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How does one become a master printer?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 1st 06, 10:03 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Default How does one become a master printer?

Here's a question that I haven't seen asked on the internet: how does
one become a master printer? I'm not looking for a quick recipe, but I
want to know what it takes. Is it a matter of getting a good
background in photography at a school, landing a job in a lab, honing
your craft for years, and building a reputation? I'd really appreciate
it if the printers out there could share how they did it. How did you
become a master printer?

  #3  
Old March 2nd 06, 03:18 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Default How does one become a master printer?

Depends, of course, on what you mean by 'Master Printer'. Do you want
to make great prints from good negatives, or good prints from crappy
negatives?

I am from the minimalist school of printing. That means I interefere
very little (these days) with the printing process. To me, even
'expert' manipulations are quite noticable and distracting. I have
looked through Salgado's books, for instance, and have noticed rather
obvious manipulations (lines near the horizon, etc.). I would really
prefer little or none.


Draco wrote:
hugoamt wrote:
"Here's a question that I haven't seen asked on the internet: how does

one become a master printer? I'm not looking for a quick recipe, but I

want to know what it takes. Is it a matter of getting a good
background in photography at a school, landing a job in a lab, honing
your craft for years, and building a reputation? I'd really appreciate

it if the printers out there could share how they did it. How did you
become a master printer? "

You said it yourself, honing your craft and building
a reputation. UC also had it right. By learning to
make a good negative in the first place it becomes
easier to make good prints. Also learning to
make good prints from crappy negatives will
allow you to improve your printing skills.

Keep working at it.


Draco


Getting even isn't good enough.


  #4  
Old March 3rd 06, 01:12 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Posts: n/a
Default How does one become a master printer?

wrote:
Here's a question that I haven't seen asked on the internet: how does
one become a master printer? I'm not looking for a quick recipe, but I
want to know what it takes. Is it a matter of getting a good
background in photography at a school, landing a job in a lab, honing
your craft for years, and building a reputation? I'd really appreciate
it if the printers out there could share how they did it. How did you
become a master printer?


I am probably going to get blasted by somebody for this but I would
recommend doing some playing of the images with a program like
Photoshop. Getting a feel for the range of densities in the negative
and what it takes to translate these into a print will help when doing
optical prints. This will also help show you what negatives there is
simply no hope for making a good print from. If there is too small a
density range in the negative it is going to be very hard to make a
good optical print from it even using high contrast paper.

It would also help to bracket your shots for a while to get a feel for
what exposure will produce what kind of print. I have seen more bad
prints from underexposed negatives then over, some experimentation will
give you are feel for this. For my own part when I see a light
negative I know it is going to be a problem getting any kind of good
print from it.

It has been a while since I have done an optical print but the
fundamental problems remain the same. Most of the poor prints I have
seen are missing either the full white or good blacks. It can be more
then a little tricky to get the shadows exposed far enough to get good
blacks and yet keep the highlights white. So what is the definition of
a master printer, one who can take a negative that has highlights that
are not nearly dense enough and still get a good print using burning
and dodging or someone who only prints from negatives that have a good
range to start with?

There is a lot of science and math to really understanding the whole
photographic process, it is well worth while learning it well.

On a business aspect of it, I believe you are going to have a hard time
finding a good client base that wants prints done from a "master
printer". I assume you are thinking about making prints from others
negatives. Most of the people I know that are still having optical
prints made are doing so themselves. I think you are looking at a
very small market.

Scott

  #5  
Old March 3rd 06, 01:36 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Default How does one become a master printer?

In article . com,
"Scott W" wrote:

wrote:
Here's a question that I haven't seen asked on the internet: how does
one become a master printer? I'm not looking for a quick recipe, but I
want to know what it takes. Is it a matter of getting a good
background in photography at a school, landing a job in a lab, honing
your craft for years, and building a reputation? I'd really appreciate
it if the printers out there could share how they did it. How did you
become a master printer?


Not going to blast you but,has nothing to do with "Darkroom unless
your sitting in one to post the following,

On a business aspect of it, I believe you are going to have a hard time
finding a good client base that wants prints done from a "master
printer". I assume you are thinking about making prints from others
negatives. Most of the people I know that are still having optical
prints made are doing so themselves. I think you are looking at a
very small market.

Scott


I do optical prints because it saves money, I can charge X dollars
my competition is spending just to have the prints made. But cheaper is
not always viewed as better, its viewed as suspect therefore actually
being a master printer is preferred to claiming to be one


--
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
to the American public."--Theodore Roosevelt, May 7, 1918

greg_____photo(dot)com
  #7  
Old March 3rd 06, 02:16 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Posts: n/a
Default How does one become a master printer?

In article om,
"Scott W" wrote:

G- Blank wrote:
In article . com,
"Scott W" wrote:

wrote:
Here's a question that I haven't seen asked on the internet: how does
one become a master printer? I'm not looking for a quick recipe, but I
want to know what it takes. Is it a matter of getting a good
background in photography at a school, landing a job in a lab, honing
your craft for years, and building a reputation? I'd really appreciate
it if the printers out there could share how they did it. How did you
become a master printer?

