Quote Originally Posted by mikewhi
Just a few notes:

1) In my experience the more darkroom 'tricks' one knows implies that the photographer routinely produces negatives of, shall we say, widely varying technical quality. They often expose in a haphazard way and work in the darkroom later to pull a good print from the negative. Others have no idea what they wan t in the final print when they expose, make exposures that will provide some information in the negative and then 'post-visualize' in the darkroom. To pull good images from these negatives can require all sorts of manipulaations (including nose oil). I know very few darkroom tricks and techniques.

2) In the past, I had done so much Zone System testing and material standardization that all my 4x5's could be printed at a standard printing time of 12 seconds. I'd just plop the negative in, set the standard aperture, standard enlarger head height, give the paper 4 3-second exposures and there would be a very well, if not dead-on print.
I'm a lot looser today, but I still work at producing the best negative that I can. I look a negative as being like a mold, the fewer imperfections in the mold, the ferwer things I have to repair in the copies that come out of the mold.
May we all aspire to reach your lofty height, For you have surpassed the masters. You, alone, have achieved perfection. Please offer some of your greatness to the rest of the world. I am sure, if they were alive, Adams and Weston would have been slobbering for the chance to be your students.