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  1. #11

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    How do you look at a "picture" without looking at a print? A magazine reproduction, a smudge on a computer screen? A fine print conveys the
    image in a way something more casual or less skilled simply cannot. It's integral to its communication. One equals the other. I'd rather witness
    one real mountain lion in the wild than five in a zoo, or four hundred of em in a magazine spread, or a million of em on the web. Nuances count.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    How do you look at a "picture" without looking at a print? A magazine reproduction, a smudge on a computer screen? A fine print conveys the
    image in a way something more casual or less skilled simply cannot. It's integral to its communication. One equals the other. I'd rather witness
    one real mountain lion in the wild than five in a zoo, or four hundred of em in a magazine spread, or a million of em on the web. Nuances count.
    A photographic print is not an oil painting.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #13

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    But back to the original post ... different kinds of papers, developers, and printing technique yield different results under skilled hands. A sense of depth can be achieved composition-wise, as any student of art history or practice knows, but in terms of a flat two-dimensional surface, the feel of depth in the emulsion itself is determined by certain other variables of tonality, post-development toning, silver richness... on and on. Mastering these skills is one of the joys of working with high-quality true darkroom papers, especially with large-format negatives. I have yet to see anything ever done by typical inkjet printing which has an analogous visual feel, though I have seen certain reproductions using very expensive press techniques that simulate it. Inkjet has a different range of potential appeal, obviously off-topic here. What is "best" really depends on the skill of a particular printer relative to his chosen medium, which is just an inert tool kit otherwise.
    But yeah, get out and look at classic real prints. It becomes an epiphany for those who are accustomed to accumulating lard in front of a
    screen.

  4. #14

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    Rebuttal, Cliveh - a fine photographic print can be just as moving. Wish my aunt was still alive. She was the first twentieth-century American painter to have an oil painting purchased by a major European art museum, and would probably have regarded your kind of comment as
    extremely uninformed. ... and she had four phD's, including in art history, and still have dozens of murals on the Natl Historic Register. I believe
    this kind of argument was settled well over a century ago by people like Emerson, Stieglitz, and Strand. Ansel came a bit later. If it's just the
    "picture" that counts, and not the print, why not just download an image of his off your screen and see how much you can sell it for! I'll start
    the bidding with zero. Do I hear another zero? Going, going, gone! Sold for zero to the fine gentleman behind the laptop!

  5. #15
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    What is "best" really depends on the skill of a particular printer relative to his chosen medium, which is just an inert tool kit otherwise.
    Nothing to do with the original capture then?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    A photographic print is not an oil painting.
    Yes. But other than surface qualities that may be in an oil painting and to a lesser degree in a photographic print, I think they are similar. Seeing an original print hung in a gallery or museum as the object intended by the artist will often be a very different experience than getting the picture any other way (poster, book, internet) IMHO.

  7. #17

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    Monet might have pulled off a plein air painting in twenty minutes, Dali might slave over a canvas in the studio for months. "Different capture".
    I'm a format schizophrenic, and regard the "best" camera and film as the one I happen to be toting on any given day. But for exercise value as well as darkroom performance, I prefer 8x10. But I print 35mm film with just as much respect when that is part of my session. I take equal interest in color as well as black and white printing too, though never in the same session. Yes, I am strictly analog, but that doesn't mean I
    look down on digital prints if they are undertaken with an equivalent degree of dedication. Just different tools. But it's no secret that I like to
    make fun of the whole consumer electronics mentality, with it's fast/junk-food mentality to visual output, and all the "let it all hang out"
    Fauxtoshop abuses, typical of any adolescent self-conscious artistic media.

  8. #18
    David Brown's Avatar
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    David
    Taking pictures is easy. Making photographs is hard.

    http://www.behance.net/silverdarkroom
    http://silverdarkroom.wordpress.com

  9. #19

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    Nathan, I believe the quality you are describing in the Adams print may be Luminance. It is that glow, that shine in a high quality silver gelatin print that is very elusive. It is that quality that makes a print "sing". I have been aware of it for many years and chase it constantly. It it a quality that is not easy to produce. It is like that perfect golf swing that yields a great shot (maybe once a round) that brings you back to the golf course for another go at it. What is in that swing that makes it happen? Certainly the vision to "see" the picture, proper exposure and appropriate development, favorable lighting, the right contrast…….then lots of luck even after you have gotten adequate at the mechans.

    Cliveh, I believe you are way off base. The print is everything! The shot or picture itself is only one aspect of a great print.

  10. #20
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    I would suggest inkjet prints today (not what was possible 3 years ago) are as good if not better than darkroom prints.
    You may suggest it, but obviously you have never seen a top quality silver gelatin print alongside a really good digital print. I have friends who are literally in the forefront of digital photography who have stated at joint workshops that they could not produce prints to match mine, and I don't consider myself one of the best printers working today.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

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