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  1. #51
    mmcclellan's Avatar
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    I ALWAYS take the time to test for film speed -- only takes a couple of hours to nail it down exactly. Then I can shoot comfortably. Before developing, though, I will do a development test and then I'm done. Both tests can easily be done in one Saturday (or less), so it's not that onerous a procedure. I usually find the EI to be half the manufacturer's rated ASA, but still good to nail it down exactly.

    I then stick to one film/dev combo that works for me and that gives the results I like so I get to know it as well as possible.

    Testing, done properly, is not that hard and the results pay off handsomely in one's work. Don't hesitate to jump right in and do it!
    Michael McClellan
    Documentary Photographer
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    http://www.MichaelMcClellan.com

  2. #52
    kunihiko's Avatar
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    When I feel like shooting in a rainy day I shoot a white board in my room. And there are rainy days.
    I don't have a densitometer, so I do min-time max-black method with my regular paper and regular grade. It gaves me practical standard EI and dev time. Though I see little difference when I print on different paper, it can be easily adjusted in printing.
    kunihiko kario

  3. #53
    Philippe-Georges's Avatar
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    Till some years ago i had to drive the kits to school. I did not realize that i had to pass 8 traffic lights till someone rammed my car when he crossed the red...
    Then I made the reflection that for years everything went good and smooth.
    I stopped almost unconscientiously when needed and went on when allowed, just automatically.

    Consequently I realised that I used the lightmeter-film-camera combination according to how i felt it had to be used and interpreted, by the feeling of the fingertips, automatically.
    I have been rereading AA several times, he is a great master and i must admit that his influence is very important. I also do admit that, perhaps unconscientiously, i apply some of his ideas just like i am influenced by the principes of Adget, Sudec, Strand and many others.
    The results i get this way are not always according to the 'laws and regulations' but I like them.
    But still i do have a lot to learn and testing can help here!

    Philippe
    (www.photoeil.be)

    P.S. I have a problem whit the APUG spellchecker, so apologize my bad English spelling...

  4. #54
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leicam5
    ... I realised that I used the lightmeter-film-camera combination according to how i felt it had to be used and interpreted, by the feeling of the fingertips, automatically.
    ...
    Philippe
    (www.photoeil.be)

    .
    Wonderful, Phillippe.

    The essential thing, the very most important thing ( if we are to trust Adam's self assessment of his own creative method, and of his gifts and shortcomings ) was that his methodical approach was essential to him because he LACKED the INTUITIVE skill of his friends Weston, Strand and Stieglitz.

    Today, the intense pressure from decades of literal interpretation of Adams' instruction has practically exterminated the expectation that Intuitive Skill is possible, desirable, ( or even tolerable ) in photography.

    Like a violinist, a photographer CAN, with moderate gifts and reasonable practice, have his technique synchronise his heart, mind, and fingertips. The result is musical. Testing is simply practice.

    An old teacher taught, " Practice does NOT make perfect. The errors one accomodates in practice become manifest in performance. Only Perfect Practice... makes Perfect. "

    And when our photographic testing, or practice, does not incorporate visualisation or emotion, our Performance manifests an emotional emptiness, heartlessness, and superficiality.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  5. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    The essential thing, the very most important thing ( if we are to trust Adam's self assessment of his own creative method, and of his gifts and shortcomings ) was that his methodical approach was essential to him because he LACKED the INTUITIVE skill of his friends Weston, Strand and Stieglitz.
    This is simply not true. Have you looked at Adams' early work? It really is quite good. And he shot it before delving into the zone system.

    Robert

  6. #56
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Budding
    This is simply not true. Have you looked at Adams' early work? It really is quite good. And he shot it before delving into the zone system.

    Robert
    His early work was quite good and yet he was dissatisfied with it. By my personal standards, his early work was freaking briliant. But not by his standards.

    His self appraisal ( not mine ! ) was that it was lacking. See his Letters, his Autobiography. He needed something to ( he felt ) to fulfill his gifts, and to be able to do what his friends could do... he knew how Weston worked, and could not get the results he wanted with Weston's approach. He knew how Strand worked, and could not get the results Strand got, with Strand's aproach. Stieglitz, same. He worked out the way he could get the results he sought, and analytical and methodical approach, for he recognized he was a methodical and analytical man.

    But he was also a passionate man, and had no interest in making empty, virtuoso images.

    This passion was the root of his development over the years of his technical approach to serve his Visualisation, and why he put the practise of Visualisation at the rock of the Zone System.

    The recognition of his strengths and shortcomings, and the dedication to bridge them in his technique, to me is the great achievement of Adams the teacher. It were as though Weston had perfect pitch, could play by ear a tune he had heard only once, and had built up a superbly expressive technique to support his gifts.

    Adams had to read music, think it all out, and practise. And THEN he could perform as he wanted. That is the point. And Adams' had the generosity to document all this, and share it.

    I'm carefully relying on Adam's primary sources for these attributions.

    Go past Minor's house in Arlington and say 'hi' !

    d
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    His early work was quite good and yet he was dissatisfied with it. By my personal standards, his early work was freaking briliant. But not by his standards.

    His self appraisal ( not mine ! ) was that it was lacking. . .
    It just goes to show that Adams was wrong about some things. I, too, think his early work was brilliant. Oh, well, the man was a perfectionist.

    Robert

  8. #58
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Budding
    ...Oh, well, the man was a perfectionist.

    Robert
    Absolutely.

    Way back when, I used to cut through MIT buildings navigating Cambrige in the winter.

    Rub my fingers across Doc Edgerton's office door...

    I don't recall where, exactly.. Maclaurin someplace ?

    An Adams show had broken out. I was on a dead run, almost, frozen from shooting by the Longfellow, and had to get to Cambridgeport... and there in all its glory was Clearing Winter Storm and I just about passed out when I saw it. I just stood, hyperventilating.

    Anyway. Good old AA.

    d
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

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