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  1. #11
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambar View Post
    I've changed inerests and areas quite a few times in my life, professionally aswell as personally.. I've been seriosely into photography for the past 2 years and I'm about to start-up my first lab and initiate myself on a print making journey.
    As a trained professional musician (and in other inquiries of life) I came to the conslusion that progress at a skill is alot like the famouse mathematical conundrum of always travelling a fraction of the distance between you and your destination. (Your a mile away from your destination and then you walk until you're only half a mile away. You walk again but you're just a 1/4 of a mile away. You walk again but now you only get 1/8 of a mile away. etc..). You never truely get there, but then again, how much fun would that really be?
    Closer, but not quite there, ever... That sounds very much like athleticism or any other type of practice that requires skill. I like your analogy, and yes - it is more fun to experience a light bulb moment here and there. Like, the dog may be old but is still barking...
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #12
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HowardDvorin View Post
    Thomas,

    We all must live in the present.
    Accept that your work skills ,today,take you up the ladder to better work tomorrow..
    Look forward not backwards.

    Howard Dvorin
    Thanks.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #13
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Gavin, I agree. I hope that with your shoulder issues you can at least lift a whisky glass the appropriate distance...

    Max is awesome. Never gives up. He is making a couple of plates for me currently, which I am extremely psyched about. Have seen the DPUG gallery uploads too, and I hope you can continue to hone your own gravure skills too, Gavin. They are so beautiful, a result of real hard labor and determination, blood sweat and tears, with results that often disappoint in the beginning. But when you nail it it'll be worth every penny and second spent to get there. In the future it's something I wish to do too. But I can't afford the copper version.

    I hope your shoulders get better soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by coigach View Post
    Ha - life is too short for bad whisky. Malts are one of my passions (along with jazz, books and visual art) and I'm a bit of an anorak. Tasting notes for independent bottlings of Glen Garioch 19 year old anyone?

    Have had a good few emails back and forth with Max - regarding ink mixes, paper choices, calibration curves, plate wiping techniques etc etc. He exposes digitally enlarged negs onto copper plates, me onto polymer plates, but pretty similar workflow. Except he's a lot better than me! His results are pretty special, see DPUG gallery. Am currently recovering from 2x recent bouts of shoulder surgery, having bones cut and metal inserted (see picture) , so no wiping ink off plates for me in the studio for some time unfortunately...Attachment 58255
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #14
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Thomas-

    bear in mind that even the grand master wet-darkroom printer St. Ansel evolved his technique over time, and the way he printed one negative changed observably from creation to the end of his career. This is normal and natural. Don't feel anxiety over your evolution - if anything, rejoice in it because it means you are still capable of learning. To cease to learn is to die, someone famous once said. And if you go back later and reprint some of your old negatives in a totally new way, it means not only that you can reinterpret your old ideas, but that your old ideas still have meaning to you. It's a good thing.

  5. #15
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Thomas-

    bear in mind that even the grand master wet-darkroom printer St. Ansel evolved his technique over time, and the way he printed one negative changed observably from creation to the end of his career. This is normal and natural. Don't feel anxiety over your evolution - if anything, rejoice in it because it means you are still capable of learning. To cease to learn is to die, someone famous once said. And if you go back later and reprint some of your old negatives in a totally new way, it means not only that you can reinterpret your old ideas, but that your old ideas still have meaning to you. It's a good thing.
    I feel that way too, Scott, as if I would stagnate if I stopped improving... Good call. My heroes are often darkroom workers, Gene Nocon, Paul Inirio, Sid Kaplan, our very own Bob Carnie, etc. But also those who print their own work, obviously, like Weston. It's as though they always push(ed) the envelope of what's possible - to do the pictures justice. I have huge respect for that, and it's how I'd like to view myself as well.
    Where I need to relax a little bit is probably, as has been pointed out, in learning to accept where I'm currently at, and just enjoy making the prints.

    My whole quest has been about getting away from things surrounding equipment, which got me absolutely nowhere. Same thing about films and developers, and papers and developers. The only piece of equipment that I find truly important, besides just being reliable and functioning well, is the enlarger and its lens. After purchasing a great enlarger, and dropping all the equipment silver bullet strides, I have come to realize that technique is really the only thing that matters. How to engage with the subject matter while shooting (whether it be landscape or people), how to realize the importance of matching negatives to our paper of choice AND mastering how to actually do that, and finally becoming a better printer - now that has helped to carry my work forwards in a way that has been extremely satisfying, and it's real because it's my own brain and my own hands that are functioning better - with the same materials. To me that was utterly profound.

    The whole thought process came full circle when I realized why the amazing printers above are my heroes - it's because they do not possess the ability to change any of the materials that the images are photographed with. They receive(d) negatives from customers that are/were a certain way - and they just HAVE to deal with that. The magic in those prints is obviously not the camera, the film, or the film developer - it is the eye of the photographer and what they recorded, combined with their own skills as printers. The materials could be anything between heaven and earth, yet they were hired to do something special with it. Ding! Ding! Ding! Lightbulb moment. This proved to me that the road to improving my print does not lie in my choice of film or lens, but my knowledge of HOW to use them.

    (Edit: I will correct myself here, because I know that Carnie insists on processing the film he prints himself, for reasons of quality of output, which is probably making his life a lot easier).
    Last edited by Thomas Bertilsson; 10-09-2012 at 02:47 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #16
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    It is a wonderful journey, don't get me wrong, I'm both happy and proud about what I'm able to do, and a prospect of becoming even better.
    You have answered your own question.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  7. #17
    coigach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    ...
    Max is awesome. Never gives up. He is making a couple of plates for me currently, which I am extremely psyched about. Have seen the DPUG gallery uploads too, and I hope you can continue to hone your own gravure skills too, Gavin. They are so beautiful, a result of real hard labor and determination, blood sweat and tears, with results that often disappoint in the beginning. But when you nail it it'll be worth every penny and second spent to get there. In the future it's something I wish to do too. But I can't afford the copper version...
    Am sure you'll have prints to treasure.

    I've been working like a dog for 1 full studio day minimum per week since Feb on my plates - steep learning curve, and a very physical, 'hands on' process. Very good fun though - and the different inks and papers is a whole new world...! Have a small series I'm printing, hopefully will see the light of day early next year when I can get back in studio.

    Anyway, apologies for hijacking thread a little - back to the matter in hand

  8. #18

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    thomas

    while it is hard work what you are doing, you have to realize you are in a forest full of trees.
    sometimes you need to step back to gain a little perspective, and enjoy the ride on the way...

  9. #19

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    ...In the same boat Thomas. Always enjoyed looking at your photographs and hope one day to see the prints in person. I'm always glad to see your icon pop up in discussion, even if I disagree, because you contribute to the forum in a positive and meaningful way. I've even taken a couple points of advice from you and applied it to my own printing to only find improvement, even if just slight.

    What really opened me up to the printing world was working under a Master Printer from NYC. Even he was learning new things as I was there, though very small things, it was humbling to know that you will never get bored of printing and there's always room for "improvement", which truly makes it an art form.

    This thread has actually sparked an interest I've had for about a year to throw some money into an advanced print making workshop of some sort. I found that what I learned under one of the greats was something that would have taken me years to work on myself with books, internet and experimentation.

  10. #20
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    thomas

    while it is hard work what you are doing, you have to realize you are in a forest full of trees.
    sometimes you need to step back to gain a little perspective, and enjoy the ride on the way...
    Hi John,

    You speak the truth, brother. I am an extremely detail oriented person, and sometimes artfully miss the big picture because of it. For me, this is a lot harder to do than for most. Thanks for the reminder!

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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