Not going to blast you but,has nothing to do with "Darkroom unless
your sitting in one to post the following,

The point is that working with a scanned negative will help give a feel
for the density range that the negative has. When I scan negative I
normally scan it as if it was a positive and then convert it myself to
a positive image. I really think going through this exercise would
help a lot of people make better optical prints, or at least shoot
better negatives. When you scan a negative (as a positive) and you see
that the left side of the histogram is pretty much missing it gives you
a pretty good idea that this is going to be a hard negative to print.

Scott



Scott


I've thought this time to time, its a hard call in my book because part
of what make my prints good is intuitive I remember back to what I
intended while printing-IN the dark and mostly get it or get better. and
seeing the image on screen
can frighten many into not printing or may encourage many to say
THIS is as good as it get without the process of remembering what
was intended or seeing what the potential is -Not saying your wrong just
presenting a different "" MY View",





--
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
to the American public."--Theodore Roosevelt, May 7, 1918

greg_____photo(dot)com
  #8  
Old March 3rd 06, 08:28 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Posts: n/a
Default How does one become a master printer?



G- Blank wrote:

In article om,
"Scott W" wrote:

G- Blank wrote:
In article . com,
"Scott W" wrote:

wrote:
Here's a question that I haven't seen asked on the internet: how does
one become a master printer? I'm not looking for a quick recipe, but I
want to know what it takes. Is it a matter of getting a good
background in photography at a school, landing a job in a lab, honing
your craft for years, and building a reputation? I'd really appreciate
it if the printers out there could share how they did it. How did you
become a master printer?

Not going to blast you but,has nothing to do with "Darkroom unless
your sitting in one to post the following,

The point is that working with a scanned negative will help give a feel
for the density range that the negative has. When I scan negative I
normally scan it as if it was a positive and then convert it myself to
a positive image. I really think going through this exercise would
help a lot of people make better optical prints, or at least shoot
better negatives. When you scan a negative (as a positive) and you see
that the left side of the histogram is pretty much missing it gives you
a pretty good idea that this is going to be a hard negative to print.

Scott


I've thought this time to time, its a hard call in my book because part
of what make my prints good is intuitive I remember back to what I
intended while printing-IN the dark and mostly get it or get better. and
seeing the image on screen
can frighten many into not printing or may encourage many to say
THIS is as good as it get without the process of remembering what
was intended or seeing what the potential is -Not saying your wrong just
presenting a different "" MY View",


Never mind scotty is full of it. Want to
make a good print, better learn something
about sensitomerty, rather than scanners,
first...And yeah, that takes both time and
photo education (whether by reading or in
college classrooms...)
  #9  
Old March 3rd 06, 01:45 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Posts: n/a
Default How does one become a master printer?

My short answer to this is always: buy a bigger garbage can.

Practice, try new things, read. There are a lot of alternate processes out
there and techniques that are in danger of becoming obsolete since the
sources for the materials are disappearing, so try them now.

Good to retain finished copies of all your "experiments" and keep a good
Daybook or Journal so you can recall what you did (also good). I tend to
write my notes on the back of my prints. Parker ball points write well on
RC prints, and RC is plenty good for experimentation (possible exception for
RC and the next thing on my list to explore is lith printing). Film notes
in 3x5 spiral notebooks that are transcribed to the back of contact sheets.
I don't obsess in the Zonie fashion about every frame but will take general
notes, filters used, times and type of developer, etc. (I don't mean this in
a bad way, I'm not trying to knock their methods, but I learned early on
that I'm not disciplined enough to take notes on every exposure.)

I also print model releases on the back of contact sheets for models to
sign. I get a release when I shoot and then get the second release signed
when they prick up their copies. The release then gets filed with the
negatives (almost like a system).

Ansel Adams used to call it practicing the scales, he was also a very good
pianist and made the analogy to music frequently in his writings. Good
teacher, excellent photographer, excelled in the darkroom, but the last
exhibit I viewed I was surprised at the sloppy way he spotted prints (may
have been the "help' but I was tickled to know there is one-and only
one!--area in which I consider myself at par with the master).

Vestal also goes on at length about ways to explore our medium, film
exposure and darkroom testing are very much center to his books.

Ralph Hattersly is another, much of his "avant garde" work looks pretty
dated now but he had a really big bag of darkroom techniques, even if you
never print anything that looks like his stuff he had some pretty slick
tricks.

I think it's good to hang your work on the wall but hang some of the
"failures" as well as keepers, you may figure out what it was you didn't
like about a "bad" print or you may change your mind and decide you want to
explore that technique later on!

That and 20-30 years will make almost anyone a "master".

--
darkroommike


wrote in message
oups.com...
Here's a question that I haven't seen asked on the internet: how does
one become a master printer? I'm not looking for a quick recipe, but I
want to know what it takes. Is it a matter of getting a good
background in photography at a school, landing a job in a lab, honing
your craft for years, and building a reputation? I'd really appreciate
it if the printers out there could share how they did it. How did you
become a master printer?



 




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