May 21, 2010

B/W Printing

I have been printing in the darkroom for about 15 years now. My first lessons in printing was in a workshop in a community college in New York. I was lucky to find a share darkroom with a friend's friend in Wiliamsburg. I stared meeting other photographers and each had their own style of printing.

The most I learned was from my friend Charles who also happens to be an amazing photographer. I used to make really contrasty prints but he kept telling me to go the other way so one could see all the detail. The way I understood is that to get real consistent prints from the same image over time it's best to write down the percentage of burning or dodging time of the overall exposure of the print with all the details of the type of paper and the chemicals used along with their proportions. So, if you expose the print for 1 minute and you burn in a section for 15 seconds, its just +15% and whatever grade of filtration you use. Those percentages also translate for bigger prints of the same image. It's definitely made me a better printer but I doubt if I can ever print like him.

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