Quote Originally Posted by Merg Ross View Post
My system is a little different in that I don't proof anything, just read the negatives and print the best. Some are easy to eliminate on initial reading, and others on the first print. With years of experience, I know pretty much if I have a keeper or a looser without spending a lot of time.
I have to agree with Merg here. Read the neg, it'll tell you a lot. Composition, subject (ie, eyes closed or not, etc), does it look like it'll print well, cropping needed, etc...

Also, you're probably shooting too much. Do you proof every single frame? Make a contact sheet and use a loupe to decide. Or as another poster suggested, scan the neg file page, lo-res to decide.

On a 36 exposure roll, I'll probably pick 2-10 to proof based on a reading. Of those, maybe 2-4 make it to a complete 8x10 finished print, with an occasional 11x14 print or two as well.

On a 10-12 exposure med format roll, maybe 1-4 frames will see a full workup, but that varies.

I tend to proof on 5x7 paper, sometimes 8x10 and live with the results for a few days. Then I make another edit and go back in to make a finished print of the chosen frames at the final size.

I think most of the positive action/effort in making art comes from taking the time to make good decisions. I used to be anxious about getting it all done, but I settled in to a slower approach and my work is much better now and more considered.