PDA

View Full Version : F11 magazine, Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee featured



Willie
29-Jan-2016, 23:20
http://www.f11magazine.com/current.html?utm_source=f11+Magazine&utm_campaign=f8163c5d4c-Issue_51_February_20161_30_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_39f258dd0b-f8163c5d4c-313499389

Images and article with interviews and information on both of them and their work. Both work with large format gear. Michael primarily with 8x20 and Paula primarily with 8x10.

Good to see work like this. Thanks to my Uncle for forwarding the information to me.

Darin Boville
30-Jan-2016, 01:23
Nice looking presentation, though I am utterly unfamiliar with the magazine. Worth a look. And then there is this:

145761

Smack!

--Darin

P.S. Page 73

wager123
30-Jan-2016, 02:27
What an arrogant thing to say.
mitch

ic-racer
30-Jan-2016, 05:29
Nice looking presentation, though I am utterly unfamiliar with the magazine. Worth a look. And then there is this:

145761

Smack!

--Darin

P.S. Page 73

Hmm...I wonder who sells chloride paper for as much as $10 per sheet...

Ken Lee
30-Jan-2016, 05:29
It would have probably been more gracious to say something like "It seemed to me..." or "With all due respect".

That aside, I thought it was a fine article overall, particularly for those unfamiliar with Large Format photography in general and Michael and Paula's approach in particular. The purpose of the article was to introduce them to the New Zealand audience, since they will be visiting and teaching there.

Michael also made the observation that in Paul Strand's later work in New Hebrides, Romania, Egypt and Ghana "he was making the same photographs, just in different places". Another provocative statement, but worthy of consideration.

I think it's valuable to hear what people really think, especially when they are earnest and dedicated.

mdarnton
30-Jan-2016, 06:46
As a Michael who's sick and tired of people not being able to spell one of the most simple and common names in the universe, what bothers me most here is the spelling in this thread's title.

Willie
30-Jan-2016, 07:39
As a Michael who's sick and tired of people not being able to spell one of the most simple and common names in the universe, what bothers me most here is the spelling in this thread's title.

A typo late at night. If the mods can correct, please do.

Bruce Barlow
30-Jan-2016, 08:04
Michael is an incredible printer, which shows when you watch him do it. Max DePree calls it "The elegance on the far side of complexity." He makes it look embarrassingly simple. It comes from having an experienced, and sensitive eye.

And yeah, he's hawking his paper. For good reason - it's lovely. And for another good reason - he and Paula have gone way out on a financial limb to bring the world Lodima. At several points I know it was a cliffhanger. Makes me think about what I've done that requires comparable courage. Not much.

And Paula? A wonderful photographer and a great human being. A pretty powerful combination. Nuff said.

Michael R
30-Jan-2016, 08:27
Lodima is a good paper, but the extract quoted in post 2 is both gross and telling. That kind of comment is very rarely the language of the superior artist/craftsman. Unwise at best.

rich815
30-Jan-2016, 08:44
Lodima is a good paper, but the extract quoted in post 2 is both gross and telling. That kind of comment is very rarely the language of the superior artist/craftsman. Unwise at best.

Agree.

Oren Grad
30-Jan-2016, 09:36
As a Michael who's sick and tired of people not being able to spell one of the most simple and common names in the universe, what bothers me most here is the spelling in this thread's title.

Be kind - we're all only human. Typo corrected, in the initial post and the responses.

Ken Lee
30-Jan-2016, 10:05
Michael also made the observation that in Paul Strand's later work in New Hebrides, Romania, Egypt and Ghana "he was making the same photographs, just in different places". Another provocative statement, but worthy of consideration.

After some consideration, it strikes me that many artists explore consistent themes and approach throughout their careers: it's not necessarily a shortcoming.


http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/2Westons.jpg
http://www.kenleegallery.com/images/forum/2Strands.jpg


In spite of the sameness, I'd be happy to hang any of these on my wall.

Doug Howk
30-Jan-2016, 10:08
Took a workshop with them several years ago, and learned to respect their opinions. Michael has concentrated his work on one type of paper, and its only natural that he expounds on the merits of what works for him. Maybe he could be more diplomatic, but that's not his style. An honest opinion is worth more.

TXFZ1
30-Jan-2016, 11:08
Honest opinion is acceptable but degrading another photographer to build yourself up is not. I see it a lot in my limited exposure to the industry. Sad really, some have even admitted to it on this board.

David

Doug Howk
30-Jan-2016, 12:23
I think you've misinterpreted his statement. He was not saying that he is a better photographer; but rather that their use of enlarging paper reduces their ability in creating a great print.

MDR
30-Jan-2016, 12:26
Did he state a name no, also regarding exhibits I have read quiet a few threads on this forum that were about dissappointing prints being shown at exhibtions, maybe Michael Smith had the bad luck of seeing second rate work of an otherwise great printer who had to show his lesser work because the curator asked for them or to many good prints were being on show and that only left the "second rate" prints for that particular exhibit.

To be honest I prefer Paula Chamlee's to Smith's work but to base once opinion on a person on a single paragraph in an interview isn't much better than what people criticize the interviewee for.

TXFZ1
30-Jan-2016, 12:30
I understand fully what was written. There was no need to reference the exhibitioners, he still claims he has a magic bullet and would have trashed the exhibition prints. A nice way to say it woul be..."he feels that by the use of his paper prints will be a better.....whatever."

David

bob carnie
30-Jan-2016, 13:07
I saw Tim Rudman and Les Mcleans silver prints in the same room as Michael and Paula's.

