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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anscojohn View Post
    Increasing the amount of borax is in most EK formulary. For the Minimata negs he used D76, 2:1 with water. I think this gets the chemistry he used to about Ansco 47, but don't hold me feet to that statement. Might be ansco 42?.
    And he always insisted on a dollop of old developer "to take the edge off the grain."
    yes, that info is pretty much confirmed by the "darkroom" article.
    but what does the EK stand for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Hardy-Vallée View Post
    If you don't like to smoke like Eugene, you can also take amphetamines by the bucket and work six days in a row with minimal sleep....
    i've recently seen the bit on w.e.smith in the "the genius of photography" documentary. it sounds like he was an intense personality, to say the least...

    and what a nice story, bob. i don't think i would ever had let go of that camera.

  2. #12

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    EK = Eastman Kodak

  3. #13
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    You might try contacting Fred De Van, who knew him. From Fred's Unblinkingeye article on Harvey's 777:

    "W. Eugene Smith and I would make sure our friendly competitors never discovered our secret sauce by giving them 16 oz out of a "ripened" 3 1/2 gal tank of 777."

    Fred has occasionally participated on this forum. I think he's PM'able if not emailable.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    There is an article on W. Eugene Smith that discusses his use of local print bleaching in a special issue of _Photo Techniques_ called something like "Mastering the Art of Fine B&W Printing." I think it was special issue #10, but my copy is in storage at the moment, so I can't look it up to be positive.

    Ferricyanide bleaching will bleach highlights faster than shadows, so if you've got a shadow area that's generally too dark, but has some highlight detail, bleaching will bring up that highlight detail and make the shadows seem more open, but if there isn't some tonal separation in the shadows to begin with, then bleaching won't help as much.
    i only found this on the "photo techniques" site:
    1995 Vol. 16, No. 6: Jim Hughes on W. Eugene Smith/Dignan NCF-41 / Medium Format

    my biggest problem with the ferricyanide is avoiding streaks and to decide whether to use it mixed with the fixer or pure. smith recommended using it with the fixer or mixing fixer and ferri on the print surface.
    also i lack consistency in using the bleach, it's either too strong or too dilute and having to throw out print after print because of overbleaching or visible borders depresses me too much over time.
    i once mixed up a 10% stock solution for consistency reasons, but it didn't keep for long.


    Quote Originally Posted by marcmarc View Post
    If you live live in a major city as I do (LA),
    unfortunately not, i live in the middle of nowhere in europe. nothing available in libraries at all. according to amazon almost all of his books are not available too (except the pittsburgh one). i'll have to count on luck and ebay to find anything at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Hardy-Vallée View Post
    The only contribution I can make here: Kentmere makes a graded bromide paper available grade 2-4, so if that's what you wanted, you could get it pretty easily.
    thanks for your input. i'm not really planing to/ daring to go after his look. it was more of a hypothetical question. i just think his work is very inspiring and i got the impression that smith was rather open to sharing his knowledge, so some discussion about it could be interesting and fruitful.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by phritz phantom View Post
    i only found this on the "photo techniques" site:
    1995 Vol. 16, No. 6: Jim Hughes on W. Eugene Smith/Dignan NCF-41 / Medium Format

    my biggest problem with the ferricyanide is avoiding streaks and to decide whether to use it mixed with the fixer or pure. smith recommended using it with the fixer or mixing fixer and ferri on the print surface.
    phritz,

    I prefer to use ferri without fixer. Also the key to avoiding streaking using feri with or without fixer is to use a water hose that streams water onto the print underneath the area you want to work on. Also plan on using a very dilute mixture of ferri. Bruce Barnbaum is the master bleacher these days.

    Practice makes perfect but that also means some wasted paper.

    Before you whip out the ferri make the best print you can and start from there.

    Ferri can be applied locally or to an entire print. Don't rub the print, let the ferri bleach the print chemically. Work slowly and keep the water hose handy.
    Don Bryant

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by donbga View Post
    phritz,

    I prefer to use ferri without fixer.
    thanks, i have the darkroom manual from barnbaum. a very, very comprehensive book.
    do you add the bromide or not? maybe being able to re-develop after having gone too far with the bleach sounds very convenient to me.

  7. #17
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phritz phantom View Post
    yes, that info is pretty much confirmed by the "darkroom" article.
    but what does the EK stand for?


    i've recently seen the bit on w.e.smith in the "the genius of photography" documentary. it sounds like he was an intense personality, to say the least...

    and what a nice story, bob. i don't think i would ever had let go of that camera.
    Over the summer, I met my husband's distant cousin who, I found out in the course of conversation, lived in one of the flats of the apartment building in NYC where Gene Smith, Thelonious Monk, and the other greats used to hang out. Too much to type out here, but if you want to read the whole story, it's on my blog at http://photodino.wordpress.com.

    - CJ

  8. #18
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phritz phantom View Post
    thanks, i have the darkroom manual from barnbaum. a very, very comprehensive book.
    do you add the bromide or not? maybe being able to re-develop after having gone too far with the bleach sounds very convenient to me.
    phritz,

    No bromide. If you bleach too far trash the print and start over.
    Don Bryant

  9. #19
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    I'm completely unfamiliar with the man. What is he known for? Portraits? Nudes? Still lifes? Landscapes? Street photography? Commercial photography? Was he stylistically a modernist?
    Charles Hohenstein

  10. #20
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chazzy View Post
    I'm completely unfamiliar with the man. What is he known for? Portraits? Nudes? Still lifes? Landscapes? Street photography? Commercial photography? Was he stylistically a modernist?
    I think you'll recognize at least two of the photographs on this page--

    http://www.leegallery.com/smith.html
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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