Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,536   Posts: 1,544,110   Online: 984
      
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 37
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    213

    w. eugene smith and his technique

    being a huge fan of the pictures and technique of w.eugene smith, i browsed through the archives of apug to find out a little more about his way of work. but surprisingly i didn't find much.

    since he's considered one of the top printers of photography, i'd really like to find out more about his technique. i've read his part in the "darkroom" series many times. are there any other books on him recommendable?
    i'd really like to read a good biography about him, especially with some info on his photographic work. i've been looking for " photography made difficult" for a long time now, but it seems to be unavailable around here.

    the one thing i'm wondering about the most is whether he really used "d76 with ten times the normal amount of borax of kodalk"?
    this would call for 20gr of borax as opposed to 2gr in the original formula (this source: here ) or maybe he meant the replenisher? but he was probably going for a more active developer for his high contrast images (maybe more shadow detail too).
    other sources say he used harvey's 777.

    what photopaper would one use today if one wanted to go after his look? cold tone graded paper (grade 3 or 4?)? most likely not even available anymore. in "darkroom" he says the paper is polycontrast-f.

    i'm also wondering about his his extensive use of pot.ferricyanide. for me it get the most use out of it with underdeveloped negatives, to push the highlights and upper midtones into position, or occasionally to enhance local contrast. but to really "open up the shadows" like he claims to, i could never really get that to work for me.

    also i think i remember that he used to mount his pictures on black cardboard.

    it would be very nice if someone could give me a few pointers for some good reading, and if people here used this thread to share some of their knowledge on this photographer - certainly useful to others too, since there seems to be no other thread focusing on his printing techniques - well, i wouldn't mind that too.
    this was a pretty good read, i discovered while searching around, but probably old news to most people:
    nyt times article
    were his asstants and co-workers (if he had any) ever interviewed about their work?

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    17,284
    Images
    20
    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.
    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

  3. #3
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Montréal (QC)
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,351
    Images
    132
    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.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    258
    Images
    29
    If you live live in a major city as I do (LA), your local libraries should have something on Smith. There are a number of excellent books out there about him. From what I can recall, he employed any means necessary to get the image he wanted including cropping, setting up lights in a particular area etc. I also recall he stated once that he over exposes a couple stops. "I may have to burn in parts of the print, but I have all the shadow detail I want" he stated or something to that effect. If I'm correct his archives are at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. They may be of some help to you there.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    588
    "Lo único de lo que el mundo no se cansará nunca es de exageración." Salvador Dalí

  6. #6
    Curt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,551
    Images
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by phritz phantom View Post
    being a huge fan of the pictures and technique of w.Eugene smith, i browsed through the archives of APUG to find out a little more about his way of work. but surprisingly i didn't find much.

    since he's considered one of the top printers of photography, I'd really like to find out more about his technique. I've read his part in the "darkroom" series many times. are there any other books on him recommendable?
    I'd really like to read a good biography about him, especially with some info on his photographic work. I've been looking for " photography made difficult" for a long time now, but it seems to be unavailable around here.

    the one thing I'm wondering about the most is whether he really used "d76 with ten times the normal amount of borax of kodalk"?
    this would call for Gr of borax as opposed to Gr in the original formula (this source: here ) or maybe he meant the replenisher? but he was probably going for a more active developer for his high contrast images (maybe more shadow detail too).
    other sources say he used Harvey's 777.

    what photo paper would one use today if one wanted to go after his look? cold tone graded paper (grade 3 or 4?)? most likely not even available anymore. in "darkroom" he says the paper is polycontrast-f.

    I'm also wondering about his his extensive use of pot.ferricyanide. for me it get the most use out of it with underdeveloped negatives, to push the highlights and upper midtones into position, or occasionally to enhance local contrast. but to really "open up the shadows" like he claims to, i could never really get that to work for me.

    also i think i remember that he used to mount his pictures on black cardboard.

    it would be very nice if someone could give me a few pointers for some good reading, and if people here used this thread to share some of their knowledge on this photographer - certainly useful to others too, since there seems to be no other thread focusing on his printing techniques - well, i wouldn't mind that too.
    this was a pretty good read, i discovered while searching around, but probably old news to most people:
    nyt times article
    were his assistants and co-workers (if he had any) ever interviewed about their work?

    He is not talked about much but I would spend hours studying his photograph in college and he is a great.

    On the printing side I read once that he smoked heavily and in the darkroom when he printed he would blow a heavy puff of smoke under the lens. I don't know what effect this has on the print but smoking causes cancer and I don't smoke. I don't have a favorite photo of his, they are all great.

    Curt
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  7. #7
    Anscojohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    2,727
    Images
    13
    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."
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    17,284
    Images
    20
    He was also known for having a small B&W television with a red safelight filter over the screen in his darkroom. Always good to stay on top of the news, I guess.
    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

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,067
    I may have told this story before, if so I apologize but at my age "repeatability" means more than consistent print values.

    When I had my small photo store / studio a lady came in one day with a Rollieflex ff2.8 which needed attention - a really good CLA. She knew little about the camera but realized it was a valuable piece of equipment. When she picked it up she told me that she's been given this camera in New York back in the sixties by a professional photographer who used to travel all the time. Apparently this photographer did a lot of work for Life Magazine. She told me his name was Gene something-or-other. "Gene Smith? " I asked. "W. Eugene Smith?" "Yes that's him." she told me. "He told me he was famous but I didn't believe him." It was then that I realized that I held in my hands one of W. Eugene Smith's Rollies !! Kind of amazing for me !

    On her way out of the door the lady turned to me and said: "I won't tell you what he wanted for this camera - but I will tell you he didn't get it! t least not from me!!""

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  10. #10
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Montréal (QC)
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,351
    Images
    132
    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....
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin