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  1. #31
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    I too can relate to the OP curiosity of "glowing" in a print. I believe as has been said, that it is the combination of overall contrast and local contrast. The highlights have to be just the right density and the print hung in appropriate lighting. I disagree however that lighting in the original scene contributes everything to the final "glow" in the print. Prints with glow can be made from negatives shot in even the worst of lighting conditions, as long as the negative is exposed and developed correctly.
    Print appearance is a combination of several inputs such as subject lighting, film exposure, negative development and printing and print treatment. With one input, you can often make up for some deficiencies in another, but the best print is made when all inputs are at their optimum.
    Regards

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

  2. #32
    MattKing's Avatar
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    IMHO the most important tool to aid in making a high quality print is to have other high quality prints to compare it to.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #33
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Maybe. I've been in AA's darkroom, but I didn't see any prints of other master printers hanging around. Copying style, or using the style of others as a guide, will help to find one's own style, but at the end of the day, it has to be your print!
    Regards

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

  4. #34

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    For me, that's really the difficulty in learning how to improve my own prints. I've seen many masterful prints. Just recently, I've seen Clyde Butcher's prints in person at a local museum. I can see what he did and how he did (well, some of it) with his prints but trying to apply various techniques he used to my own prints to improve them are impossibly difficult. Not only do I not have his skills and experience to pull off individual adjustments well but knowing what and where to apply them is something I can not yet determine.

    Just recently, a kind soul on APUG had me email him the scan of my base print and gave me hints. It helped me immensely and only after the facts do I realize why those suggestions were made. I didn't see them before.

    Anyway, I'm slowly learning.... very slowly!
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #35
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    Maybe. I've been in AA's darkroom, but I didn't see any prints of other master printers hanging around. Copying style, or using the style of others as a guide, will help to find one's own style, but at the end of the day, it has to be your print!
    Ralph:

    I agree with you, in particular with the last part of your post. What I would stress though is that many beginning printers don't really have a good idea of what can be achieved.

    The reproductions in your book (the first edition at least, because that is what I have on my shelves) are great, and I've learned a lot from them, but I think it helps so much more if one can also examine, and hold, and view real actual high quality prints as well.

    AA may not have had any prints from others in his darkroom, but they certainly were part of his life.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #36
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Matt

    I think, you're right about that. Darkroom work can be pretty lonely, and having the prints of others handy does allow to put the own work into perspective and judge personal progress.
    Regards

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

  7. #37
    Vlad Soare's Avatar
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    I agree with Matt. Knowing how a fine print should look is the first step towards making fine prints yourself.
    I used to think that my prints looked good until I saw Michael's and Paula's. It was like a blow. I realized that I had no idea what a really fine print was. And I also realized that most of my prints were crap.

  8. #38
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Vlad

    That's fine as long as you also realized what the difference was between what they do and what you do. Often is nothing but a few tweaks, better and more consistent technique, and lots of hard work.
    Regards

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

  9. #39
    Vlad Soare's Avatar
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    I agree. I'm not trying to imitate their work. I'm still going to pursue my own style, with my own subjects, which are not necessarily theirs. But now at least I know what can be technically achieved with the right materials and the right technique. And I know what distinguishes a fine print from a good one. My prints were kind of good enough, but far from fine, and they were so not because of sloppy technique or lack of darkroom skills, but because I actually didn't know that they could be better.

  10. #40

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    All fine printing is difficult but I reserve special applause for printers who can make a 35mm image 'glow'. A gallery 16 x 12" photograph, the kind of size a viewer still expects tonal integrity rather than a display of grain, demands a perfectly exposed and developed negative and impeccable technique to avoid becoming flat and lifeless at larger sizes.

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