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  1. #1
    Sean's Avatar
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    Do you sometimes fight against the expected to achieve your own style?

    I did some printing today and for a while felt like I was trying to achieve results that are following a set of rules. After making a few prints that were within the boundaries of a "fine print" I just didn't like the result, it felt as if I were trying to convey someone else's emotions other than my own by forcing myself to stick to the expected techniques of fine printing. Shortly after this I began altering the prints until "I" liked them and was happy with the result. In my one example I started with adequate detail in the shadows up to the highlights. In the end I gave up the shadows and increased contrast to alter the feel of the image by making it more broody and edgy. I was wondering if anyone else wrestles with these issues and their printing. I'll post my example in the morning when it's dry.

    Sean

  2. #2
    roteague's Avatar
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    Good thoughts Sean. Sometimes, it takes years to learn what our individual style really is. Listen to what others suggest, but in the end, realize it is all about your own vision, and no one else's. Best of luck.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  3. #3
    Curt's Avatar
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    A teacher once told me to quit worrying about what a photo should be and make it the way you feel it should be. Is that what you mean? It can be a struggle, especially when viewing so many photographs of others.

  4. #4
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    We are each bound to be influenced by the work of others, and can easily end up feeling forced into an uncomfortable rut. Some have the confidence to breakout and find their own direction, others continue to use old tripod holes; we each have a choice.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  5. #5
    Sean's Avatar
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    It's probably due to me now shooting 8x10 and feeling I should be doing it a certain way. I'm now re-evaluating my goals and what I'm after on this new journey..

  6. #6
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    Sean- what others have said - you need to make the image be what IT wants/needs to be, not some preconceived notion of what some rule says it should be. Sometimes a perceived "flaw" in a negative turns out to be just the ticket to pushing your work in a creative direction, and lets you exploit the "flaw" for a more creative and expressive result. Same with prints. I have an image that when I printed it "best", it looked to light, and cheery. It needed to be printed down, to give it a sense of impending gloom, and then it made perfect sense in the series of images I was making.

  7. #7
    eddym's Avatar
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    Yes, sometimes we get so involved in meeting all the technical requirements of a fine print that we end up making a picture that speaks eloquently, but says absolutely nothing.
    Hmmm... sounds like some politicians I know of...
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  8. #8
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Always go with your gut! If it doesn't feel quite right to you, it will NEVER feel right. Even if it is technically and aesthetically fine. Everytime you look at it, it will bother you!

    Looking forward to seeing your photograph, Sean.

  9. #9
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    ... After making a few prints that were within the boundaries of a "fine print" I just didn't like the result, it felt as if I were trying to convey someone else's emotions other than my own by forcing myself to stick to the expected techniques of fine printing. Shortly after this I began altering the prints until "I" liked them and was happy with the result. ... I was wondering if anyone else wrestles with these issues and their printing...
    (With apologies for extensive clipping)

    I don't "wrestle" with the rules any more. I'm sure they have some effect from somewhere within "me", but I print to where *I* am satisfied with the result (sort of - something like that - can easily be confused with the realization that it is time to stop and move on).

    My "best" work - and this is an evaluation made by others over time - is invariably the work that I have done that I like most.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  10. #10
    wfe
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    I think one of the best things here is that Sean is back in the darkroom.

    I can only echo what the others have said. I try not to think about any rules when printing and just let it flow. Yeah there are times when I have a specific goal in mind but many times in trying to achieve it some happy accident happens and I end up with something different that I like. Ithink the important thing is to continue to do "your" work and print then print some more and then print some more.....

    Cheers,
    Bill
    ~Bill
    "Real Art is a Thin Breath Exhaled Amidst a Struggle in the Mind"
    Fine Art and Portraits

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