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Thread: Masters

  1. #71
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Vandalay
    I agree with this to a certain extent, but I don't see it as the overriding issue in photography in general - you can't always spend an hour on each photo and if you are using roll film you have to settle for some work in the darkroom, or not take photos that depend on shadow detail carrying it.
    I would just add that setting an exposure and determining negative development time at the time when the image is made is not a tedious nor time consuming process in LF work. I know you didn't mean an hour literally, but I have a lot of experience with roll film and LF work to know the difference. I actually spend less time on these calculations and considerations than when I used to shoot 35mm a lot. With 35mm, I always hated getting into a roll and then changing locations (like going indoors) and having a toally different lighting situation calling for different development times than the shots I may have just taken outdoors. For which do I develop the entire roll? I used to use 12 exposure rolls and just sacrifice film by changing early, but it was always a hassle. LF liberates me from that. I use a MF camera now and I have seperate backs for plus, normal and minus development. With LF, I take a reading of the areas that are the important dark areas and place them on Zones II, III or maybe IV, then I meter the highlights to determine what BTZS people call the SBR to determine my development time. I may make some adjustments to take local contrast into consideration (such as moving the toe, of the film higher up on the film's curve) but that's pretty rare. The calculations can be done in a few moments only, just as fast as I used to with 35mm, but then I took care then, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Vandalay
    What I meant by deep meaning, is how the image affects us on a basic level. This applies to everyone, no matter if they photograph or not. I recently looked through a fantastic book on people who live by the Mississipi in the northern states and there was one woman who was holding up a framed snapshot of a cloud that had the general shape of an angel. I assume she, or someone close to her took the photo. It was a snapshot and everything about it was cheap, including the frame. But it obviously had deep significance for her. This is the aspect of photography that I love the most.
    I think I understood what you meant by deep meaning. In her case, the photo simply served as a symbol of what actually had deep meaning for her - it could as well have been grain in wood that had the shape of an angel and she would have treasured that, I'd think.

    Images do affect me on a very deep level, one that I can't even articulate. And here I'm speaking as a viewer, not as a photographer. In the most recent years, it has been mostly abstract work that does this. I am less interested in literal representations than I used to be, but I still like beauitful work even if it isn't abstract. I suppose abstracts must represent something to me in the same manner as the cloud\angel.

    -Mike

  2. #72

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    Well, IMO an easier print to make allows you more freedom to explore what the negative has to offer, and in fact it is certainly not a constraint but a liberating of your expression. So, the reverse of Vestal's quote IMO does not hold true, but as I said, you beleive suffering is good for your soul and art, knock yourself out.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    Is a perfect (note the application of the absolute) negative necessary, or does such a negative even exist? No, it is NOT necessary, and No, I don't think one exists. At least, I have never seen one - and to tell the truth, I have no idea of what parameters would constitute perfection.
    It may not be necessary, but it is better than the alternative as you acknowledged. They do exist, I have many in my darkroom. If you have no idea what would constitute one, how can you say they don't exist? How would you recognize one if you saw it if you can't define it? You might put some thought into what a perfect negative is before dismissing the concept so easily.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    No one is entirely dismissing the value of technical excellence. It, and possibly the quest for it, is a noble endeavor ... but like the definition of "art" or the meaning of life, or defining the characteristics of God - I doubt that we will ever reach the point where we can say that we have finally, and irrefutably meet success.
    By speaking of technical excellence as some Holy Grail, inherently unachievable and thus not worth pursuing, you are dismissing it. Actually, it's not such a hard thing but it does take effort and work (maybe that's what deters some). Many have done it. You demean them by accusing them of trying to achieve a technical perfection that you can't even define, as though they are a bunch of irrational idealists.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    Is APUG -- I've forgotten the degree -- I was about to write "pre..." - make that dominantly technical? NO, that is not the way I see it - at all. We have a LOT of "technical discussions" ..... but there are those who are primarily interested in Aesthetics.
    The vast majority of posts on APUG are technical in nature, not 'aesthetic'. While I don't doubt that almost everyone is interested in 'aesthetics', why are there so few threads on the subject? It's simply because the technical topics are safer territory. I've seen it in discussion groups long before the internet even was widely used, back in CompuServe and Prodigy days for instance and ever since. Tech stuff is easier to discuss because it mostly deals with facts that can be proven and analyzed. But when you venture into 'aesthetics', then suddenly you're into the arena of opinion and if anyone dares to make definitive statements and not pepper their post with 'IMHO', they will not likely be dealt with kindly on this board. I'm surprised any threads on the topic last very long at all, and I wish there were more of them. Also, while I'm sure there are many interested in aesthetics, not many people actually have that much to say on the topic. While a thread may attract a lot of readers, I'd imagine that only a small percent would actually post a reply.

