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  1. #11
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Micheal R

    don't get too upset about this, most printers that I have met prefer to start fresh.

    I never take notes and I hope each time I make a better print, sometimes not possible with different papers , chemicals, water .

    I have had clients walk in over the years asking me to match other printers work.
    I never accept the challenge as then it becomes copy work, and that is not in my makeup too do.

    Make the best prints you can right now and try to accept them . Just because they do not match does not mean they are no good.

  2. #12

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    It does seem like really the right way to approach it. It's just frustrating that I can't duplicate what I've done before. It's somewhat counterintuitive. Anyhow I spent the rest of last week working on one of the negatives and finally got it spot on. The weird thing about it is my methodology (which I have now made detailed notes on) is quite different from what it was before, to create the same print. For example I'm using localized flashing, which I know I did not use on this negative originally. So I guess I'm also learning there can potentially be more than one path to acheive the same visualization. Interesting. So I think I'll take the advice and just keep working to make the best prints I can.

  3. #13
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I used to keep notes on printing, I never used them at al and so stopped, I find it very much easier to print images again even after 20 years, although I may print slightly differently.

    A comment about scanning or re-photographing Portfolio prints. Fibre based prints don't copy very well either way they are OK for websites etc but less good for publication, glossy resin coated prints scan superbly.

    If submitting prints to a magazine then Glossy RC is a ideal, it's the only time I use RC papers.

    Ian

  4. #14
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    When I'm working in the darkroom and I'm in the "Zone" making great prints from difficult negs, I make a few more than I need and file them away. I think even with good notes I think those moments are fleeting.

  5. #15

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    That has been my experience as well. Sometimes things are humming and it's very satisfying. Lately it's sluggish and not working well.

  6. #16
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    Don't worry about making more. Just price them right, they are not reproducible. If you print them the same as 3 years ago, you have not advanced since then.

  7. #17

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    I've found though, that sometimes the advancement does not lead to improvement, although obviously that is a matter of individual preference. But often in my own work I find myself looking back at the first fine prints I made of a negative and liking them the best. That's probably just something about the way I see things, because I notice that same tendency when I look at prints by my favourite photographers too. Some of Ansel Adams earlier, softer interpretations of his negatives are the ones I prefer. Similarly I much prefer the prints George Tice made of Petit's Mobil Station in the 70s versus the ones he makes now. A few years back I purchased a new print of that image (which I still love) that closely matches the version in Urban Landscapes. Several months later I happened to be at the Weston Gallery in Carmel and they showed me a vintage print of that image. What a difference.

  8. #18
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Part of the problem there Michael is papers have changed over the years, so pre-WWII Kertesz prints have a very different look & feel to modern prints off the same negatives, which are also usually printed much larger.

    Ansel Adams early prints are much the same, but there's also a big improvement in his overall print quality in later years. I saw an exhibition of his images from his daughters collection while back in the UK two years ago and was very disappointed with some of the early versions of well known prints.

    Ian

  9. #19
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    I never keep records of how I print. Over time the mood of my prints change according to what I want to reveal.
    Granted I'm not making money from them but print to suit my own mood. OK I sell a few but not very often.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post

    Ansel Adams early prints are much the same, but there's also a big improvement in his overall print quality in later years. I saw an exhibition of his images from his daughters collection while back in the UK two years ago and was very disappointed with some of the early versions of well known prints.

    Ian
    Interestingly, I've been mostly disappointed any time I've seen original prints by Adams, Weston, etc regardless of vintage. With Adams, I grew up on books like Examples, the making of 40 photographs. I was always fascinated by the incredible silvery quality, the length of the tonal scale and the sharpness. They just sparkle, and I couldn't figure out how this could be done. For years I struggled with my own prints, trying to duplicate what I saw in those books. It was my father who first told me not to worry so much because if I ever saw the real prints they don't look as good as in the books. Years later when I finally saw real Adams prints, sure enough they didn't have those magical tones I saw in the books, even the contact prints. I know most people would say the opposite, but for me the images in the books looked really special and the actual prints were just prints. That was actually a good moment for me.

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