IMO their enlarger prints were every bit as wonderful as the Contact Azo prints.
I have also seen John Sextons prints and they are beautiful, I am not sure if this is the assistant being referred too. But that dude
knows how to print.

All one needs to do is go to a collector like Paul Paletti and view hundreds of historical prints to see the variety of papers and styles
and be overwhelmed by them. After a walk through his gallery one realizes that its not the paper whatsoever but the image.

In Paul's collection to my surprise a Gary Winogrand print of five people on a bench basically stole it for me, also a few of Brett Weston's.

Willie
30-Jan-2016, 18:15
Be kind - we're all only human. Typo corrected, in the initial post and the responses.

I appreciate it Senor Grad.

Kirk Gittings
30-Jan-2016, 18:28
I'm not a fan-never have been. I frankly don't think his work is very interesting and I have been seeing it since the 70's. When I finally met him I was stupefied by his arrogance. Michael thinks he is the best at everything he does and puts down everything else until he takes it up-then it's ok and he is best at it. Inkjet printing is a great example-he totally trashed it right up until he took it up. He showed me and a friend a portfolio once of his b&w prints many years ago at a trade show. He was going on and on about what a great printer he was like he was like he was the second coming. Me and my friend thought a couple were flat and lifeless>mediocre and my friend told him so. He said oh, well, I didn't bring my best prints......what? really?

Mark Sawyer
30-Jan-2016, 19:23
I took a workshop with Michael and Paula long ago, and he said very much the same thing; if he couldn't print on Azo or Lodima, he would give up photography because only those silver chloride paper could give him the deep black and long tonal scale he so absolutely demanded.

Funny thing is, he also makes platinum prints, a process known for its short delicate tonal scale and blacks that only reach the mid-tone of normal silver enlarging papers.

karl french
30-Jan-2016, 19:25
Um, I think your characterization of platinum prints is way off.

wager123
30-Jan-2016, 19:26
well said Kirk, I just looked at his website and was not impressed .
and as we all know opinion's are like a ( fill in the blanks ) everyone has one myself included

rich815
30-Jan-2016, 19:44
All I know is that most of my photographs and especially my mediocre ones would have been much better if I had only taken them all in 8x10. Dammit.

Mark Sawyer
30-Jan-2016, 20:13
Um, I think your characterization of platinum prints is way off.

You know of platinum prints with deep blacks?

karl french
30-Jan-2016, 20:28
Rich velvety blacks are definitely possible with platinum prints. Mostly I was surprised at your characterization of platinum prints as having a short tonal scale, considering they are generally considered to be capable of a longer tonal scale than silver prints.

peter schrager
30-Jan-2016, 20:58
Michael and Paula also make books. you can either like the content or not but they are works of art unto themselves
Best, Peter

Bruce Barlow
30-Jan-2016, 22:49
If Michael didn't have such strong opinions, the world would be a little bit less colorful. He's balanced by Paula, who is about as wonderful as a human being can get.

Having witnessed it a couple times, you ought to see Michael and Steve Simmons in the same room...

Long ago, when I was testing paper, I spent a weekend with Michael and Paula working to do my testing regimen on Azo. They were fabulous hosts, and fed me to within an inch of my life. It wasn't easy - we set up a Beseler 4x5 enlarger and used it to enlarge my 4x5 negative onto 8x10 Azo with the special UV head they had at that time so that the print sizes would match.

Later, at home, I included Azo in my drydown tests. When I told them Azo dried down 10% (it does - I have the prints), Michael disagreed and said Azo had no drydown. "Oh yes it does," Paula chimed in. "We always make the final prints a little light." Michael thought a moment, and agreed. It was so automatic for him he didn't even think about it.

Azo in Amidol blew every silver paper away, by the way. Not even close. I have the prints.

DennisD
30-Jan-2016, 23:30
Azo in Amidol blew every silver paper away, by the way. Not even close. I have the prints.

Bruce, perhaps you could post the comparison prints you speak of. It would be interesting to see the relative differences for those who are not users of Azo/Amidol. It's understood web reproduction might not do full justice, but a comparison would be most interesting and informative.

If that would be diverting the topic of this thread, elsewhere, in a new thread, would be great.

Thanks

Bruce Barlow
30-Jan-2016, 23:45
I don't have a good scanner, and in any case a web scan wouldn't do any justice to anything. Sorry.

You can find the articles I wrote about the papers and developers at the site below my signature. Sadly, they were written a long time ago, and many of the papers are no longer available. The articles may help.

Merg Ross
31-Jan-2016, 00:01
[QUOTE=Bruce Barlow;1305752]If Michael didn't have such strong opinions, the world would be a little bit less colorful. He's balanced by Paula, who is about as wonderful as a human being can get.

Insightful and nicely said, Bruce. They have contributed greatly to the niche we are proud to call large format photography. Michael, of course, is no stranger to those who have followed this forum over the previous decades. Opinions are just that, take them at face value and move on. Their work speaks for itself, and we can like or dislike it. However, there are very few photographers with the dedication of Michael and Paula to their work, and to the craft of producing photographs of technical excellence. They have always been more than willing to share their knowledge.

Wayne
31-Jan-2016, 00:05
What would the world be without ornery, opinionated people. Pretty boring.

I've never taken to M's web personality much but I appreciate what he does, preserving old technology and especially his Brett Weston Portfolios.

Michael A. Smith
31-Jan-2016, 07:21
I rarely get here these days, but a good friend alerted me to this thread. Let me set the record straight.

Paula and I saw an exhibit in Carmel California by about eight or ten former Ansel Adams. Speaking of print quality only, there was only one print that would have made it out of our darkroom. And our response does not mean the prints were bad prints, they were just not what we expect from our prints. That is just our taste, but certainly we are entitled to our taste.

