Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
I do agree with Mr. Picker that you can learn a lot from looking at other amazing prints ... ones that do the kinds of things you'd like your ownimages do. I don't want them "at my elbow" in the darkroom, but i want to have them around.

For me, those inspiring and instructive prints were the plates in the big Paul Strand book printed by Steinhour press in 4 colors, a tint, and two varnishes, with separations made by Richard Benson. Holy wow the printing of that book is incredible. It also opened my eyes and mind to the possibility of ink on paper. I couldn't make my silver prints look that good!
I have a couple of the Adams Special Edition Yosemite prints made by Alan Ross, and it is instructive to compare them with the duotone reproductions in Yosemite and the Range of Light, which is no longer state-of-the-art printing but it was when it was printed. The lithography actually finds edges that don't exist in the direct enlargement. I saw the same effect (but not as pronounced) with my 1270, but I don't see it at all on the 3800.

Using the K3 inks and ABW on Epson glossy paper, the blacks I'm getting are at least as rich as those Special Edition prints. I can't compare the gradation--none of my negatives are as good as the 8x10 negatives Ross had access to--and you can't print what isn't there on any printing technology.

Which brings me to another point. I wonder if there is a correlation between the responses here and where in the large-format spectrum the responders work. Maybe 4x5 isn't big enough to bring those differences out as clearly as 8x10 and larger.

Rick "thinking out loud" Denney