Okay guys, I know this thread has been a little quiet, but I really wanted to report back on my thoughts on the prints I received. I loved them all, I think they all had some very fantastic elements to them.
Round 2 photo review.
I love 'simple' scenes like this, where the casual observer would think 'nice picture of an old corridor', but the photographer would think 'wow, great job keeping nice tones in the shadows without blowing everything out'. Very well captured, and VERY well printed... I love the lingering tourist (?) at the far end too.
Michael W - Monk:
I love the idea of printing from old negs. I know for myself I often try to plan out the whole image from snapping to printing right while I'm photographing it, so jumping in after the initial decisions have been made is fantastic. The 'ruined' left side of the image is great, whether there was something pertinent there or not, I don't know, but I think you've managed to make it add, rather than subtract from the image. Very well printed, I love the big wide border too. I use Dektol 1:3 as one of my two main developers, it's really nice to see how it works on other papers, I like the tone of this paper with the touch of selenium to it.
Andrew (Oxleyroad) - Mallee Water Tank
I just love the texture watercolour papers bring to these Van Dyke Browns. I was amazed when I saw (the other) Andrew's one in the first round, and yours is keeping the desire alive to give it a go myself. One thing I wondered, looking at your print, was how this negative would print 'normally'? Looking at this print, I wondered if it was a very dense negative with not much in the shadow areas, or is this just the way it prints as a VDB? I find it amazing how one negative could print in so many completely different ways using different processes. As to the actual image, I love it!
Scott (W9cae)- SMBooth In Action
That Viradon is absolutely beautiful! Mike (Wyno) gave me a set of Sepia before he left, seeing the tones you've gotten here make me want to get it out and have at it! I like the way you've grabbed the image too, the foreground leaves give it a very 'hunting bigfoot' kind of feel, I like it. I love how you've managed to keep tonality throughout all of the snow too, very well done.
Andrew K - Jorja-aged 7
Something different is always fun! The image itself is very interesting, I have always liked the 'where does one end and the next begin' kind of thing, whether in visual art, music, or family gathering lunches/dinners. The way you've printed it is what I really like, the way the image is bigger than the film, so the film itself becomes part of the image. When I first saw a print like that I thought it was the most incredible thing, in the case of your image, I really like the way the colour of the frame numbers add a warmth to the image. If they weren't there, or were plain white, I think it would give the print a much cooler feel, and perhaps change the whole mood away from the playful feel it has (to me). There's one thing I wonder about with this print (and this is not a criticism in any way, just something I'd want to try if it were my print), how would it look (and is it possible) to make the white areas (film edge & sprocket holes) black along with the background? I just wonder if that would change the print from 'here is a print of a strip of film with pictures on it' to 'here is a print of an image made up of film'... does that make any sense? Just something I'd be curious about, but how you've done it, absolutely fantastic.
Tony E - Luna Park
That reflection is absolutely amazing! I wonder the same thing that was asked before, did you know the area and knew there was a dip there, or did you just get 'lucky'? I like the slight blur you've gotten in the ferris wheel, just enough to make it a 'static image that shows movement' without letting it turn into a whirling grey mass. I have to say, two things on your printing, I'm very surprised by the tone of the paper, not nearly as cool toned as I would have expected from that paper, the face almost even looks a touch warm (probably in comparison to the rest of the picture). The second thing... AMAZINGLY STRAIGHT BORDERS!!!
Mick F - Kilcunda Rocks
Amazing tone in your rocks Mick. If it weren't for the shadows thrown by the few overhanging bits of rock, I would not have guessed how harsh the sunlight must have been. You've done a fantastic job getting such nice (and consistent) tones across the whole image, from wet to dry areas of rock, very well done.
Jeff (Trotkiller) - Untitled
Maybe it's just from sitting in the post-pack for a while, but I think it's plenty flat enough. I really like the way you've placed your tones here, keeping the brightest areas of the boats perhaps a couple stops below paper-white, I think it gives them a fantastic tonality, and the dark areas in the sand look nice and smooth too. I really like this one.
I like these 'colour checker' sort of still-life setups, I used to like piling up all the gear in my Dads darkroom when I was a kid and photographing it similarly to this. The grittiness of this film (or just the print?) though, is absolutely fantastic!
Tim K - Mini-Everest
The sense of scale in Mini-Everest is very disorienting! I think you've done a great job balancing the tones so none of the shadows disappear, but the snow still looks tangible with definite texture, even in the brightest areas. For a first B&W snow image, I think you've done really well.
Michael's picture of the monk gave me an idea, it'll probably get lost here down the bottom of this thread, but I wanted to get it 'out there' while it was still fresh in my mind. I have no idea about how the logistics of this would work, but I could imagine a 'Negative Exchange' of some sorts. The thought behind it being that when I take a photo, I am thinking of the entire process in my head, imagining how I will crop and print it in the darkroom while I'm photographing it. It would be really interesting to see how someone else would interpret what I have captured in my negative, and how they would print it. I think it could be a very insightful exercise... maybe one for a new thread, one day...