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  1. #1
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    How long after you produce a negative do you print it?

    I've been thinking about this for the last week or so. I frequently "live" with negatives for up to a year until I print them. Along with contact sheets I also scan all my negatives and frequently view them on the computer screen. As time goes by certain photographs stay great and others I lose interest in. This helps me to thin out the keepers. I'll then begin to think of how I want to create a final print.

    Recently though I've been printing negatives taken within the past month. I like working this way, the photograph is still fresh in my mind. Also the negative is new and clean and more free of dust than a negative that's been in storage for a year or so. The downside of this approach though is that I may end up spending hours on prints of negatives that I'm excited about now but may not hold my attention months and years down the road.

    Thoughts? What's your approach?

  2. #2
    wildbill's Avatar
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    I've got six two inch binders full of negs that haven't been printed, going back 10 years. Hopefully I get to them this summer in my new darkroom.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  3. #3
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    This is a great question. I think everyone's in the darkroom tonight printing their recent negs.

  4. #4
    Laurent's Avatar
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    It really depends on the negatives... my most successful ones are usually printed very soon after shooting them. But I may "discover" an image one year later (longer than that, I'll usually get bored before getting the right print)
    Laurent

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    Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast (Oscar Wilde)

    My APUG Blog

  5. #5
    ann
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    Usually wait at least 6 months if not longer. Worked that way for years. I make a contact sheet and file them away. The time factor gives me the o pportunity to view the negative with fresh ideas.
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

  6. #6

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    At one time I print shortly after develope the negative, now it is a little longer.

    Jeff

  7. #7
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    Photography is a process of discovery for me. I see something that interests me. If the interest is strong enough I photograph it. I sometimes have a "feeling" that the image is beyond the ordinary, in which case I am compelled to develop the negatives and make contact prints as soon as I can. If the "feeling" is still there, I am anxious to make a fine print from the negative as soon as possible. If at any point in the process the "feeling" diminishes, I stop. Or maybe put it away for later investigation.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  8. #8
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    When I was in school and shot film for the sports, I would usually print it within two hours of developing it; as soon as it could be dry, which I'd hurry along with warm air or alcohol.

    Now that I'm on my own schedule, I like to print within a month or so of the date of capture. I do digital and film and it sometimes take a month for me to get through batches of images on the computer and upload a subset to the web. In the darkroom, I like to develop when I have enough to make it worthwhile; 2+ 120 rolls or 4+ sheets of 4x5, etc... I'm not going to spend an hour to develop one negative. When I'm testing something like a new film/developer combination, I need to process reasonably quickly so I can have the feedback to refine my results. When I'm shooting something new and expect to go back for more and better, I like to process before I go back for the feedback.

    I print in a separate darkroom session. I usually get started making contact prints of the past month's negatives, and upon getting caught up with that, I start printing enlargements of 35/120/4x5 or quality contact prints of the LF stuff. I don't really need to print for feedback; a look at the negative provides 90% of what I need. Sometimes though what looked like a questionable negative turns out really really great and I'm glad to have gotten around to printing it. I don't immediately print everything that looks printable. I have to pick a subset of keepers and print them, mostly for the sake of time and expense. Sometimes when I have some extra time at the end of a session of making contact prints, though I'll also page back a few months and find something interesting which I hadn't printed and make a print of it while my chemicals are still all out, and that's fun too. Some of the rejects go in the trash, some go to my 5yo daughter for crafts/coloring.

    Of the outputted prints, most just get appreciated by flipping through the stacks. Some make it to a box to potentially be framed. A subset of these get framed, again for the sake of time and expense.
    Last edited by jp498; 04-22-2011 at 09:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
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    As soon as possible. That ranges from 6 hours for the negatives to dry to 20 years.

    In Lee Friedlander's recent retrospective catalog there is a statement that he was about 4 years behind in printing.

  10. #10
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Days. Years.
    David
    Taking pictures is easy. Making photographs is hard.

    http://www.behance.net/silverdarkroom

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