I'm not sure what you imagine this 'screen' to be doing, but it's just a series of LEDs which light up next to a label on the box which represents the tone of grey that you're likely to get at the given exposure. Nothing terribly high tech, but with practice (I'm still trying!) it can cut down on test strip printing.
Originally Posted by jamusu
I was a big fan of the VCNA,
To the original poster here are some thoughts.
Behind all good imagery is a workflow, ours is made up of curve shapes and finding differences by some tools we use. Ron *pe* could write a book on how this works and I will not even enter his world.
In the past and even today it was all about finding the numbers that did not match and bringing the balances that were right for a paticular paper , neg type and chemistry used.
PS was developed on this basis and the only reason an old fart like myself can understand it is because the tools are made from principles developed in the 60's , 70's and 80's.
Cut and paste tools in PS have nothing on Jerry Ullesman.He created magic by hand with simple tools and a lot of experimentation. I would bet the farm that Mr Ullesman can/would be able to understand CS3 because he basically created the images that the PS designers tried to mimick.
Not to take this thread in a wrong direction, but I have over the last few years spent a major amount of time working on PS. I can say that it has helpled me in my traditional work immensely and I am a better printer because of those hours studying curves, and other tools in the computer world. Even calibrating my output devices have taught me immensely, and guess what, the same principles apply today in printmaking that they did when I was using a VCNA and translator 25years ago.
These are only tools, and they are designed to help you get closer to a good starting filtration, pack, exposure, contrast, .
What comes next is your ability to improve on what the machine is telling you and go from there.
I do not use test strips in the darkroom, basically I use a whole sheet outflanking method MAS described in View Camera 15 years ago.
I would not have any problem using this RHtimer as a starting point and I am sure I would waste less paper.
but I love to see images that are 1-2 stops darker and 1-2 stops lighter, also too high in contrast and too low.. Sometimes a magical image appears that I never would have thought to look for..
that probably is the only reason when I print by hand I do not have any high falutin timers in my darkroom, because it truly is the room where I can play.
An advanced timer may make your life a little easier but it will certainly not produce the print for you. You still have all the creative decisions to make; at best it will let you be more efficient in your use of time in the darkroom.
I use my laptop (with safelight filter on the screen) extensively for b&w printing and film developing and my reflection densitometer with colour printing (to measure colour-casts as I'm somewhat colour-blind - just started colour printing so it remains to be seen how well this works out in practice ). All these just make things easier (or in the case of me and colour, practical).
I used to just use an electronic metronome and piece of black card to interrupt the light path which worked perfectly well too. Get what you think will help you get to where you want to go and have no worries about what others may or may not think: they are not you and only you know what is best for you.
Have fun, Bob.
My darkroom is a high tech (clean) room with all necessary equipment to make life easier, including a Split Grade computer unit, remote control switches, densitometer, color analyser, automatic controlled wash unit and sometimes a loan 0,5u/5u particle counter :o
Super efficient when you have less time, especially a Nova processor, Heiland TAS film processor unit a.s.o.
It doesn't matter, I just feel comfortable with all that equipment to make the best of my own pictures in B&W and color.
Merry X-Mas to everybody!
Thanx everyone for the advice. It is really helpful.
As stated earlier I am relatively new to photography and am still learning. I don't like using test-strips. In fact I have not used any in over a year and a half. I usually make my calculations based off of one sheet of paper and make my adjustments accordingly. I have read on this site that RH DESIGNS equipment will aid me in that process if used correctly which is one of my reasons for starting the thread..
Where would I be without APUG!
Last edited by jamusu; 12-24-2007 at 02:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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I think you have a point that Photoshop is a logical extension of mastering camera/darkroom work and in a sense taking photography to "a new level." The more gadgets that we use in analog photography, the more we resemble digital photographers. The issue that I have with digital is that I just don't like "the next level" and prefer analog photography. I like the esthetics of film, processing, and darkroom work. This has been talked to death but I think it comes down to preference.
Last edited by jamusu; 12-24-2007 at 06:58 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I use test strips, and sometimes an EM10 meter ($30 meter.. - gets you in the ballpark for the test strips, really). As my negatives get more consistent, I find that I can 'almost' skip using test strips.. but even using them, where it once took me over an hour to get to a good basic print using test strips, it is now 10 minutes or less. At that point I'm 90% to my final print, but it still can take an hour, or several to tune the print a final print that I'm happy with - the fine tuning can go on and on.
Originally Posted by jamusu
I'd love to try an RH designs timer. From what I've read, I think it would get me even closer to my final tweaking.. but that final bit would still be the subjective, intuitive bit that we all use.
Reading this thread made me think about what I've read about A. Adams and E. Weston.. Adams measured and was very quantitative, Weston was intuitive.. very qualitative. But each, in their own ways, mastered their materials, as well as their subjects.. there's more than one way to skin a cat.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that it would be very difficult to get even a small portion of the full benefit out of the RH Design equipment (or any of the other useful technological assists in the darkroom) unless you have a well grounded knowledge about how to do things the old, manual way.
Matt from what I have read on this site you are correct.