Quote Originally Posted by Domenico
If you make a " fine print " of an Arbus image , with zonal evaluations , contrast control , double bath development , and all that beautiful legacy that Weston, White and Adams have left us , you are inevitably bound to kill the raw power of that picture.
There is no fixed rule , i don't see anything lacking in Arbus work , her images stand by themselves, and if she didn't have great skills in the darkroom , i will not put her in the basement , just because she has chosen an unpopular way .
For whatever it's worth to the discussion, according to the essay by Neil Selkirk, who had as intimate a knowledge of Diane Arbus' darkroom habits as any person who walks the earth, save for her ex-hubby Allan who built the darkroom and typed out the chemical recipes for her, Diane's regular film was ASA50 Agfa IF, developed in the two-solution Beutler formula. She printed on AGFA Portriga Rapid paper developed in the two-solution Beers formula, although before that she probably used different dilutions of Dektol and Selectol Soft depending on her contrast needs. She did indeed stay away from dodging and burning as a general rule, prefering to control the prints solely through contrast (in this case different developement times in baths A & B) to achieve the look she was after. And she didn't seem to keep any notes in regards to her print-making, and as a result no two Arbus-made prints are exactly the same. Some of the differences are reported to be subtle, and others profound.

And on the subject of her use of the flash unit, she is quoted as saying she chose to use it for the increase in detail and clarity it provided.

Offered up for the interest and edification of the APUG members.