Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,476   Posts: 1,542,635   Online: 923
      
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 40
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Florida, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,920

    Quality in master's prints - what am I seeing?

    I don't know if there is a good way to ask this question. It is so subjective. It is one of those things when everything is right - it looks right, and when not - well... not!

    Here's my best attempt to verbalize this, so if someone can chime in, I'd be grateful.

    When looking at some masterful B&W printing done by darkroom masters, their prints just seems to glow. Not that it's bright, it has sort of a metallic sheen - almost as if they were back-lit (but they aren't), contrasty but not harsh. Sometimes the image almost looks 3 dimensional. This is true for overall light print, dark print, middle of the ground print, soft image, sharp image, etc, etc, etc. It's not any of these one element but overall, it looks nearly animated and large prints seems to wrap around me - the viewer.

    I guess some of the examples may be Clyde Butcher's prints. Florida's swamp is nothing glamorous. Yet, he turns it into all of above.

    When I print, the print looks dark, light, dull, contrasty, soft, sharp, and just-right - but master's print seems to be all of above.

    What am I seeing? What are the qualities and properties that makes these prints so engaging? Granted, everything starts at shooting but seems work in darkroom has a lot to do with turning scenes from mundane to work of art.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2
    Dinesh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,583
    Cadmium!
    Kick his ass, Sea Bass!

  3. #3
    Doc W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    139
    Images
    2
    I wish I had the answer. It is, of course, the subtle combination of many things, beginning with visualizataion and exposure. When I was learning guitar, I tried to hang around with players better than I to pick up as much as I could. I love having good photographers come to my darkroom for a few hours while we print and talk. I learn a lot that way (much better than books) and over the past few years have picked up this technique and that, all of which improve my final prints. I look back at prints of mine I thought were great two years ago and the ones I make now are much better.

    If I had to single out a few things that made my prints better, they would be:
    - getting a better grip on exposure of the negative through modest (not obsessive) testing
    - f-stop printing
    - printing highlights first and then adjusting contrast to get the darks right
    - edge burning (yah, I know it's simple and obvious. Everything is once you know how).

    Mind you, I am still not at the place you long for, as do I. Practise, practise, practise.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    florida
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,169
    Images
    2
    Record what you do then compare those that don't meet what you are trying to achieve to those that are "just right" and do that over and over. It starts with pre-visualization of what you want in the final print then properly exposing, processing and finally printing. There is a small viewing filter-like gaget that is amber/brown that you can view your subject through that makes it appear monochrome and will help you visualize the tonal range of the scene and can help in determining if a filter will be helpful. I believe B&H carries them but I can't think of the exact name -- perhaps a monochrome viewer.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  5. #5
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,371
    Images
    4
    I find the secret to a glowing print is glowing subject matter.

    Of course there are things you can do to make the subject glow - but they aren't in the printing or in some magic developer but in lighting, selection of time of day, shutter speeds and motion, filtration and a host of other tricks that need to be addressed before the exposure is made.

    Clyde Butcher's swamps glow because he pays careful attention to the reflections in the water, uses long exposure times to make the water appear silvery and shoots in soft light.

    Try taking pictures of polished silverware with a LF camera and see how easy it is to get glowing prints.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Florida, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,920
    Let me ask THIS question -

    What are my eyes perceiving as "Glowing"?? B&W prints can only show shades of gray (and of course black and white). Looking at plain white paper, I don't perceive that as glowing. I am looking at a print (of my own) that has open windows in the scene. Rest of the scenes are pretty dark. I don't perceive this as "glowing" windows. There has to be something more than less exposure that will make the glowing quality possible.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #7
    paulie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    266
    a bottle of ink and some gelatin and pot dichromate.

    about 2 years of practice

  8. #8
    hpulley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,214
    Images
    75
    I love reading about papers that make "deep rich blacks and brilliant whites" when as you say, the white is already there (well, not quite in warm tone paper). Still, the white in a print is made to glow because you reproduce the specular highlights in the scene, using black to mask out the rest. It is an illusion in a way but the surrounding black makes the white look whiter.
    Harry Pulley - Visit the BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE FORUM

    Happiness is...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Florida, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,920
    yeah, similar to how old CRT type TV looks gray when off, but we clearly see "black" when it's on.....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10
    Jim Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Rural NW Missouri
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    1,812
    Us who are not masters can always cheat by mounting prints on a slightly off-white mat. That makes the whites of the print brighter in comparison.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin