thanks I thought I was remembering correctly. I did that when the wife was not at home to do my tests for the different papers. No telling how much trouble I would have been in if she knew I had used HER microwave for photo testing. hehehe
If I accidentally spilled a cup of coffee on a washed portrait image & discovered I liked its effect, is this a case of fortuitious accident or more a reflection on my not having learned various toning techniques? You can discover new techniqes, as with Man Ray example, in order to work at the edges of a medium; or you can work well within the medium's limitations. A posture of naivette may only result in repeating past failures, whereas a knowledge of existing techniques may enable you to transcend them. Creativity without knowledge is a crapshoot (and I shoot enough crap already).
I use a dry down factor when making prints and can confirm that it does not change with the method of drying. What does change on some papers is the print colour, it usually is warmer (in colour not temperature!) when dried quickly in the microwave.
Whoo .. did this get complicated. Ansel went to his kitchen with a newly made, wet print. He tore the print in two .. saying it was too large to fit in the microwave .. placed it in the oven, set the thing off (one minute on "high" .. or something like that), took it out, said that it "looked good", and returned to his darkroom to make another, final print.
Adams was a "fine" printer -- I have absolutely *no* doubt about that, but I have to wonder if he was so super-methodical as some people imagine him to be.
There is one sequence where he exposes film in a polaroid back, neglecting to remove the lens cap. He pulled the print, waited, stripped it... and found a completely black image. "Well", he said, "This is an example of Zone X"...
Interesting tape ... Georgia O'Keeffe provides some of the narrative.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
As I recall, in Adams' book The Print he addresses the dry down effect. This was related as based upon his experience of relying on his assessment of a number of prints that he printed one evening. He left them to dry overnight thinking they were properly printed. He found the values depressed in the morning after they had dried.
I imagine that this was a lesson that he remembered, certainly had remembered to include it in his text. I would think that he was fairly methodical in his efforts. Certainly was methodical about his "emergence factor" as an attempt to achieve similar printing results in consideration of developer temp fluctuations and depletion. Did these experiences make him more methodical? Who knows...he certainly is not present to say one way or the other.
Based on Ed's recounting of the non-exposure of the Polaroid material Ansel certainly appears to be not consistant since that would have been Zone 0 rather then Zone X.
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OOPS!!! Well, it just goes to show ya` ... Nobody's perfect.
Originally Posted by dnmilikan
I use a lot of roll film, and the development of individual frames has not been of primary concern. I DO remember that IV, V, and VI are somewhere in the middle....
Whether Ansel Adams reduced all of his experiences with "dry down" to some sort of photographic equation - I don't know. He didn't appear to be too concerned.
I'm only recounting what was on the tape. He used the microwave as a time saver. I don't..., I'll usually wait until the print is air dried.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Abstracton #26 has been on the Critique Gallery for a couple of days now. It is -- or another scan of it -- has been in my "Personal Gallery" for some time.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
This was the result of a number of "errors":
First ... I don't remember the pose at all. I think the model was "flipping" her hair back. I do remember that at the beginning of the session, as I was doing something with the lighting set up... I fired the DynaLites "accidentally" ... somewhere about ten inches in front of my face. Oooo!! Watch the bouncing blue spot (virtual). I think I may " have tripped the shutter while I was at it.
Second... In processing the film, I mis-loaded the film into the JOBO tank, so that part of emulsion was in contact some of the backing in the spiral. Not good - *very* uneven development.
Third ... After I had seen the contact sheet image -- something "worked" and I decided to print on 11"x 14" Ilford MG Portfolio. I happened to get the *one* sheet left in my paper safe ... with the door closed incorrectly ... therefore - light-struck.
After all this, I walked upstairs from my darkroom, and asked my daughter, who was eating lunch, to "give me a number" - she replied "Twenty-six", hence the title "Abstraction #26".
Certainly NOT the product of "error-free", intelligent, "expert" photography .. but it IS the product of MY hands, and I claim it as my work.
I cite all this NOT as an advice to be an ignorant klutz ... although I think we all fit that description, for time to time ... but I would suggest that there are NO genuine "mistakes" in art.
If anyone is familiar with Freud's Psychopathology of Everyday Life, he proposes that there are NO genuine errors, that everything we do, in one way or another is subjected to STRONG influences from our "pre-conscious".
I'm fairly sure there was a LOT of that in this instance.
Over the years, I have learned to be "slow" in labelling any image that I make as a "failure"... at times, I cannot easily recognize the elements provided to me from my own "spirit" ... (or "pre-conscious", or "being" ...), after all that IS a prerequisite to being "pre-conscious."
There certainly were a number of points where I would have thrown out this image, at the beginning ..., most notably, immediately after taking the top off the tank, and realizing the misloading.
One thing I try to teach is the idea of "lightness". We have one indication of having truly learned something ... when we no longer have to "think" about it ... and we know we have "mastered" it when we can no longer remember how we learned to do it in the first place.
"Lightness" ... The best example I can think of here is the beginning Fly Caster. They *TRY* so hard ..., and that excess effort is itself detrimental to the learning process. Once a few muscle-memory feedbacks occur ... the wrist relaxes when it *should*, there is an understanding of timing ..and smoothness .... and the way things "flow".
Possibly Flycasting in not well understood ... a better example might be driving an automobile ... How many can drive well with a white-knuckle "Death Grip" on the steering wheel?
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Like all other arts, photography involves a set of skills that must be learned in order to produce a viable piece of work. I learned the darkroom entirely from my own experimenting originally (before doing bachelor's and master's degrees at Brooks Institute) and made horrible mistakes along the way. To this day, however, I believe the first few rolls of film I shot in England before I know anything about photography were some of my strongest work. I was presented with a subject I found compelling and reacted without any technique to get in the way.
That being said, many of those images were also so technically flawed as to be unusable. At this point I would know how to handle those situations and would have made photos that were more satisfying as final images. In some ways I feel that I have been overcoming my technique since I graduated from photo school and trying to recapture my beginners eye and appoach to my work. I feel that I have started to make progress in the last few years.
I see this issue every day as I teach at the Art Institute. Students walk a fine line between talent and technique and I watch them form as artists as they find a balance. Clearly, what makes a photographer great is finding this balance. Adams, Weston, Eugene Smith, Uelsmann — the list goes on and on; these are people who had a great vision of the world and brought it to life through superior technique. People who try to skip the learning process eventually end up falling apart as they try to create work for which they are not prepared.
The Japanese approach caligraphy by meditating, then losing themselves in the moment and the stroke. I believe photography must be like this. Whatever level of technique has been achieved must be left behind at the creative moment. One cannont make love well simply by reading about it in the Kama Sutra and mimicking technique. Photography is the same.
<<<One cannont make love well simply by reading about it in the Kama Sutra and mimicking technique. Photography is the same.>>>
I like this analogy much better than mine. I always say that learning about the technical issues in photography is like learning how to play first base in baseball. You can read all you want, but at some point you are gonna have to put on cleats and grab a glove and let someone throw a ball at you. Photography is a DO thing. You gotta DO it. Like Nike said, "Just do it."
edited because I cannot spell.
I'm kind of curious about the data that you use to back up this assertion.
Originally Posted by ThomHarrop