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  1. #11
    dr bob's Avatar
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    I have seen images which use grain to advantage. That is, the image is enhanced, to me at least, by the presence of visible grain. Then there are some images, some very recent on APUG, which have extremely smooth tonation and in which grain would be a distraction and therefore objectionable to me. Please note. "...to me". In the latest edition of PT there is an article on wedding photography rendering photos having nothing but grain which I find bad at best. Don't know what "they" are coming to.... I cancelled my subscription last year but am still receiving issues. I hope "they" don't expect me to pay for them.

    I try to limit grain. I have never consciously attempted to include it. However, most times when it has occurred, I live with it.
    I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
    Truly, dr bob.

  2. #12
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    Special occasions not whistanding, I like tiny grain (35mm, 10X enlargements as my standard).
    But I will never sacrifice sharpness for lack of grain (as, for instance, with full strenght Microdol-X).

    So, I'm always looking for the 'right' balance between the two.

    Jorge O
    Curitiba - nice place to live, if you don't care about the weather...

  3. #13

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    The incorporation of grain into an image is no different then the use of different brush techniques or texture of the paint when applied using oils and acrylics.

    Grain is just another tool of expression available to the photographer and is often maligned by the F64/ Ansel Adams crowd. But it is one of those characteristics that is unique to the medium and the the right hands produces stunning results. Ralph Gibson is the true master of grain, using the classic combo of Rodinal and TriX for his images from the 70s-early 90s.
    Bill Brandt, (one of my favorites) used grain to great effect and a great number of Robert Frank's images from the Americans have significant grain. And also as Jorge mentioned Eddie Ephramus and Les both use grain in many images to produce beautiful work.

    By the way, any idea why grain seems to be a much more prevalent tool in the UK and Europe?
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  4. #14
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterC
    Sorry Ed, I am not trying to put words in anyone's mouth but it is probably one of the safer bets you could make to suggest that noticeable grain is virtually an essential for monochrome work on this side of the pond.
    Oh. "Essential" to whom?

    I recently won "Best in Show" for a nude photograph that I had submitted to a filed of "Marshes" (we have many of those around here), "Boats" and "Fruit".There were two (2) nudes in a show of 174 works - both mine.

    Who said it ... "If you really want to be successful, investigate, and find out what everyone else is doing - and DON'T do that."

    I remember now ... it was J. Paul Getty.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #15
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Jim68134]
    By the way, any idea why grain seems to be a much more prevalent tool in the UK and Europe?


    Perhaps there are more photographers in the USA using large format, and that, together with the Ansel Adams example of large prints showing fine detail and no grain is the reason. Certainly, whenever I've photographed or lead workshops in the landscape in the US I've noticed that most photographers tend to use large format. I remember many years ago using some out of date 4 x 5 Royal X Pan that produced some quite beautiful grain, wish it were still available........

  6. #16
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    Oh. "Essential" to whom?
    Ed, PeterC said "...on this side of the pond."

    Since he also mentioned the weather on Anglesey, I assume he's on my side of the pond - in Europe, that is.

    And he's right - European photography seems to be a lot grainier than (US)American!

    Les McLean is probably right in that LF seems to be more prevalent in the USA. Possibly due to the influence of Ansel Adams, or maybe it's a continuation of whatever made AS photographers continue to make daguerrotypes for decades after they disappeared in Europe?
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  7. #17
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    In broad terms, I think large format is pretty much on the margins in the U.S., but it does seem to be the medium of choice in the fine art field, probably more due to Fred Picker who really produced a major large format revival with his Zone VI camera and newsletter than Ansel Adams who perhaps inspired it in other ways.

  8. #18

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    Well that certainly opened up a few opinions and thank you to all for the comments. As most things photographic, it seems that there are as many styles and approaches as there are photographers.
    Essentially, none of us are right and none of us wrong it is simply each to his own.

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