The original question was about proofing on RC. Photoshop proofing confuses the issue.
Originally Posted by jglass
The second statement seems to contradict the first. If the difference between RC and FB does not matter to you, then why move from RC to FB at all?
Originally Posted by jglass
You don't always expect threads to stay strictly on the original topic, do you?
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
"People get bumped off." -- Weegee
No, but it was an interesting question and not fully answered yet. The diversion to Photoshop editing was neither very APUG nor did it help to answer the question.
Originally Posted by Moopheus
Ralph said: "The second statement seems to contradict the first. If the difference between RC and FB does not matter to you, then why move from RC to FB at all?"
Well I guess I wasn't clear, but, really, Ralph do you actually care?
I'll try to be more clear: the differences between RC and FB don't matter to me at the proofing stage because I am looking for something either can capture: emotional power, emotional tone (irony for example), compositional funk, SPUNK!
When I decide I like an image, I print on FB because I prefer the tones a bit and the feel of the paper and, often, the matt surface. At that stage, for a photo that I think has succeeded on content/substance, the tonal qualities deserve the best and that is found in fiber papers, for me.
And in my opinion, proofing a scan on the computer before final printing does not confuse the issue for those of us who are proofing for content and substance as opposed to the subtleties of paper choice.
Many printers here seem to emphasize the look and feel of the print over the image itself and its substance -- which is fine for them. Others of us may be looking for something different in a photo and for us proofing on RC or a computer screen or a used Kleenex can work fine.
Last edited by jglass; 04-18-2011 at 12:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I leave it to the OP if he got the answered he needed and if electronic proofing is an option for him. I was under the impression that he wanted to correlate RC proofing and f/stop timing with final printing instructions for FB, which can be done if one accepts some limitations. However, drawing quantifiable printing instructions from Photoshop efforts is futile. They can be used to highlight a rough printing direction but cannot be turned into an applicable printing map.
Good printing requires a lot of experience and patience. There is no app for that!
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Getting back to the OP question, personally I don't like the approach of trying to determine gross adjustments on RC and then moving to FB. In truth I find it clumsy, which I find to be the case with many so-called short cuts and/or money saving strategies. For some people it might work but I have never found it saved me any time. In fact it made things harder because of the awkward switch of materials part way through the process, which invariably meant I had to re-test for the new paper and ended up with a lot of backtracking. It just didn't make sense to me. If you are trying to end up with the highest quality prints you can make, and we know sometimes the differences between ok and fine prints are very subtle, it seems more logical to me to start and finish with the same materials. The characteristics of different papers are too different to allow a fluid transfer of anything other than gross adjustments across. What does that preliminary work print stage really save you, a few sheets?
This of course assumes you want to take the negative to the completed print in the first place. I can understand making contact sheets on RC for a first evaluation of the image itself, but once you get into the printing stage if you envision a print on FB, use FB. My two cents at least.
I usually proof on RC (sometimes on fiber), but I always do test strips and work prints on the paper I will be using for the print. That is common sense. When using big paper, I cheat and use strips cut from the same type of smaller paper, if the papers are of similar age. I find it hard to spend a bunch of money on a 10-sheet pack of big paper and then cut up 10 or 20 percent of it for test strips. I usually buy only 10 sheets when I print big, since I don't do it that often, and cold storage of big paper is not possible in my fridge.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Ok, so let's say you're planning a large print, say 11x14 or 16x20, do you print a final on 8x10 first before going up to the large size? or just start with the large size?
I did this not too long ago.
My target size was 11x14. I've set the height of the enlarger head to make 11x14 size at correct cropping. Then used some 4x5ish test strip at important areas to narrow down the exposure. Then printed full size 11x14 and did one more tweak.
I then needed 8x10 size (unexpectedly). Using formula and scaling down the exposure time got me close but the print somehow didn't look right to me. In fact, 8x10 size looked "right" when it was exposed more than proportionally shorter time based on size.
This proved to me that any method other than the final size will get me close but it always require final adjustments - if not get it right technically but visually right. After all, having right density at all locations mean nothing if it doesn't "look" right.
The same applied to me when I went from RC to FB. It looked "OK" but it still needed further adjustment.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
I do the same, set enlarger to the right size then use 5x7" test sheets to test contrast, exposure and burn/dodge in critical places. Then I do straight, work and finally the final print in full size.