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Thread: Making Prints

  1. #11
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    I tend to be a quick printer, making prints from what I think are the most interesting negatives almost immediately they are processed and dry. I also decide very quickly how I want the print to look and set about using the necessary methods of manipulation needed to produce what I want. I'm of the view that if the information is on the negative I will put it on to the paper and if it is difficult there is a way to do it.

    I produce a high contrast negative when I can to enable me to best use my method of split grade printing and using post flashing techniques for any really difficult highlights. If the negative is low in contrast I use grades 4 and 5 to produce the contrast to give me the seperation needed to give the print some luminosity. I don't like to be beaten by any negative and I guess that this competitive streak in my drives me on to make the print and to that end I set myself targets. No matter what the problems are I aim to make the finished print in 20 to 30 minutes, even if I'm printing that negative for the first time.

  2. #12
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    I recently sorted through 20 years of negs to print a portfolio. Some negatives that I had bypassed or given up on made it to the final 12. Vision changes and so do materials and skills. What is the longest I have worked on a negative to get it right? Probably a couple of days, but don't force it. Average is 2-3 hours, but it had better be worth it. If it doesn't excite you, you'll never get it. Put it down and print something that excites you. It that doesn't exist, try rephotographing a place that excited you, but the negatives just weren't that good.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by mobtown_4x5
    I've been kinda wondering about this too, most of my negatives used to require hours of darkroom struggles and sheets and sheets of paper to print decent... but my most recent negs (and the one that I submitted to the exchange) printed beautifully with no dodges/burns. I tried a few things, but the "straight" print was the best - sweet and easy!
    So, does this mean my technique is improving, or just a coincidence? Should I discard the negs that won't print like this, as inferior exposures?

    Matt

    Matt, congratulations. In my opinion what has happened is that, intentionally or otherwise, you are now making negatives that match the density range of the paper/papers you are using. It should be easy!

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