Printing, printing, printing...
For various reasons I've built up a huge printing backlog - in the order of 1,000 negatives that need filing, proofing, editing down and then printing in platinum. (And then there are the undeveloped negatives...) My guess is that clearing this backlog will take until the end of the year.
In the meantime I'm trying to adopt a rigorous approach for new work. My plan is to put aside one weekend each month for new work: Saturday morning for camera work, Saturday afternoon for developing the film (drying overnight), and Sunday for proofs on Lodima and then making platinum prints of the best compositions.
Hopefully this will stop me adding to my printing backlog faster than I can work through it.
But I'm wondering how others manage all this? How do you manage to balance the need to make finished prints with the need to expose film? Do you have any tips to share?
Originally Posted by Ian Leake
No tips I'm afraid, I tend to switch between camera work and printing. Hopefully once I've got on top of my printing backlog I should be able to take a more balanced approach.
PS) What do you think of the Lodima paper?
Sorry Ian I can't give you any tips,I have a large number of negatives to print myself, and there are that I wonder how I ever get on top of things, and then I look out of the window and the light at times is great, and I just have to grab a camera and head out, so more backlog, I guess that the only way is to set aside days for printing and keep to them,Richard
I spent some time recently reading the huge MOMA retrospective book on Lee Friedlander. A lot of info in there on his methods of working. He is, of course full time spending his life photographing and printing. There were references to being about a 4 year gap between exposing a negative and printing it. I think one needs the dicipline to just keep pushing forward slowly with the printing/editing and not get concerned about 'catching up.'
What? No magic bullet? That's a shame :-(
Originally Posted by ic-racer
I guess discipline is the answer though.
I love it Tom. One reason my backlog got so huge was that I proofed with a pt/pd print. This was slow of course, and coupled with the expense this meant that I only proofed a relatively small number of negatives. I tried proofing with silver gelatin paper (RC grade 0) but this was rarely good enough to see all the detail so I stopped.
Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw
With Lodima grade 2 and a vacuum frame, I can expose 4 prints at a time under a light bulb. This really boosts throughput. Although none of them are fine prints they're good enough to show me what's on the negative and decide whether or not to take it to a platinum print.
Since I've been doing this I've already discovered (or re-discovered) several drop dead gorgeous photos.
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I generally shoot a lot between spring and fall, make contacts, work prints ... once the coldest of the cold winter hits, I do final edits and prints. Of course this only helps if you live in a variable climate :-)
For me, having time between shooting and printing is very helpful ... to avoid knee jerk reactions to negatives and making unnecessary prints.
What bogs me down is if I shoot shoot shoot and put off developing the film ... so I try to keep up on that as much as possible.
You are ambitious working with the camera, process and print within the same time period.
Its tough to do, I prefer to separate them into different sessions. It really is hard for me to take the photograph, so I over compensate and have too many exposures to work with your plan over a three day period.
I can cope better with larger printing sessions but trying to do all three at a time I think is to complicated.
Originally Posted by Ian Leake
Ian- one way to cut down on the backlog is to switch to ULF - I can only shoot 6 sheets of 14x17 in a day .
I'm trying to work in series....once I finish one series I go and start another one...still have a backlog but not like I used to....
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You're right, trying to do it all in one weekend only works with a few negatives. This weekend I spent 3 hours in the Cathedral and made 5 pictures (2 negatives for each). All have been proofed but although 4 are worth printing I only got to make 2 finished Pt/Pd prints - and that meant working very late.
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
I suspect that I'll end up stopping once I've proofed everything. That way I get to see a print before I make my next photos so I can build on them rather than repeat them.
That's too big for me! I go up to 11x14 in the studio but then I'm limited by the number of holders I have.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera