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Thread: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

  1. #31
    Michael Alpert
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    Re: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

    1) Although "Moonrise" is perhaps Adams's best known image, there are many other Adams photographs that are more complex and, I think, more expressive of his personal vision.

    2) One of the great lessons of photography is that nothing lasts. You never step in the same river twice. Instead of lamenting this absolute fact, photography celebrates the flow of human life, the ephemeral reality in which we live. It's what Japanese culture has long celebrated at cherry-blossom time.

    3) Technological change is important. We, as Heidegger wrote, live within technology, whether we want to or not. But when it comes to art, it's the the artist's sensibility that matters most, the tools are secondary. The real limitation is the limitation of one's talent.

  2. #32
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

    Jetcode,

    Whats to master? Art. FWIW. That machine workflow you describe is not the same thing as careful creative printing. I use something similar on commercial images all the time as architectural photography is very much a volume business. I am experienced in PS and use it everyday as well as teach it at the university level so I am proficient at it. But when I sit down to work on an image it is different, just as wet printing an art image is far more involved than printing pictures of the dog. All told, when producing b&w art prints in ink, I spend about 2-4 long days (not including scan) preparing a file including some limited hard proofing (test prints) on a couple of different media with various subtle toning etc. When I think I am finished, I sit with the print for a couple of days, seeing it in different light etc. and see if I want to change anything. Then a day to run a small edition. When I revisit that print for another show later, after having lived with the print for a long time, I always will make further changes and possibly start from scratch.
    This is actually a bit more time than I would spend on a traditional silver print edition for exhibition, largely because there is more I can do fine tuning an image. But all in all the creative process of printing is very similar.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
    WEBSITE

    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

  3. #33
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    Re: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by jetcode View Post
    What I can do with PS curves in 1 minute would take me 1-2 days to master in the darkroom and I still will not get that close to absolute translation.
    Quick. Now take the time to read what Jim said (I quoted it for your convenience) and what I said will make more sense to you maybe. Jim is talking about making the photograph at the wrong time of day (moving and correcting all those shadows), moving structures that were built after the 1941 image was made, etc. Considerably more work than a simple curves correction, even for you.

    But since you started off down this path, I would be remiss if I didn't say that I typically spend about twice the time working an image in Photoshop as I did working a similar image in the darkroom. I was a pretty fair darkroom printer, and I've been learning Photoshop for six years now. I'm reasonably competent in both, yet I prefer the longer digital workflow. Simply because it offers so much more control. In the darkroom I could get close to my vision with the final print. With Photoshop and inkjet printing, I can get even closer. But to do that I'm farther up the curve of diminishing returns. So it takes longer.

    I don't find that darkroom prints are better or worse in general than inkjet prints. Or platinum prints. Or dye transfers. Or albumin. Etc. They are different. They have their own look and feel, and require different skills sets to accomplish. That they are different doesn't mean that one is better than the other IMHO.

    Bruce Watson

  4. #34
    jetcode
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    Re: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Gasteazoro View Post
    I disagree Joe, the chemical process is a limitation not something new you are seeing in PS. In fact, knowing sensitometry and knowing what the curves mean can greatly enhance your use of PS. For example, you mention how you moved the points in your main layer to better define the tones. If I were to use PS instead of just doing the curve ajustment directly on the main layer I would create layers that with local curves, pretty much like we do when we create contrast reducing or increasing masks, or unsharp masks.

    The fact that this is much more easily done in PS does not mean it is new, it is only easier.
    Jorge,

    Yes, and yes, and yes. What PS brings to me is that I can edit an image without having to soak paper everytime a change is made. That is what I meant. Yes layers are quite useful and so is sensitometry. The time it takes to create masks in the darkroom is significant in my opinion though I must say it's not necessarily any easier in PS depending on the subject.


    I don't want to continue to hijack this thread with this topic. Perhaps we could continue elsewhere and get back to the nature of an evolving landscape.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  5. #35
    jetcode
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    Re: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    Quick. Now take the time to read what Jim said (I quoted it for your convenience) and what I said will make more sense to you maybe. Jim is talking about making the photograph at the wrong time of day (moving and correcting all those shadows), moving structures that were built after the 1941 image was made, etc. Considerably more work than a simple curves correction, even for you.
    Now I'm laughing but not at you at my PS skills. I wouldn't dare try to pull off something like Jim suggested. I'm crazy but I'm not suicidal.

    But since you started off down this path, I would be remiss if I didn't say that I typically spend about twice the time working an image in Photoshop as I did working a similar image in the darkroom. I was a pretty fair darkroom printer, and I've been learning Photoshop for six years now. I'm reasonably competent in both, yet I prefer the longer digital workflow. Simply because it offers so much more control. In the darkroom I could get close to my vision with the final print. With Photoshop and inkjet printing, I can get even closer. But to do that I'm farther up the curve of diminishing returns. So it takes longer.
    And I suspect if you had the same kind of control in the darkroom you would spend more time too. The beauty of edit once print forever is just that; print forever. Once the image is dialed in reproduction becomes a function of the printer not how well you can reproduce the exact steps it took too create the master image all over again.

