My selection of master printers in the fine art photography world would include Paul Strand, Carleton Watkins, Bret Weston, Kipton Kummler, Dick Arentz, John Sexton, Bruce Barnbaum, and George Tice to name a few. Their knowledge and implementation of photographic craft and technique allows them to fully realize their individual and distinctive visions as artists.
Sometimes this has been true. When Kodachrome was King, we had to get it right in the camera. There was no postprocessing. Of course what was the right transparancy depended on the ultimate use. The projection equipment and the darkness of the room in which they were projected shoud be considered at the moment of exposure for the best results. Transparancies exposed for printing might not be ideal for projection.
Originally Posted by cliveh
Within the small world of black and white negatives projected onto gelatin-silver paper I must be a master. After some decades of practice I can generate photographs that deliver anything possible within the technical constraints of a given negative and a given paper. I am sure that there are many many people in APUG who do this routinely.
The well-known Ansel Adams quote respecting the print being a performance, and the negative being the score, is what I think about when I think of "Master" printers.
I know I have always enjoyed discussing with other printers the options available. In particular, discussing the creative printing options available to help bring out the different possibilities of a negative.