Back in 1970 I think it was, there was a huge exhibition of Ansel's photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most of the prints were enlargements of many of his famous negatives. They were uninteresting to me. But then, off to the side there was a wall in a balcony that had a row of his 8x10-inch contact prints. I still remember those prints as if they were in front of me. They were the most beautiful prints I had ever seen—to this day. I learned that they had all been printed on silver chloride paper.

Some of you may not be aware of this writing by Ansel:

In his book, Examples, when discussing the photograph, “Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain,” Ansel Adams wrote, "Many years ago I made a print of this negative on a contact paper that, when fully toned in selenium, had a marvelous color. It is one of the most satisfactory prints I have ever made, and I have not been able to duplicate it with contemporary enlarging papers. The paper I used might have been Agfa Convira or Kodak Azo. Both were coated with silver-chloride emulsions, which tone faster and give more color than the predominant bromide or chloro-bromide emulsions of today."

I taught myself photography. To learn what a great print was, as often as I could afford, I often went into New York to the Museum of Modern Art, sat down at a table in the photography department, and the curators brought prints for me to look at—as many as I wanted to see, by all of the great photographers—both Westons, Adams, Strand, Stieglitz, Frank, Friedlander, and on and on. To my eye, no matter who the photographer was, I thought that the most beautiful prints, as prints, notwithstanding what the picture was of, were the contact prints on silver chloride paper. (Yes, I asked the curators about the paper.) So I set about learning to print on this type of paper. It took a long time to get the results I was after. Partly that had to do with the choice of developer and partly it had to do with discovering the right print developing time.

Prints on silver chloride paper are capable of having deeper blacks than prints on enlarging papers and they do have a longer gray scale. (What Paula and I did not like about the prints we saw that day in Carmel was the shortened gray scale. It was as if some of the mid-tones had dropped out.) As a consequence of the long gray scale, to some, prints on silver chloride paper may look flat. Whether one prefers prints like that, or not, is a matter of taste.

Scans of prints equalize everything, and the differences between print on silver-chloride paper and prints on other papers are indistinguishable. But if any of you have the opportunity to see the actual prints from Bruce Barlow's tests, you will readily see the difference.

I do not understand Mr. Gitting’s response. He has every right to his opinion about my prints, but he made up the statement that I made an excuse and said that these were not my best prints. I have always, and Paula and I have always, carried what we think are our best prints with us. We meet, or used to meet, regularly with curators and photography collectors. Since we never had any money we were, and still are, hoping to make sales of our prints. Since that was and is our goal, there was and is certainly no percentage in carrying around anything other than our best prints.

The Lodima silver chloride paper we had made: My comment in the interview had nothing to do with making sales of our paper. That anyone could attribute my comment to that motive is, I don't know what, but the word “weird” while not exactly right, comes to mind.

Here is a very short history of how we came to make this paper. In the 1990s, when Azo was first going to be discontinued, Kodak offered me and Paula to become limited dealers of Azo. We turned them down. We are photographers and did not have the time. They suggested that some camera store needed to “step up” and guarantee a minimum purchase every year. They suggested Freestyle. After a few months, Freestyle called us a told us they no longer wished to carry Azo. So we, reluctantly, contacted Kodak and became limited dealers. Not only did we need the paper for ourselves, we felt it should be available to others. Then , because so many were very happy printing on silver chloride paper, after Kodak stopped making all papers, we set about having a new silver chloride paper made. We had enough Azo in our big freezer to last us a lifetime. We did this so others could have access to silver chloride paper. Five years of R&D took its toll on us. Doing this has been a financial disaster. We sell an 8x10 sheet in 100-sheet boxes for $200. That is $2/sheet. Yes, that is more expensive than other papers. Had we the capitalization and the resources of a company like Ilford, we could match their prices, but we cannot. It is an interesting thing about many photographers: they will spend huge sums of money on equipment, on cameras and lenses, but when it comes to spending a little more on film and paper, they get cheap and often choose materials based on the lowest price.

Platinum prints: I haven’t a clue how to make platinum prints. The large platinum prints that we have had made for us are made from five separations by Salto-Ulbeek in Belgium. These prints have deeper blacks and a longer scale than any silver papers, including silver chloride papers. Anyone who thinks platinum prints cannot have deep blacks does not know anything about what a platinum print can be.

Paula joins me in inviting anyone who would like to make up their own minds about print quality to come and visit us. I'm even willing to print one of your negatives on silver chloride paper, so you, too, can see the differences in print quality that the paper can make. Contact us though our web site: www.michaelandpaula.com.

And one more thing:I have often said that there are a number of photographers who make enlargements who are more skillful printers that I am. They have to be, because printing on enlarging paper is so difficult. Printing on silver chloride paper, with it’s long scale and little toe or shoulder, is so easy that little skill is required.

Michael A. Smith

MDR
31-Jan-2016, 08:44
Thank you for the clarification

Michael A. Smith
31-Jan-2016, 10:38
I read this thread again and am compelled to defend myself and add one thing. Personal attacks have no business in a thread like this, but when I am attacked I must respond. In addition to (intentionally?) mis-stating that I said these were not my best prints, Mr. Gittings also mis-stated everything else. When Paula and I show our photographs to anyone (except in a workshop) we never say anything at all about them. The photographs must speak, or sing, for themselves. If I said anything anything at all, it would have been about the paper. I have no doubt that there may be better photographers than I am. I have never said or suggested otherwise. All I was talking about, or could possibly have been talking about, would have been print quality. And the only reason I would have been talking about that is because I am first of all a teacher. If anyone doubts that I am a good one, I suggest you look at the comments following the workshop descriptions for our upcoming New Zealand workshops. All of the comments were unsolicited. Paula and I do not ask for feedback.

http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/html/calendar_details.php?Vision-Technique-Workshop---Wellington-Mar.-18---20-2016-10

peter schrager
31-Jan-2016, 10:49
I went to Classic Photographs L.A. yesterday. This is a select group of about 22 very well known dealers from around the country. here you had a chance to look over many of the great photographers and the one print that stood out for me was a Weston that I had never seen before. It was a cloud rising formation in Yosemite. the print looked like it had been made yesterday and I'm sure it was printed over 50 or 60 years ago. not withstanding there were many many great images to be seen; many iconic images that I know from books or have seen previously in person. one needs to go and see real prints in order to become a true artist.
the first time I met Paula and Michael they came to Ct. with a boatload of prints to share with us. it was quite the revelation to see those prints. they have always been so generous to share ALL of their info with us here and on the internet for FREE. I have to say that printing with AZO is about the easiest thing you will ever do. it takes less time and less paper to get it right because it's that simple as long as you have a roadmap to where you want to go with the print.
Yes I too have a great stash of FILM and PAPER (AZO); and do you know why? it's because I'm now free to go and photograph. I just taught myself after 40 something years of this to develop by inspection. one more item to check off the list; no more time and temp for me. and I simply learned it by reading what Michael had to say on the internet.
everyone have an amazing day and go see prints!!
best, peter

Bill_1856
31-Jan-2016, 14:36
All Michael lacks in being considered one of the great landscape photographers of all time is that he has produced no single iconic masterpiece, (Adam's Moonrise, Strand's White Picket Fence, Tice's OakTree, etc), which we all know may be just a matter of luck in addition to skill. I sometimes wonder if his technical inflexibility is as much a determent as an asset to his vision.
He and Paula certainly deserve the highest level of respect from the fine-arts photography community.

Michael A. Smith
31-Jan-2016, 17:53
I word of explanation to those who have taken offense at my remark in the f11 article that, “only one print in the exhibition would have made it out of our darkroom.”

It just hit me: I believe some of you think that I was saying that the photographs were no good and that I thought I was a better photographer than those who were in the exhibition. I was saying nothing of the sort. I was commenting on print quality only. As far the vision that manifested in the photographs in the exhibition, Paula and I thought that many of them, in terms of vision, was excellent, and there were a number that either she or I would have been proud to have made. For those who thought that I was being arrogant about who I am as a photographer in relation to other contemporary photographers, may I suggest that you read more carefully, or more literally. I am very literal. I said there was only one print that would have made it out of our darkroom—not one “photograph.” Of course, always, vision come first. A technically exquisite print could well be dead on arrival. And I fully understand that print quality is not the most important aspect of a picture. As David Vestal once said, “the really great pictures do not have to be perfect.” But, all things being equal, a more beautiful print has the ability to connect with the audience more deeply than one not so beautiful. And I was only commenting on print quality, based on my experience and my taste in prints. I hope that is clear.

Michael A. Smith

DennisD
31-Jan-2016, 21:18
Thank you, Michael, for your various postings. You've certainly made every effort to be clearly understood.

With regard to the exhibited prints, It's clear you were speaking of the difference between the quality of silver chloride paper compared to enlarging papers. Unfortunately, the statement, if not carefully read, can be misunderstood.

It's regrettable when quotes are misinterpreted and twisted beyond original intent, flavored and fueled by third party commentary. That's when negativity arises and the atmosphere of a forum loses its humanity. Unfortunately, the presentation of your quote from f11 opened the door.

There are many here who do not hesitate expressing strong opinions about all sorts of things. While that makes the forum interesting, it can become destructive when conversation leads to negativity or comments are misunderstood.

I hope your clarifications help those who have any doubts about what you intended.

Both you and Paula have done many positive things for LF Photography. Your publishing and teaching efforts are most commendable as is your stature as a photographer and your overall devotion to photography over so many years. Those who appreciate and use Azo type paper are, no doubt, indebted to you for keeping the paper alive.

Although I have no connection to you as a student, or otherwise --

I look at your track record and say a kind "Thank You" for your contribution to LF.

mdm
1-Feb-2016, 01:14
Good to hear of someone coming to NZ to run a workshop, Iceland is such the cliche. I won't be attending your workshop in Wellington but if you are in the vicinity of Te Anau or Milford Sound I would love to look at prints.

David


I rarely get here these days, but a good friend alerted me to this thread. Let me set the record straight.

Paula and I saw an exhibit in Carmel California by about eight or ten former Ansel Adams. Speaking of print quality only, there was only one print that would have made it out of our darkroom. And our response does not mean the prints were bad prints, they were just not what we expect from our prints. That is just our taste, but certainly we are entitled to our taste.

Back in 1970 I think it was, there was a huge exhibition of Ansel's photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most of the prints were enlargements of many of his famous negatives. They were uninteresting to me. But then, off to the side there was a wall in a balcony that had a row of his 8x10-inch contact prints. I still remember those prints as if they were in front of me. They were the most beautiful prints I had ever seen—to this day. I learned that they had all been printed on silver chloride paper.

Some of you may not be aware of this writing by Ansel:

In his book, Examples, when discussing the photograph, “Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain,” Ansel Adams wrote, "Many years ago I made a print of this negative on a contact paper that, when fully toned in selenium, had a marvelous color. It is one of the most satisfactory prints I have ever made, and I have not been able to duplicate it with contemporary enlarging papers. The paper I used might have been Agfa Convira or Kodak Azo. Both were coated with silver-chloride emulsions, which tone faster and give more color than the predominant bromide or chloro-bromide emulsions of today."

I taught myself photography. To learn what a great print was, as often as I could afford, I often went into New York to the Museum of Modern Art, sat down at a table in the photography department, and the curators brought prints for me to look at—as many as I wanted to see, by all of the great photographers—both Westons, Adams, Strand, Stieglitz, Frank, Friedlander, and on and on. To my eye, no matter who the photographer was, I thought that the most beautiful prints, as prints, notwithstanding what the picture was of, were the contact prints on silver chloride paper. (Yes, I asked the curators about the paper.) So I set about learning to print on this type of paper. It took a long time to get the results I was after. Partly that had to do with the choice of developer and partly it had to do with discovering the right print developing time.

Prints on silver chloride paper are capable of having deeper blacks than prints on enlarging papers and they do have a longer gray scale. (What Paula and I did not like about the prints we saw that day in Carmel was the shortened gray scale. It was as if some of the mid-tones had dropped out.) As a consequence of the long gray scale, to some, prints on silver chloride paper may look flat. Whether one prefers prints like that, or not, is a matter of taste.

Scans of prints equalize everything, and the differences between print on silver-chloride paper and prints on other papers are indistinguishable. But if any of you have the opportunity to see the actual prints from Bruce Barlow's tests, you will readily see the difference.

I do not understand Mr. Gitting’s response. He has every right to his opinion about my prints, but he made up the statement that I made an excuse and said that these were not my best prints. I have always, and Paula and I have always, carried what we think are our best prints with us. We meet, or used to meet, regularly with curators and photography collectors. Since we never had any money we were, and still are, hoping to make sales of our prints. Since that was and is our goal, there was and is certainly no percentage in carrying around anything other than our best prints.

The Lodima silver chloride paper we had made: My comment in the interview had nothing to do with making sales of our paper. That anyone could attribute my comment to that motive is, I don't know what, but the word “weird” while not exactly right, comes to mind.

Here is a very short history of how we came to make this paper. In the 1990s, when Azo was first going to be discontinued, Kodak offered me and Paula to become limited dealers of Azo. We turned them down. We are photographers and did not have the time. They suggested that some camera store needed to “step up” and guarantee a minimum purchase every year. They suggested Freestyle. After a few months, Freestyle called us a told us they no longer wished to carry Azo. So we, reluctantly, contacted Kodak and became limited dealers. Not only did we need the paper for ourselves, we felt it should be available to others. Then , because so many were very happy printing on silver chloride paper, after Kodak stopped making all papers, we set about having a new silver chloride paper made. We had enough Azo in our big freezer to last us a lifetime. We did this so others could have access to silver chloride paper. Five years of R&D took its toll on us. Doing this has been a financial disaster. We sell an 8x10 sheet in 100-sheet boxes for $200. That is $2/sheet. Yes, that is more expensive than other papers. Had we the capitalization and the resources of a company like Ilford, we could match their prices, but we cannot. It is an interesting thing about many photographers: they will spend huge sums of money on equipment, on cameras and lenses, but when it comes to spending a little more on film and paper, they get cheap and often choose materials based on the lowest price.

Platinum prints: I haven’t a clue how to make platinum prints. The large platinum prints that we have had made for us are made from five separations by Salto-Ulbeek in Belgium. These prints have deeper blacks and a longer scale than any silver papers, including silver chloride papers. Anyone who thinks platinum prints cannot have deep blacks does not know anything about what a platinum print can be.

Paula joins me in inviting anyone who would like to make up their own minds about print quality to come and visit us. I'm even willing to print one of your negatives on silver chloride paper, so you, too, can see the differences in print quality that the paper can make. Contact us though our web site: www.michaelandpaula.com.

And one more thing:I have often said that there are a number of photographers who make enlargements who are more skillful printers that I am. They have to be, because printing on enlarging paper is so difficult. Printing on silver chloride paper, with it’s long scale and little toe or shoulder, is so easy that little skill is required.

Michael A. Smith

Michael A. Smith
1-Feb-2016, 04:52
Thanks to a number of you who have supported me in this discussion. If I can find the time, I will try to get here more often.

David from Te Anau. Get our email address from our web site www.michaelandpaula.com and send me your address and phone number. We will be be passing through Te Anau. Probably twice. This trip for us is a scouting trip and as part of it Paula and I hope to meet many photographers.

Michael A. Smith

Randy Moe
1-Feb-2016, 05:32
Plain talk and positive action is often criticised. Your defense was necessary. I understood you well.

Thank you.

Doug Howk
1-Feb-2016, 06:42
Michael, I realize that your focus has been on your AZO forum and website; but your expertise in silver chloride paper printing would be of definite benefit to this large format community. Might I suggest that you could start a thread here on silver chloride paper printing. It could be a long running thread such as some of the others whereby you and others could post on the subject. Ideally, it could become a topic with multiple threads. Just a thought.

Michael R
1-Feb-2016, 07:17
I don't think any of use who criticized the comments in the article misunderstood it. I certainly didn't. It clearly wasn't about the pictures, it was about print quality. My criticism stands. Re comparisons of contact papers to enlarging papers, blacks, etc. etc., there are some facts but also some myths and lore. Unfortunately rational discussions about these things are virtually impossible.

bob carnie
1-Feb-2016, 07:43
I for one would like to compare Lodima against the other papers available that I currently use.

I am about to launch a service of making very large silver negatives for Contact use and I always thought this paper (Lodima) needs to be tested
once I am ready to go. This service is aimed at digital capture to historical silver and Alt practitioners.

I will contact Michael once I have the Lambda producing the neg's, purchase some paper and recommended their dev, and do my own tests directly in my darkroom .

I am very excited in what Tim Parkin is doing with Led contact systems , as I believe there is a possible workaround to make a very large UV and Silver contact printing
unit with vacuum that is multi purpose for Silver printing and Pt Pd printing that I am actively involved with.
My bucket list would be that the unit powers up with adequate light for silver , but also can amp up for UV light for Pt Pd.
I just need an engineering geek to figure this one out.

We are definitely in a very nice period of time where there are so many options available to the serious printmaker.

Michael R
1-Feb-2016, 07:49
Lodima is an excellent contact paper in my experience/testing.

Wayne
1-Feb-2016, 08:26
+ 1. Back in the good old days of analog abundance some of these forum fights over personalities were occasionally ( and sadly) fun sport, but I think we as practitioners need all the support we can get these days. And like it or not Michael has done a lot for practitioners and lovers of photography.


Thank you, Michael, for your various postings. You've certainly made every effort to be clearly understood.

With regard to the exhibited prints, It's clear you were speaking of the difference between the quality of silver chloride paper compared to enlarging papers. Unfortunately, the statement, if not carefully read, can be misunderstood.

It's regrettable when quotes are misinterpreted and twisted beyond original intent, flavored and fueled by third party commentary. That's when negativity arises and the atmosphere of a forum loses its humanity. Unfortunately, the presentation of your quote from f11 opened the door.

There are many here who do not hesitate expressing strong opinions about all sorts of things. While that makes the forum interesting, it can become destructive when conversation leads to negativity or comments are misunderstood.

I hope your clarifications help those who have any doubts about what you intended.

Both you and Paula have done many positive things for LF Photography. Your publishing and teaching efforts are most commendable as is your stature as a photographer and your overall devotion to photography over so many years. Those who appreciate and use Azo type paper are, no doubt, indebted to you for keeping the paper alive.

Although I have no connection to you as a student, or otherwise --

I look at your track record and say a kind "Thank You" for your contribution to LF.

bob carnie
1-Feb-2016, 08:56
There is a saying that if you do not have any enemy's you are not trying hard enough.

Kirk Gittings
1-Feb-2016, 09:03
There is a saying that if you do not have any enemy's you are not trying hard enough.

indeed.

Kirk Gittings
1-Feb-2016, 09:16
I for one would like to compare Lodima against the other papers available that I currently use.

I am about to launch a service of making very large silver negatives for Contact use and I always thought this paper (Lodima) needs to be tested
once I am ready to go. This service is aimed at digital capture to historical silver and Alt practitioners.

I will contact Michael once I have the Lambda producing the neg's, purchase some paper and recommended their dev, and do my own tests directly in my darkroom .

I am very excited in what Tim Parkin is doing with Led contact systems , as I believe there is a possible workaround to make a very large UV and Silver contact printing
unit with vacuum that is multi purpose for Silver printing and Pt Pd printing that I am actively involved with.
My bucket list would be that the unit powers up with adequate light for silver , but also can amp up for UV light for Pt Pd.
I just need an engineering geek to figure this one out.

We are definitely in a very nice period of time where there are so many options available to the serious printmaker.

This is exciting Bob. You will get some business from me on this.

Sal Santamaura
1-Feb-2016, 09:29
...in the vicinity of Te Anau...Last April, in conjunction with my wife's convention presentations at an Australian convention, we added a travel leg and spent three nights in Te Anau. Through sheer coincidence, it was probably the best week of your year for freedom from sandflies in Fiordland. We even had one spectacular sunny day, during which I managed to make a few really nice images, albeit with my small digital gadget, not a large format camera. The places you picture on this forum frequently look very familiar. Now that you've narrowed things down from "Southland New Zealand" I know why.

Beyond the spectacular physical environment, two things stood out. One was the approach to Queenstown airport. The other was my first left-side-of-road driving experience. Both terrified my wife but pleased me. :)

I'm sorry not to have known where you live, David. Meeting you would been another great New Zealand memory.


...Back in the good old days of analog abundance some of these forum fights over personalities were occasionally ( and sadly) fun sport...I disagree. The conflicts you refer to never were, aren't now and never will be "fun." They're nasty diversions that have no place here.

Bruce Barlow
1-Feb-2016, 10:02
Michael, I realize that your focus has been on your AZO forum and website; but your expertise in silver chloride paper printing would be of definite benefit to this large format community. Might I suggest that you could start a thread here on silver chloride paper printing. It could be a long running thread such as some of the others whereby you and others could post on the subject. Ideally, it could become a topic with multiple threads. Just a thought.

Their website already has such threads, freely accessed and very informative. There's much more good information there than could be replicated here for a long, long time. I go there when I want answers, and usually find them without even posting a question. You might have a look there, first.

mdm
1-Feb-2016, 12:41
April is my favourite month to be in Southland, although last April we had unseasonal snow on the 12th, its usually cool and calm and crystal clear. I am afraid I did not live in Te Anau when you passed through.


Last April, in conjunction with my wife's convention presentations at an Australian convention, we added a travel leg and spent three nights in Te Anau. Through sheer coincidence, it was probably the best week of your year for freedom from sandflies in Fiordland. We even had one spectacular sunny day, during which I managed to make a few really nice images, albeit with my small digital gadget, not a large format camera. The places you picture on this forum frequently look very familiar. Now that you've narrowed things down from "Southland New Zealand" I know why.

Beyond the spectacular physical environment, two things stood out. One was the approach to Queenstown airport. The other was my first left-side-of-road driving experience. Both terrified my wife but pleased me. :)

I'm sorry not to have known where you live, David. Meeting you would been another great New Zealand memory.

I disagree. The conflicts you refer to never were, aren't now and never will be "fun." They're nasty diversions that have no place here.

Drew Wiley
1-Feb-2016, 12:47
I like his work itself, but not his inflexible methodology. I once tried ordering a box of Gr 3 Azo from him, but he sent me Gr 2 instead, since that is what one is the one you're "supposed" to use. Well, at this point I think I know what my own negatives need, and what their own contrast is like. But he probably would have sent
me nothing if he knew I was going to enlarge on it, since you HAVE to contact print it.

Sal Santamaura
1-Feb-2016, 13:04
April is my favourite month to be in Southland, although last April we had unseasonal snow on the 12th, its usually cool and calm and crystal clear...We were there near the end of April. Only the slightest traces of snow remained in small south-facing crevices. See attached snapshot.

145890


...I am afraid I did not live in Te Anau when you passed through.In that case I've nothing to be sad about. :D

Michael A. Smith
1-Feb-2016, 16:35
I like his work itself, but not his inflexible methodology. I once tried ordering a box of Gr 3 Azo from him, but he sent me Gr 2 instead, since that is what one is the one you're "supposed" to use. Well, at this point I think I know what my own negatives need, and what their own contrast is like. But he probably would have sent
me nothing if he knew I was going to enlarge on it, since you HAVE to contact print it.

Sorry about that, Drew. I am not sure why you are so hateful. If that happened it was an error and you should have let us know ASAP. We would have sent you the Grade 3 and paid for return shipping of the Grade 2.

You wrote, "Grade 2 is the paper one is ‘supposed’ to use.” I don't know where you got that idea. Certainly not from me or Paula. Most of my work was printed on Grade 3 Azo.

We have kept a careful record on a data base of everyone who ever purchased Azo from us. 635 names. We have never edited it, even after people have deceased. Curiously, your name is not in the data base.

Michael A Smith

Sal Santamaura
1-Feb-2016, 16:59
As a Michael who's sick and tired of people not being able to spell one of the most simple and common names in the universe, what bothers me most here is the spelling in this thread's title.Perhaps the OP was thinking of this other LF Forum member:


http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/member.php?20359-Micheal-Clark

Abrasiveness is unattractive. Period.

Paul Metcalf
1-Feb-2016, 17:00
Enjoyed the article and was glad to see Michael and Paula are still doing their thing, it's been a while since I've last touched base (like the last View Camera's Large Format conference LOL). I had some prints along with me at the Monterey conference which both Michael and Paula looked at (Paula's was actually a formal portfolio review). I sort of stumbled into Azo/silver chloride printing - my local photo store had five Azo G3 100 sheet boxes for $68 a box and I had just made my first 8x10 negatives and was looking for something to contact print other than enlarging paper. My first attempts with Azo were with my regular B&W paper developer (not Amidol which I later went to after meeting and talking with Michael) but even with that my prints were much more satisfactory to me. I think it was also at the Monterey conference that Bruce had his print comparison project on hand, so I got to see all of the incredible hard work he put into that. And if I recall correctly, I think one of the most favorite papers from the blind survey was Ilford's Forte, which I had been using for my enlargements (blind luck again!). (Azo was also highly regarded IIRC but it might of been in it's own evaluation class since it was a contact printing paper vs enlarging paper, can't recall exactly). Three things Michael and Paula taught me (or I listened to LOL) in my meetings/discussion with them:
1) use the entire negative - every inch in every area of the frame - for the composition
2) the composition doesn't exist until it's seen on the ground glass (that completely changed my approach to LF photography)
3) use Grade 3 Azo and a water-bath development process to get the benefit of the G3's local contrast without compromising the long tonal scale of Azo (i.e. Grade 2 tonal scale with Grade 3 local especially in lower values)

What I haven't done is tried the Lodima, simply because I'm still working on my Azo supply and I also mess around with some alternative processes. I appreciate Michael's and Paula's commitment to their photography and craft. I miss the days of the conferences which allowed one to interact with others with the same passions (and share prints, processes, etc). Forums are good, but not a substitute. Paul

Michael A. Smith
1-Feb-2016, 18:13
Quote:Originally Posted by Doug Howk View Post
Michael, I realize that your focus has been on your AZO forum and website; but your expertise in silver chloride paper printing would be of definite benefit to this large format community. Might I suggest that you could start a thread here on silver chloride paper printing. It could be a long running thread such as some of the others whereby you and others could post on the subject. Ideally, it could become a topic with multiple threads. Just a thought.

Quote: Their website already has such threads, freely accessed and very informative. There's much more good information there than could be replicated here for a long, long time. I go there when I want answers, and usually find them without even posting a question. You might have a look there, first.
Bruce Barlow

I don't know how to do the quote thing where I wanted to quote from two responses. I hope the above is clear to everyone.

The Azo Forum: http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/AzoForum/default.asp

I originally began the Azo Forum in 2002 after I had written several articles about the silver chloride paper, Azo. The reason was that I was getting many questions and thought that with the Forum I would not have to answer the same question over and over. Well, the Azo Forum became so much more than I ever imagined. Many others contributed their knowledge, and there were not a small number of contributors who were far more knowledgeable than I was about various aspects of the paper and the process of printing it. There is enough material in the Azo Forum for a book to be made. If anyone is interested in doing that, let me know and I will assist in any way I can.

Since, after all, the knowledge about printing on silver chloride paper admits of only so much variety, the subject has for the most part been exhausted. These days, the Azo Forum only gets very occasional inquiries. Mostly the activity now revolves around the buying and selling of equipment. The person who does our web site wants me to close it down, as he could then move the site to a different server, and cost us less, but I feel that such a wealth of information should not disappear from public view. So it remains up on our site as a public service. It is heartwarming to learn that Bruce Barlow still uses it and we hope others do so as well.

Since, realistically, I no longer have the time to monitor the Forum as I did years ago (the years go by all too quickly) I would happily move the Azo Forum somewhere like the Large Format Photography Forum, perhaps as a sub forum. If the Forum owners/moderators are interested, let me know and perhaps we can work something out. (No, I am not implying that Paula and I will need to be paid, much as we could use the money.)

Michael A. Smith

Michael A. Smith

Darin Boville
1-Feb-2016, 18:45
Perhaps the OP was thinking of this other LF Forum member:


http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/member.php?20359-Micheal-Clark

Abrasiveness is unattractive. Period.

For what it is worth, my middle name is Michael and I am forever forgetting how to spell it. I just had to double check, in fact, as I wrote that. Don't know why...

--Darin

Michael A. Smith
1-Feb-2016, 19:06
I for one would like to compare Lodima against the other papers available that I currently use.

I am about to launch a service of making very large silver negatives for Contact use and I always thought this paper (Lodima) needs to be tested
once I am ready to go. This service is aimed at digital capture to historical silver and Alt practitioners.

I will contact Michael once I have the Lambda producing the neg's, purchase some paper and recommended their dev, and do my own tests directly in my darkroom .

I am very excited in what Tim Parkin is doing with Led contact systems , as I believe there is a possible workaround to make a very large UV and Silver contact printing
unit with vacuum that is multi purpose for Silver printing and Pt Pd printing that I am actively involved with.
My bucket list would be that the unit powers up with adequate light for silver , but also can amp up for UV light for Pt Pd.
I just need an engineering geek to figure this one out.

We are definitely in a very nice period of time where there are so many options available to the serious printmaker.

Dear Bob,

I think you will be very satisfied with Lodima paper and we will be very happy to supply it to you. We can have sizes made beyond 20x24 should you require that. We have had platinum printers try Lodima Grade 2. They said it matched the negatives that had made for platinum printing and were so happy with it that they bought many boxes.

Michael A Smith

Wayne
1-Feb-2016, 20:47
I disagree. The conflicts you refer to never were, aren't now and never will be "fun." They're nasty diversions that have no place here.

I guess I meant it was amusing to see how worked up certain people got over certain things. I don't think I was ever one of the sportsmen but I could be wrong. Anyway life was too short for nastiness then, and its even shorter now

Michael Clark
1-Feb-2016, 21:10
Perhaps the OP was thinking of this other LF Forum member:


http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/member.php?20359-Micheal-Clark

Abrasiveness is unattractive. Period.
You know, I never even realized that error , but I do mix my letters up some time thanks for showing me this Sal.

bob carnie
2-Feb-2016, 07:36
Thanks Michael
I will be indeed in touch when the enlarged negatives start popping out of my image device - later this year , early 2017


Dear Bob,

I think you will be very satisfied with Lodima paper and we will be very happy to supply it to you. We can have sizes made beyond 20x24 should you require that. We have had platinum printers try Lodima Grade 2. They said it matched the negatives that had made for platinum printing and were so happy with it that they bought many boxes.

Michael A Smith

Drew Wiley
2-Feb-2016, 09:34
Thank you for your reply, Michael. I'll keep you in mind if I experiment with Lodima. Azo wasn't my cup of tea anyway.

Sal Santamaura
2-Feb-2016, 09:40
You know, I never even realized that error , but I do mix my letters up some time thanks for showing me this Sal.You're welcome. I didn't realize I was showing you an error. In fact, I recalled your unique spelling because in the past I've apologized to you for incorrectly spelling your name (i.e. in the conventional way) when replying to one of your posts. Apparently back then my apology didn't cause you to notice that your profile was wrong. :)

Michael Clark
2-Feb-2016, 14:51
I'm a little slow on the uptake Sal. but got it right now.

Alan9940
2-Feb-2016, 16:09
It is heartwarming to learn that Bruce Barlow still uses it and we hope others do so as well.


Hello Michael,

I have referred to the Azo Forum many times over the years and have fairly recently posted a couple of questions to which you responded quickly; thank you! I, for one, would most definitely NOT wish to see this valuable information disappear. Thank you for keeping it alive and all you and Paula do in support of fine photography.

James Morris
2-Feb-2016, 20:32
Michael: any chance you'll be in Sydney as part of this trip? I and probably a few others would love to be able to see some of your prints.

Michael A. Smith
2-Feb-2016, 21:15
Ah, not this trip. Paula and I did have an exhibition in Sydney at Gordon Undy's gallery. I think it was in 2007. We keep meaning to get back, but life intervenes. We'll let you know when we do return. In the meantime, consider this an invitation to visit us here in the USA, or if it is a lot easier, come to New Zealand when we will be there.

Michael A Smith

aluncrockford
4-Feb-2016, 13:03
Just a quick endorsement of Michael and Paula's paper and workshops, in my opinion any one who goes out on a limb in defence of their artistic beliefs is to be admired, particularly when both paper and workshops are of such exemplary quality, personally I would urge anyone in New Zealand to take part in the workshops, it is a unique experience with a pair of photographers of a very impressive lineage.
Regarding the article,Michael,I suspect is comparing his particular standard of printing with that of another,and in his honest opinion the printing could have been improved,not having seen the prints it is impossible to hold a view on this, but what I would say is Michael and Paula's prints are of an extraordinary high quality and many other photographers would find it challenging to meet their quality of output .