    I don't find that darkroom prints are better or worse in general than inkjet prints. Or platinum prints. Or dye transfers. Or albumin. Etc. They are different. They have their own look and feel, and require different skills sets to accomplish. That they are different doesn't mean that one is better than the other IMHO.
    You haven't seen my darkroom prints LOL!

  6. #36
    jetcode
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    Re: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    Jetcode,

    Whats to master? Art. FWIW. That machine workflow you describe is not the same thing as careful creative printing. I use something similar on commercial images all the time as architectural photography is very much a volume business. I am experienced in PS and use it everyday as well as teach it at the university level so I am proficient at it. But when I sit down to work on an image it is different, just as wet printing an art image is far more involved than printing pictures of the dog. All told, when producing b&w art prints in ink, I spend about 2-4 long days (not including scan) preparing a file including some limited hard proofing (test prints) on a couple of different media with various subtle toning etc. When I think I am finished, I sit with the print for a couple of days, seeing it in different light etc. and see if I want to change anything. Then a day to run a small edition. When I revisit that print for another show later, after having lived with the print for a long time, I always will make further changes and possibly start from scratch.
    This is actually a bit more time than I would spend on a traditional silver print edition for exhibition, largely because there is more I can do fine tuning an image. But all in all the creative process of printing is very similar.
    Kirk,

    Yes, yes, and yes. You remind of the difference between a working master and an amateur. The image I displayed was half of the process guaranteed and I would spend more time getting it to look as I want in print. What I meant by "what's to master" is more inline with the notion that a computer and PS must be difficult to use when I find that it is not. Mastering the process of art is a world all on its own regardless of media and yes that takes a lot of skill.

    Joe

  7. #37
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

    Joe FWIW I found this transition very difficult. It took me about three years. It was harder than my master's degree, but I am an old fart.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
    WEBSITE

    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

  8. #38
    Resident Heretic
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    Re: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by jetcode View Post
    And I suspect if you had the same kind of control in the darkroom you would spend more time too.
    Indeed. It was that lack of control that sent me down this hybrid film/digital path in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by jetcode View Post
    The beauty of edit once print forever is just that; print forever. Once the image is dialed in reproduction becomes a function of the printer not how well you can reproduce the exact steps it took too create the master image all over again.
    Actually, it's also a factor of the weather, temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, etc. Not to mention batch-to-batch changes in the inks and substrates and printer aging. I would have thought it would be more repeatable than it actually is.

    But assuming that it does stay dialed in, what's to stop me from changing my interpretation over time? More than once I've gone back and started over with my original scan file to make a (sometimes very) different interpretation of the image. Did that in the darkroom too.

    Bruce Watson

  9. #39

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    Re: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

    "What's to master?"

    A whole lot.

    "Believe me I'm no guru at PS."

    I believe you (and I'm no guru either)

    "You look at the greyscale strips on the X/Y axis. You pick a point near highlights or shadows, move the point until you get the results you are looking for. Don't like it? modify or start over. I literally stumbled onto greyscale curves last week after trying to do everything with levels. In a matter of minutes I was getting results that were leaving me wondering how I ever managed without curves!"

    What you describe here is only a small part of what can be done with curves. In fact if all you're doing is picking a place at or near the end point of the highlights or shadows and moving the point you're doing nothing more than what you were doing in Levels when you moved the black or white points to the left or right (i.e. you're simply altering the overall contrast of the image). For a summary of all the ways curves can be used, you might go to http://ronbigelow.com/articles/articles.htm and scroll down to the Curves articles. There are five of them. You can obtain much more detailed information about the use of curves in various books if you really want to master them but these five articles will give you a good general overview.

    And then when you've mastered curves you can move on to other areas you should know about if you're going to master Photoshop - layers, selection tools and methods, masks including quick masks, vector masks, clipping masks, paste and fade masks, and layer masks, gradient layers, filters, sharpening, blend modes, brushes, gradient fills, shape alteration, and who knows how many other areas and subsets of areas. I'd very roughly estimate that if you devote a full day a week for one year to studying and practicing this kind of stuff you'll be in a position to begin mastering Photoshop.

    Not to say you must know everything there is to know about Photoshop before you can begin using it to your great advantage but you asked "what's to master" so we're talking about a lot more than just clunking along with the simple tools you mentioned. Even learning the basics of Photoshop requires a whole lot of work, at least it has for me in the six years I've been attending workshops and studying and working with Photoshop.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  10. #40
    jetcode
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    Re: Moonrise Hernandez 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    Joe FWIW I found this transition very difficult. It took me about three years. It was harder than my master's degree, but I am an old fart.
    I designed and built my first micro computer from scratch in 1981 so I am highly geekish in this regard. I took to PS rather quickly limited by the concepts of image manipulation which as Brian and others here suggest is quite deep. I am not discounting how deep PS is I am suggesting that within a day of training one can come up to speed and be able to make some decent images. I emailed Cole Thompson a few months back inquiring about teaching his PS workflow and he just had a laughing fit with that. As far as he's concerned he has absolutely no aptitude for PS whatsoever yet everything he produces is through PS and the results are fairly impressive, OK, quite impressive to me.

    In terms of aging gas I'm not far behind you at 48.
    Joe

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