I wrote this whole response but managed to lose it. So in a nutshell. The purpose of this thread was to present influences other than the film and paper that effect the way a print looks. Ultimately it's all about perception, so this should be a topic of interest for all photographers. The take-a-way are some practical common sense concepts. Concepts many people already know either through experience or instinctively.
The film is only one component in the photographic process. Also there's more than just the physical process to consider.
From the concept of surround - Whether the print is hung on a white wall or one with a darker tone influences how the print looks. Adams talks about this. The print will pop more on a gray wall than white one. So, whenever possible considering how the print will be displayed should factor into the printing, which includes the matte. I always view test prints in a matte. We must also understand that the tones in the print can look different depending on the tones around them. It's not simply a matter of placing something on a given Zone. How it is perceived isn't always in our control.
From the concept of local inhibition and adaptation - Also when ever possible, consider keying the print to the illuminance level of the room the print will be displayed in. Museum and gallery lighting or average household. Or consider axillary lighting. Print to a standard illuminance, then display it with that illuminance.
This is about how the tones of your art will be perceived and that there's more to the photographic process than just the negative and the print.
Last edited by Stephen Benskin; 04-07-2013 at 07:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.