a strong black. I have previously been of the opinion that a strong black was a choice, and I've seen some work completely lacking that, and the print was still beautiful.
    A while back I made prints that I thought were all about mid-tones. So I heavily emphasized on mid-tones to get them just right. Then the black is what it is when I'm done.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

    Thanks!
    ******
    Well, it IS black and white photography, after all. That being said, a picture of London Bridge in the fog might be lacking in a black. Even so, it is my experience that most images need a black somewhere to anchor the photo; to pin the image to a foundation, so to speak. My two cents.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  4. #14
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Thank you for your feedback. It seems like the consensus is that max black or strong black is 'nice to have', especially if the scene contains a really dark area. But it's not absolutely necessary, and that depends on the subject matter and how it's captured.

    Which gets me right back to where I started...

    One of the reasons I asked is due to the attached print. To me it perfectly describes what it was like that morning, and reflects my vision of it, while everybody I've shown it to (except my wife, who is my most trusted critique) say they lack black. I'm not saying that either opinion is right or wrong. I'm just saying that it's the luck of the draw to have a taste in what looks good that coincides with what the audience likes.

    - Thomas
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails st_anthony_power_plant_001.jpg  
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #15

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    Thomas, that looks great to me. I believe that the shadpow of the power plant on the water anchors the image quite well. I feel that as long as an image has a solidity to it, it can pass muster without a deep black. I'm speaking of images that are printed in the manner of a "full range" of tones and not those which are purposely printed in one subset of those tones, ie, high-key or the wonderful almost-pencil-like renderings of some images by people like John Sexton and Ray McSavaney.

  6. #16
    eclarke's Avatar
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    Looks good to me...EC

  7. #17
    RJS
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    There was Ansel, and Bill Brandt, and Ralph Gibson and . . . various ways of printing. Black is beautiful as we used to say back in the day.

  8. #18
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I agree with your wife

    a slight blast of 5 would improve this image as I see it on the screen without affecting the mood.

  9. #19
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    Thomas - wonderful shot and I think it illustrates the point very well. To have full-on black and whites is a good check for a typical print. They serve as a guide to a properly calibrated print. But as with the photo you displayed (and subject to my monitor/limitations) you captured the feeling and range of the photo quite properly. Your instrument (ie your instincts) is well calibrated and the image is properly conveyed to the viewer. Well done! Cheers.

  10. #20
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Thank you for your feedback. It seems like the consensus is that max black or strong black is 'nice to have', especially if the scene contains a really dark area. But it's not absolutely necessary, and that depends on the subject matter and how it's captured.

    Which gets me right back to where I started...

    One of the reasons I asked is due to the attached print. To me it perfectly describes what it was like that morning, and reflects my vision of it, while everybody I've shown it to (except my wife, who is my most trusted critique) say they lack black. I'm not saying that either opinion is right or wrong. I'm just saying that it's the luck of the draw to have a taste in what looks good that coincides with what the audience likes.

    - Thomas

    Thomas

    Your image (left) has mood. It is fine. A full-tonal-scale image of this print (right) lost the mood and look steril. Yours is much better!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails st_anthony_power_plant_001.jpg   st_anthony_power_plant_002.jpg  
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

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