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  1. #31
    Pfiltz's Avatar
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    I think printing for me, will be like golf.
    It cannot be won.
    Just enjoyed.
    Go to the light......

    www.keepsakephotography.us

  2. #32
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasT View Post
    Thomas I like what you write and it makes me reflect about myself. I like your approach about technical stuff. If I understand it correctly you like to keep it simple. Not too gadget based, not too much film and developer based etc..
    I have read a few of your other posts and except for your print obsession I think you are on a healthy way. It is a good obsession to have in photograhy.
    Rather than being obsessed about films, developers cameras and so on. They distract from what is important. Making a good print, getting real good at that is in my opinion the best balance.
    Print making and taking the photo is the emotional part of photography, that is where the soul lies. The other stuff is important but takes up too much time energy and kills your imagination.
    I noticed this when I became very technically orientated a few years back, my skills went down the drain. I saw nothing anymore and my emotions went dead. As a result my print making got worse and worse. Now I don't care much about that sort of thing the old magic is coming back. What I also noticed when working in a lab for seven years we had a lot of trainees.
    In general the guys were very techniacal and the giels were well very untechnical.
    The girls however tended to have the better photographic ideas, they just had a problem with converting their ideas because of the lack of knowledge which the guys had. However at the end of the day I found they were also the better printers. They didn't blind themselves with unimportant dead things. This is just my point of view and I may be wrong.
    Redoing a print again after time shows in part how we evolve and change. That is exciting. That is why I find limited editions bogus. As an artist or photographer you should be allowed to grow with your work and change it as often as you like.
    By the by I like what I have seen of your work and I think there is nothing to worry about.
    I hope this makes sence, I am tired and it is late here.
    Andreas, thank you for sharing your experience with us. We certainly get hung up on technicalities don't we?
    While I understand and respect that there are those who really enjoy that aspect of photography too, to me I like to know my materials well enough where they are not an obstacle anymore, but simply naturally molds into my work flow. All important shots are done with either a Hasselblad 500 or Pentax/Leica 35mm. Tri-X film, for as long as I can purchase it. I do this so that I know what to expect from the negatives, and that's the most important piece to me; when I know what to expect I can stop thinking about the intermediaries, and focus on whatever's in front of the camera, knowing I have a good negative to work with, and then in the darkroom I don't have to fight a negative with too low or too high contrast, poor shadow detail, or density that I can't shine through with the enlarger.
    "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. #33
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    There is always something out there to learn. I think any serious artist should be relentless that way, whether the art is a hobby or a profession.
    Thanks, Michael. My own struggle has been to find a good balance between when it's a good time to learn new things, to experiment, and when it's a good time to just 'do'. It's the latter part that has suffered mostly, where I still don't have any of my major projects printed up as a portfolio, after all these years, because I've been a little bit obsessive with the quality of my prints, and not focusing enough on just getting things done. It's a hell of a balance act, if you ask me. Some do it naturally and just print away. I am so easily distracted that I have to force myself to get into the groove of printing.
    I sometimes feel like somebody needs to lock me into the darkroom for a few days, find a way to feed me, and provide me with nothing but the same paper and developer once in a while, and basically send me one negative at a time. That's the sort of mental rigor I need to get anywhere, because there is always this 'what if' thing banging around behind the frontal lobe...

    Thanks very much for sharing your impression.
    "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. #34
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pfiltz View Post
    I think printing for me, will be like golf.
    It cannot be won.
    Just enjoyed.
    Don't you feel the need to enjoy the rush of a birdie, or even an eagle, once in a while?
    Perhaps it's a personality thing. I'm sometimes very competitive and can't let things rest where they're at.
    "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

  5. #35
    Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    .. and then in the darkroom I don't have to fight a negative with too low or too high contrast, poor shadow detail, or density that I can't shine through with the enlarger.
    One of my best images is from the first roll of Konica IR I shot. I had guessed on the exposure, and so overexposed the film. It's a beautiful shot of a small, high waterfall surrounded by trees in a narrow canyon. (Washington, Hwy 20, just before the Diablo Dam there's a scenic turnout on either side of a steel bridge.) The water was right, the light was really good, and a small tree (now slid off) was growing on a little bluff. The negative is "thick as a brick," but it's all I have.

    I love infrared, and getting a "perfect" negative is something that I just don't try to do with it. I just try to get something on the film, and then work with it.

