No, let it be.............but if you could show us a photograph of theory, now, that would be something.
Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin
If you were to pull the negative a little bit in the carrier so it shows a little air - you should get maximum black there - and it should be "close" to the maximum black of your film. This may rule out any impact "developing the film" may have confused you with.
(35mm has a higher density on purpose - but 120 usually is close to clear - so if you can get black on clear air you can get black anywhere).
Every successful photograph I make shows theory. Isn't that the foundation of your defence of the Zone System? The quality of Ansel Adams' work is proof of the theory.
Originally Posted by CPorter
Last edited by Stephen Benskin; 01-23-2013 at 08:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I attribute more of the quality of Adams's prints to hard work printing. If one reads his technical books carefully (particularly the margins where he describes what was done in the example image), many of his images/prints, including MOST of the famous ones, succeeded despite deviation from the techniques in the main body text. In many cases errors were made, or the negatives were made before the Zone System had been formulated, or when metering was approximate at best etc.
Considering the main body text would have you believe it is critical to expose and develop the negative with precision, to print on grade 2 etc, relatively few of the examples or his best loved images were made that way. His prints are all over the place, from grade 1 to grade 6. And in describing how the negatives were made, how often does he say "unfortunately...", "in retrospect it would have been better...", "I accidentally...", "I forgot...", "the cliffs moved into shadow during the exposure...".
I would love to see you all in action taking photos. It would be great to see this, it would be a wonderful way to learn from each other. Certainly far better than reading books or writting about it.
There are always situation where one is off from the so called ideal line. By mistake or because one is forced to from the situation. The knowledge or skill should be there to master those situations.
However striving to get it going in the right direction would help in the long run.
Maybe Adams got fed up with all the work in the darkroom that he wanted to perfect his work.
Besides when I see videos of Adams he seems to be a jovial person, so that, well he may let things slip here and there. My sympathetic feeling I get listening to him.
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Michael, it's not my proof. In fact, it's a logical fallacy. Did the sarcasm not come across?
I've been review Henry's book over the last few days. When I first read it, I didn't like how he kept referencing popular sources. Now, I think it was a smart move. Instead of simply ignoring them, he disproves their arguments. He does a great job at experimental research. I have a little trouble with some of his exposure and film speed theory and I wish he went into more detail on tone reproduction theory with the four quadrant graph, but you can't expect to agree on everything.
Last edited by Stephen Benskin; 01-23-2013 at 09:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I got it, but still wanted to make my point . I am still a big fan of Adams though - and the books. Flaws and all, they are still way better than virtually every Zone System-based book that has come since. Just my opinion.
Henry's book is a very impressive achievement for someone outside the Kodak Research Labs, Ilford, Agfa etc. The monetary investments alone to equip himself, are astounding. It was a very heavy undertaking, considering in some cases he had to build his own machines to ISO specs (such as the ISO film exposure device he built onto an optical bench).
I think the more valuable part of the book concerns the printing experiments (papers, light sources, flare, developers, toning, etc). The data and conclusions are pretty clear in most cases. In the film testing/processing part (ie the second half of the book), while I appreciate the lengths he goes to, and that he presents his data, I'm not quite sure what to make of some of the data - particularly when it comes to image structure characteristics (RMS granularity etc). The data seem almost random and coming to any conclusions is quite difficult. One wonders if something is wrong.
Are you reading the first or second version?
Concerning exposure and film speed theory, can you outline some of the issues? Do you have trouble with how he frames the various historical methods and their underlying principles/assumptions? Fractional gradient? Or is it his method for an in-camera test for "effective EI"? Etc.?
I liked the references to popular sources. Why not hold people accountable when they exert such influence? I would love to spend a few years full time "re-running" that book with current photo materials, and even expand it...
I can't speak for anyone else in the thread, but I don't think you'd have much fun seeing me at work "in the field". I am a very slow worker and make relatively few images compared with most other serious hobbyists. Often much of the time is spent scouting, metering etc before I even come back with the camera. Perhaps printing is where I could actually help people, but even there my perfectionist OCD tendencies would likely wear pretty thin with most people. It often takes a lot of work and several printing sessions to get what I want. Not that this is wrong though. Nobody ever said making good prints was supposed to be easy.
As for film speed and tone reproduction theory, you can learn a lot more from people like Stephen than from me, and Bill is quite a bit more knowledgeable than I am in these areas as well.
Originally Posted by AndreasT
It is fun and a great learning experience when there is a get together to go shooting, been to a few and well worth doing.
Originally Posted by AndreasT
Better than writing? IDK
Good observation on Adams getting fed up. The basic premise of the zone system is to make printing easier.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
I myself am a bit, how did Michael put it OCD. Not so much when metering, there I always tend to be in rush. Well with the sun moving. But when testing my materials and making prints. People always tell me not to be so serious in the darkroom and relax.
Too much coffee.
Unfortunately I never really had the oppertuniy to share photo expierences person to person. Not much.
But I enjoy following this discussion.