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  1. #11

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    Sean,
    You might enjoy reading this:

    http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/Az...GID=9870&CID=7

  2. #12
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    Do you sometimes fight against the expected to achieve your own style?
    No.

    There are no rules - only guidelines to help you get started and advice from others and the experience of others so that you can achieve what you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I did some printing today and for a while felt like I was trying to achieve results that are following a set of rules. ..... I began altering the prints until "I" liked them and was happy with the result. .....
    Ask yourself this : who am I printing for ......... ?

    ..... and then print for that person.

  3. #13
    rst
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    Sean,

    I was in the very same situation when I did the prints for the last print exchange. I did a print with open shadows, trying to hold all those shadow detail. Then I realized that I do not like it that way, it just was not it. So I decided to print much darker and hurray, when I look at the print I just feel like being back at that place. So I think John put the only rule to follow when printing in the right words:

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bartley View Post
    ... Ask yourself this : who am I printing for ......... ?

    ..... and then print for that person.
    Regards
    -- Ruediger

  4. #14

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    Be yourself. Make prints that make YOU happy.

  5. #15
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    ... I was wondering if anyone else wrestles with these issues and their printing. ...
    I don't wrestle at all.

    I simply ignore all the basic rules, and go for a print that I like. If it ends up with blown-out highlights and impenetrable shadow areas, then that's just the way that picture wanted to be printed. Unless my wife disagrees - then it's back to square one. :rolleyes:
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  6. #16
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    The only thing I can add that hasn't been said yet is this: remember, many "critics" compare your work to someone else's vision too, usually one of the acknowledged greats. Then they belittle you for not seeing like Weston or whoever's vision they think they have assimilated as their own.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  7. #17

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    Some of the best advice I remember getting, from a skilled fine printer, was never to be afraid of letting shadows or parts of the photograph go to complete black, if that's what you wanted.

    Once you feel you've got a handle on how to fulfill all those 'rules' about tonal range (which in fact are not as widespread as we are sometimes led to believe, and not at odds with what I know as 'fine printing'), then you feel more confident about disregarding them. On the other hand, some people are able to do what they want from the beginning...

    Cate

  8. #18
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    Its like when you have a particular picture going for a particular look. If you did it every time the way it "should be" (ie: people telling you, oops you lost the shadow details, oops you blew the highlights, oops too high on contrast), then you'd get pretty boring shots after a while if you had to make them 'technically' correct each time.
    -Karl Blessing
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    The Bokeh
    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

  9. #19
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    I'm a firm believer in knowing the rules before trying to break them. You can't print a negative without developer, simple. But your choice of developer depends on your knowing what a developer does, in terms of science. To know your tools is to work your art. There have been and will continue to be great photographs made using D-76 and Dektol. Once you've exhausted D-76 and Dektol and reached the point where you recognize something is missing, you can then think maybe more Kbr or Glycin or Hydroquione or Pyro OR, maybe less?

    This also applies to paper in the easel. Before you can decide whether to expose for the highlights and dodge the shadows or expose for local contrast and burn/dodge accordingly you must go back to your original visualization.

    And when you know the rules then you can go off in your own private and personal world of making pictures that speak in a universal language.

    Les McLean refers to the Expressive Print. To achieve expression in a print you must know: A) What it is you want to express, and , B) Will the materials you choose be able to deliver it.

    You wouldn't expect a harsh developer to deliver a soft print.... or would you?

  10. #20
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    Sean
    "I did some printing today and for a while felt like I was trying to achieve results that are following a set of rules."
    This is an academic or analitical approach to the artistical problem. Many tryed but bad artists never "made it" using roles. However good guys broke all roles and produced work of art.

    "After making a few prints that were within the boundaries of a "fine print" I just didn't like the result,..."
    That is good news, and it is how it works. Just go on in the same way.
    www.Leica-R.com

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