Quote Originally Posted by wfwhitaker
If you're dealing with a mainstream commercial lab whose bread and butter is color prints and digital transfers, you're probably not going to get good black and white service.
Will, you may be familiar with the lab since you are here in the area...I work exclusively with E&J in Dublin. They really are excellent for both B&W and color (IMHO)...and I'm not faulting them at all. In fact, when I give them a B&W "people" negative to print, they typically nail it first time.

Quote Originally Posted by wfwhitaker
Learn to do the work yourself. Nothing worth doing well is ever easy (or something like that), but it's certainly not insurmountable and the rewards will justify your efforts.
Yes, I strongly agree. Although I've not set foot in a dark room in over twenty years (Yikes!), I know very, very well how much work it takes and how much skill is involved in the production of a good, presentation quality print...and, I know that I'm not good enough at it to support my family by doing it (if that makes sense).


Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
If one is forced by circumstance to work with a lab, as opposed to doing your own printing, the ideal situation (I think) is to establish a method of communication that works for both sides of the counter. You might, for example, start with a contact sheet, then have a straight "test print" done that would be the basis for discussing the objectives for the "final" print. The trick is probably providing enough guidance at each stage that the lab person knows what you're looking for.
Yes, I think you are right. Somehow it seems that landscape photos are fundamentally different from people photos. I guess the lesson is that lanscapes require much more and careful communication with the lab.