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Thread: How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

  1. #1

    How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

    Greetings, I wonder how many hours, days or weeks it can take to produce a so-called 'fine print' (Ansel Adams definition). I usually spend 3-5 hours to get it right but e ven then, it may not be quite perfect. In the hands of an acomplished printer, how long does it usually take to get from the first draft print to the final pri nt (the so-called fine print). I realize that it is dependent on how close the s traight print is to the final print. Some examples would be quite helpful. Tha nks and Happy Holidays. KB

  2. #2
    Kevin Kolosky
    Join Date
    Jun 1999

    How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

    what is "right"


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2001

    How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

    well, after 30 years, it takes about 10 minutes. i used to spend hours screwing around with the intricacies of printing very sublte variations but after doing a million prints, you get to where you can look at a negative and just know what to do. it's pretty hard to beat experience...

  4. #4

    How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

    Wow - mine spend like half that much time in the developer alone!

  5. #5
    Robert A. Zeichner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Southfield, Michigan

    How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

    This is so dependent on many variables. First of all, when I make a new negative, I need to make a straight 8x10 of it to "live " with for awhile. I don't spend a great deal of time doing this print (usually on RC paper) but it may take days or weeks before I actually tackle it for real. Then, I start by making an 11x14 on fiber paper. By now, I've had a good chance to think about what needs to be done to make this into the final product. Sometimes, a negative is a good candiditate for some kind of masking or an alternative paper or some other material or technique. Even after I've taken great pains and maybe a couple of hours to arrive at what I want, when I mount it and show it to other photogrpaher friends of mine, I may hear comments or suggestions or just observe reactions that lead to revising the way I print it. I may even temporarily abandon it and go back and revise it months later when I'm certain I know what I want. I think it's a mistake to try and force the fishined product in one session or to attempt doing so right after you've made the negative. The other thing to remember is that as you get to be better at printing, negatives you had trouble with a year or two ago, may now be printable to a higher standard, given your improved skill.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

    Robert, that is great advice.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

    Well I figured out that I can get a fine print when I finall get into the darkroom strat exposing and splashing around and can say " Fine that's printed"

    the actual definition f a fine print depends on the subject the negative nad your own taste. Some negs are esy to print and others darn near drive you nuts. Then you go back and look at your own work years lter and say ,"that ain't nothing" .

  8. #8
    Beverly Hills, California
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Beverly Hills, CA

    How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

    ...or, "You ain't all that!"

  9. #9

    How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

    Keith: I can usually get a print I like in about four tries, starting from scratch. I start with a test strip of at least half a sheet of 8x10, get the overall exposure time, then make a full 8x10 work print. From the work print I can decide what the print needs, and by referring back to the test strip I can determine the seconds of burning in needed to get me in the ball park. Then I make that print and see what fine tuning needs to be done. The fourth print is usually pretty close. It takes longer when changes in contrast are called for. Also, I will look at the print after it dries to see if it dried down too much, and make another print if needed. The key for me is to standardize processing times, keep the developer fresh and the familiarity with my own setup and neg developing. Even then, I may go back a week later, look at the print, and wonder why I didn't see something that needs fixing. As stated earlier, experience and familiarity with your stuff speeds up the process. There just ain't no easy way if you are gonna make prints you are proud of.

    Merry Christmas,

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    How Long for a 'Fine Print'?

    20 seconds @ f:5.6.

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