It seems so simple, I'll try this. I think if I cut it out precisely, do a burn, then remove it and do another burn along the edge to help blend it, it'll work well. Seems really simple.
Originally Posted by resummerfield
I'm really thinking of getting some contrast / unsharp masking tools, it seems like a very straightforward approach and it could help alot of my negs.
I appreciate all of the responses. I was frustrated when I posted the original post but I'm having another go at the print. I actually sort of dread all that burning and dodging but it'd be nice to know I could do it better. If I ever make enough money from my photography, I'll be paying people to print for me...
I agree.... masking certainly helped me. Check Lynn Radeka's site for a book and info on masking kits and how to modify your enlarger.
Originally Posted by rjas
Other people's opinions
I find that for me other people's opinions, while really wonderful to hear (even the negative) don't really influence me that much one way or the other and it is better to just ignore them. If I'm being totally honest I would have to admit that the positive comments probably do as much or more harm than the negative - for myself anyway.
My wife, who I love and adore and who is one of the smartest people I know, cannot judge a picture of herself for beans. Anything that I took more than a year ago of her looks good to her because now she "looks so old" compared to then. (Note that this is a sliding scale - things I took of her a year ago that at the time she didn't like she likes now.) In general, I think that most people look at their portrait, compare it to the internal picture they hold of themself, and instantly judge it thereby. Aesthetics doesn't really come into play at all.
Something I've found with photographing the few families that I have is that there is almost always one person (usually a young female) that all of the others think is "photogenic" and always looks good in pictures. If you make a really spectacular portrait of this child they are underwhelmed. After all, the kid takes good pictures, so yours is nothing special. Get a semi-OK shot of a different sibling though (or of a parent), and you'll have thought that you worked a minor miracle.
I once made a portrait of a woman with her daughter in which I thought she looked damn good. I mean, it was an OK photo, but it really made her look good (and her daughter was OK as well.) As I was making the proof I thought to myself, "hey, at least she'll want to buy this one, she looks great." She almost rejected it. At the last minute she said "oh, I guess I'll go ahead and get a 5x7 of this one" and sort of gingerly moved it from the reject pile into the other. Modesty, arggh. She looked good in it and knew it, but couldn't bring herself to spend the extra money on something so vain. I should have shown it to the husband, but I never had the chance.
"I am an anarchist." - HCB
"I wanna be anarchist." - JR
A photograph is good or not You are the only judge. It is your work ultimately and made only for you. Other can like it or not. Tomorow they will change oppinion. Contacting other can just educate you to progress in some direction and change what and how you are doing.
Man, if you're not happy with your work, then why are ya doin it? (Except for the fabulous moolah!) I mean, you gotta be true to yourself. Ansel Adams came back to a negative years after originally made and did it totally different and wondered why he didn't do that from the start. So don't get down by the words of others. It's easy to criticize someone else's work if asked, because you may not be aware of the BS&T going into the work. Much harder for oneself. Also much more valuable. Be your own worst critic. We should all push ourselves to improve ourselves whenever possible.
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I WAS agreeing ... up to that last line. I would suggest that the goal is to be your own BEST critic - not worst.
Originally Posted by flash19901
Now I'll disagree - big time! "Pushing" can only lead to "overworking" ... and that is a bad thing in photography, driving in the winter, flycasting, or pencil sketching.
We should all push ourselves to improve ourselves whenever possible.
One must be "delicate", and let things flow.
I have *VIVID* memories of really TRYING!!! - *Pushing!!* in trying to make the **perfect** cast with a fly rod... complete with death grip, lots of arm strength and all. Not pretty. About as "pretty" as a severly overworked pencil sketch.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
It's a tricky one to answer - yes, you need to be your own best judge. No, you shouldn't pay undue attention to others and doubt yourself or put yourself under pressure.
but....listening to others can be instructive, and even if what they've got to say is not particularly welcome, it doesn't mean it's not useful.
The key is - do you like the way the print is, is that what you wanted, or did you want something diffferent but ended up with it like that because you didn't know how to achieve what you wanted?
I have prints from years ago that I was delighted with at the time, and now I look at them and ...well, I know that I have moved on. In the same way, often with negs I leave it for a few months before printing, because I'm too close the work to decide which ones I really like. Prints also get left frequently for a period, and when I go back to them, I know if they have worked or not.
You'll know the answer to this one if you put a print away, and bring it out again later when you can see it objectively.
What other photographers bring to the table is critique that is generally technical in nature. What the subject brings is something else all together.
You as a photographer have to decide what, if anything you wish to have influence your thinking about your work. The halo effect is generally a sign of incompetent (not competent) work and it sounds like once it was pointed out to you, you realized that it probably was substandard.
So what do you do about it? Well you can do nothing, and say you like it that way, or you can learn how to deal with it.
Because in the end whether we admit it or not, we all wished to be appreciated by not only the great unwashed public but also by our peers as well. And the fact is, that the public or your subject usually knows nothing about the craft and only what strikes them about a picture. You as a photographer owe it to youself to advance in your craft.
However if you are satisfied with the picture (which it doesn't sound like you are) then leave it be.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
I don't recall exactly, but I don't think you stated whether or not you solicited the other photographer's opinion. If you did, then it seems to me you should attend to the point of his crituque unless you actually wanted to have the halo in the print. As said so often above, only you are the final arbiter of your own work, but if you don't seek critiques and then develop the techniques you need to be a better printer, you'll obviously remain at your current level until you do.
Soliciting a critique should never be construed as an expressed intent to act upon the criticism. I've been soliciting feedback in another thread for a website design. It's been valuable but I haven't changed everything someone suggested that I should...nor did I ever expect that I would.
Originally Posted by jovo