  6. #36
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    One of my best images is from the first roll of Konica IR I shot. I had guessed on the exposure, and so overexposed the film. It's a beautiful shot of a small, high waterfall surrounded by trees in a narrow canyon. (Washington, Hwy 20, just before the Diablo Dam there's a scenic turnout on either side of a steel bridge.) The water was right, the light was really good, and a small tree (now slid off) was growing on a little bluff. The negative is "thick as a brick," but it's all I have.

    I love infrared, and getting a "perfect" negative is something that I just don't try to do with it. I just try to get something on the film, and then work with it.
    I understand. I screw up once in a while, and understand about negatives we made when we began. Some of the pictures want to be printed anyway and there's nothing we can do but print it anyway.

    One strong motivation for me, in aiming to come up with negatives that are tailored to the paper/developer tonality is that the darkroom waste is significantly less, and honestly, today I'm grateful when waste is minimal, because of how expensive paper is, and how much frustration is avoided, but also because of being careful with natural resources.
    I also feel that when I work with imperfect negatives I use all of the latitude available in my paper to 'save' the print, while with a negative that prints well at medium contrast 'out of the box' so to speak, I have all that latitude to be creative with.
    But eventually it comes down to making something out of what's available to us, and some things we can't control for sure. I'm sure that by now you've mastered how to create something interesting from that negative.
    "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

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Thanks, Michael. My own struggle has been to find a good balance between when it's a good time to learn new things, to experiment, and when it's a good time to just 'do'.
    I'd say I am about 15% experimentation and 85% doing, once the former invades the latter to more than 25% of the total, I put is aside and move on to what continues to work. For example, I am 100% productive at shooting and printing from medium format, I can count on it, have my systems down. But getting a clean neg from large format has proven incredibly hard, so in the 7 months I have used the format, I have been far less productive with it than medium format....the during exposure dust is killing it for me.

    So I am still experimenting with LF, not shooting bodies of work like I prefer and I just don't like that at all..

  8. #38
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    I'd say I am about 15% experimentation and 85% doing, once the former invades the latter to more than 25% of the total, I put is aside and move on to what continues to work. For example, I am 100% productive at shooting and printing from medium format, I can count on it, have my systems down. But getting a clean neg from large format has proven incredibly hard, so in the 7 months I have used the format, I have been far less productive with it than medium format....the during exposure dust is killing it for me.

    So I am still experimenting with LF, not shooting bodies of work like I prefer and I just don't like that at all..
    Your reasoning is exactly why I'm not happy about large format either, Dan, unless I'm making contact prints, in which case I can deal with the dust. In my prints I could recognize superior tonal gradation from sheet film, but the sacrifices I had to make in terms of speed of setting something up, or changing something due to changing conditions, as well as the dust issues, I felt it completely stifled my creativity to where I lost all the joy I felt shooting 35mm and medium format. So I axed the 4x5 and found the joy again. Now I have an old Century #2 5x7 which I occasionally use to make contact prints, and that has brought the joy back. But immediately when I start enlarging those sheets I start to see all the work I have to do with knifing and spotting a single print... Never again.
    "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

  9. #39
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    This week I am re printing portfolio image to be sent west.
    I finally figured out how to nail it at least for now. I have been using a time temp method, for my solarizations
    and glossy paper. then toning and not using blue.

    Today I am pulling the print in the second developer when I feel its right a bit of lith experience helps here, using a dead matte paper, and horrors of horrors, I have figured out how to apply the blue over the sepia.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Your reasoning is exactly why I'm not happy about large format either, Dan, unless I'm making contact prints, in which case I can deal with the dust. In my prints I could recognize superior tonal gradation from sheet film, but the sacrifices I had to make in terms of speed of setting something up, or changing something due to changing conditions, as well as the dust issues, I felt it completely stifled my creativity to where I lost all the joy I felt shooting 35mm and medium format. So I axed the 4x5 and found the joy again. Now I have an old Century #2 5x7 which I occasionally use to make contact prints, and that has brought the joy back. But immediately when I start enlarging those sheets I start to see all the work I have to do with knifing and spotting a single print... Never again.
    I am going to stick with it for a bit more, it has a lot of potential and even at 20x24 it seems like things only just start opening up. If anything, I might punt the 4x5 holder part and just do 6x12 backs which have been dustless thus far and I love the aspect ratio...

    Even though we are occasionally taken aback by the sight of a beautiful woman, we are best paired with one for the rest of our lives...:-)

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