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    Jorge, my point was that the best writers, the masters, edit and revise until they are satisfied that they have what they want, and feel no pressure to get it right with the first draft. They understand that the creative process is evolutionary. Your presumption that photographers who don't subscribe to the "one shot, one negative" nonsense make lousy negatives is simply arrogant and demeaning. If placing those kinds of meaningless and arbitrary restrictions on your work rocks your boat, have at it. The Vestal quote is true in reverse as well; neither is a print better because it was easy to make. By the way, I enjoy spending hours in my darkroom working on prints. I think most of us have worked with both good and bad negatives at some point, because the reality is that both are easy to make.
    The concept of 'one shot, one negative' simply means that the photographer is in sufficient command of the technical aspects that he\she can calculate the correct exposure and get it right the first time. Because of this, there is no need to expose a second negative for the purpose of getting the correct exposure. How is getting the exposure correct the first time, 'meaningless and arbitrary'?! How would you describe someone who brackets all over the place due to lack of expertise? An artistic genius?
    >>'By the way, I enjoy spending hours in my darkroom working on prints.'
    On the same print?
    >>'I think most of us have worked with both good and bad negatives at some point, because the reality is that both are easy to make.'
    Once you're in control of technique, good negatives are easy to make and bad ones are hard to make. I mean, how hard is it to take a few meter readings, set aperture and shutter speed and and release the shutter? When you're in control, it goes smoothly and it's over quickly. When you're unsure and are fumbling around then things get difficult. Expertise makes things easy.
    >>"The Vestal quote is true in reverse as well; neither is a print better because it was easy to make."
    This is one of those sayings that sounds clever, but doesn't work in reality.
    In my experience, if a print is easy to make, that means I had to employ fewer tricks, techniques, etc. to make the print, thus reducing the number of steps to completion and reducing the number of potential errors that could be made. It it's easy to make then I must have a negative that's well made, too.
    A simpler to make print has a much better chance of being better if for no other reason than there are fewer potential errors.

    -Mike

  5. #75

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    Sounds like this thread needs a survey: on average how much sheets of paper do you use before achieving an acceptable print? a. 1 to 3, b. 4 to 6, c. 7 to 12 or d. greater than 12. I do not believe anyone is saying that a one shot one neg ethic (at least for LF photography) yields a fine print each time. What it yields is an EASY to print neg each time. If one enjoys labouring over a print for over an hour because the negative demands it then I think that is great. I love printing but I hate being in the darkroom for too long. My objective is to liberate myself from this drudgery so that I can spend more time exposing film outdoors. I also want to liberate myself from ever having to be daunted by exposure and development issues so that I can completely devote my time to vision and composition issues.

    On another note, I find it amusing that a lot of people think that saying one shot-one negative is obnoxious or snobbish or geeky or tecky (i.e. not artistic). One shot-one neg is only about one thing - spending time taking pics instead of spending time in the dark.

    Again on another note, I believe that nature photos can be just as engaging on an emotional level as PJ shots or people photos. They can also be just as contrived as most people photos and PJs I have seen so far. But this issue is not what this thread is about. One shot-one neg issue is about the ability to create negatives that print with ease every time. I think this is a nice goal to strive for.
    Francesco

  6. #76
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francesco
    Sounds like this thread needs a survey: on average how much sheets of paper do you use before achieving an acceptable print? a. 1 to 3, b. 4 to 6, c. 7 to 12 or d. greater than 12.
    It takes me on average 4 to 6 sheets of paper to achieve the best print obtainable from a given negative. After the prints are dry I live with them for a while and if they stand the test of a little time I either insert them into my body of work or discard them along with the negative. I've got a bunch I'm ready to chuck now. Hopefully the next printing session will yield more keepers.
    Jim

  7. #77
    Art Vandalay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhi
    I would just add that setting an exposure and determining negative development time at the time when the image is made is not a tedious nor time consuming process in LF work. I know you didn't mean an hour literally, but I have a lot of experience with roll film and LF work to know the difference.
    I agree with you on that one. Especially with todays films it doesn't really take that much time and often a simple, but careful, incident light meter reading and good knowledge of the particular film in a particular camera is more than adequate. My hour quotation was a bit of an exaggeration, although I'm pretty slow setting up my 4x5 That's probably why it's been turned into a sculpture in my living room - perhaps it's time to dust it off and give it another chance....oh wait, I don't have a 4x5 enlarger at my disposal any more, what a drag.

    I also used to roll my own 35 in smaller rolls to avoid the different conditions. Now when I shoot either 35 or MF I try to shoot the entire roll in the same settings. Film is cheap and I never make it a limiting factor.

  8. #78
    Art Vandalay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francesco
    (Nature photos) They can also be just as contrived as most people photos and PJs I have seen so far
    Can be??? Just teasing

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    After the prints are dry I live with them for a while and if they stand the test of a little time I either insert them into my body of work or discard them along with the negative. I've got a bunch I'm ready to chuck now.
    I'm surprised. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing I had chucked away some negs - even crappy negs. Why do that? People change over time and the test criteria change along with them. Oh well, different strokes for different folks I guess.

  10. #80
    lee
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    I used to shoot a back up neg but have decided that "industrial accidents" in my darkroom are really rare and my exposure and development routines generally fit the guidelines I have laid out when first making the exposure. So, I do have a few accidents now and then but now I have more film to look at while proofing. My aim is to make the best possible neg I can and make the simplist print I can that is the most expressive. I have see a lot of Jorge's work in person and I think he works in this manner that I have just described.

    lee\c



 

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