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  1. #11
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    I agree with J. It's mainly about control. I've just photographed a wedding, and for the first time in nearly twelve years I'm darkroomless. So I did some test shots last week, and requested borders, and of course half the prints had rebates showing next to the borders. I've just dropped off 14 rolls to them of the wedding itself, and told them if I get rebates again they'll be reprinting. The other quality issue is that they print digitally and digital prints look like shit.

  2. #12
    nick mulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    #1: Control, control, control.
    #2: Economy.
    #3: Flexibility in developers, paper, and other processes.
    #4: Convenience.
    #5: Control.
    #6: Control.
    The near on extensive list is missing one factor so if you dont mind I'll add one more:

    #7: Control
    Cleared the bowel problem, working on the consonants...

  3. #13
    Maris's Avatar
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    A crucial benefit for me, and maybe for you also, in doing the darkroom work is indisputable authorship of the photographs that result.

    When you send a negative to the lab that negative is in reality subject matter for what happens next. The guy or girl at the lab photographs your negative with special paper backed film, processes the result, and sells it to you.

    Curiously, photographing negatives with paper backed film has been dubbed "printing" but it is photography nevertheless. And all the control variables of photography apply too. The lab people decide focus, cropping, exposure, development, density, contrast, image colour, and border trimming just to mention a few possibilities.

    Every one who has never made a photograph from start to finish just doesn't appreciate the amazingly arbitrary technical chain between a given camera exposure and the particular photograph the lab delivers to you. It is only through the photofinishing industry's experience in guessing what sort photograph you would like to pay for that they stay in business. I know. I used to do it. Provided I dialled in blue sky, green grass, and made people's faces pale carrot colour nobody complained.

    All of the above can be paraphrased in the words of JBrunner and others: control, control, ........
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  4. #14

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    different tastes.

  5. #15
    Akki14's Avatar
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    If something is screwed up, you don't have to talk to management or someone behind a counter... and you'll have a good idea on how to fix the problem too (or at least a starting point). I don't know what minilabs can or can't do so I had the joy of trying to explain to a guy behind a counter what I wanted and he was having trouble putting it into words onto the order envelope (machine printed stuff horribly off-centre due to my funky camera spacing with my non-sprocket-hole-counting 1950s camera. People chopped in half is not good!).
    Quicker turn around with high(er) quality in some cases if you don't have a good, reasonably priced pro lab on your doorstep. Or at least it feels quicker because you're watching each step of the process.
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  6. #16
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you are talking about b&w as most people will send colour out to a lab. It will be impossible for a lab to successfully print your original ideas for the print. You get to experiment with different looks and of course the pure joy in creating it yourself. It's the only way to go...start converting that bathroom!

  7. #17

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    It Depends

    It depends on what you're after.

    If you want to have fun with black and white, and you're not concerned about necessarily having fine prints, then a lab will do. I've seen decent results from some Labs.

    But, if you're interested in fine art photography and achieving excellent black and white results, I maintain that one has to process both the negative and the print themselves.

    Your question is about whether one needs a darkroom. I've seen people get excellent results using a Jobo. I suppose, one still needs a dark room for loading the Jobo, though.

  8. #18
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Bob:

    There are some resources around the Vancouver area that do decent B & W lab work, but they are quite specialized, and can be moderately expensive.

    IMHO, there is nothing that will improve your work with a camera, than developing and printing your own negatives.

    Matt

  9. #19
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    #8 absolute control!!

    Jim

  10. #20
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post

    IMHO, there is nothing that will improve your work with a camera more than developing and printing your own negatives.

    Matt
    It is amazing how important one word can be:o

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