From: Carl Weese (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 09/03/02-07:36:49 AM Z
> But they are contact prints. Only the negative is produced by more than
> just a camera.
My point didn't get across. For the discussion I was making, a print in a
contact-only medium from an enlarged negative is an enlargement.
> And, for myself, building a negative does just that - getting the
> perception to the print.
Here my point is that photography is plagued by an overemphasis on
print(ing) manipulation. Whether a photographer learns from the photo
magazines or at a college program or a Zone System workshop, there's often a
huge emphasis on 'darkroom wizardry'. I just want to put in a word for the
goal of learning to see so clearly that the print is easy to make, instead
of spending time learning to fix weakly seen negatives.
I don't mean to denigrate heavily manipulated prints that work. Examples
might be a John Sexton with a twenty-area burning map, or a heavily
hand-worked multi-coat gum, or a platinum from a "built" negative that
drastically alters the tones of the original negative--if the final print
looks good, fine. But there's also nothing *wrong* with a negative so good
that you can print it on grade two with your hands in your pockets. Yet a
lot of photographers seem uncomfortable, even feel guilty, about a print
that's "easy" to make.
Most of the students I encounter in workshops want to learn darkroom magic
that will help them make better prints from their pictures. Their work would
improve much faster if they concentrated on making better pictures to print.
To put it another way, I think most photographers who want to make better
prints will benefit if they shoot two or three times as much, edit four or
five times as tightly, and spend less time, not more, in the darkroom.
web site with picture galleries
and workshop information at:
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