View Full Version : This is a cool site!

Deane Johnson
15-Oct-2007, 14:21
I've been a coming here for a few weeks now and I had to comment how impressed I am with the fine bunch of folks on this forum. Everyone is very helpful, no wise asses, everyone seems to be for one reason, a love of large format photography. How refreshing.

Unfortunately, my shooting days are over. At age 72, I now spend much of my time as a care giver for my special needs son which keeps me close to home and out of the darkroom. That's why you may have seen several posts by me seeking advice on selling gear.

I had some great days while active. I had the privilage of photographing with Ansel Adams in the Sierra, of working in the darkroom with John Sexton and many solo photo trips to such places as Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Death Valley, New Mexico and the Pacific Northwest. Of course, every negative I shot, I now wish had been better.

What I have learned from the folks on this forum is that there is still a major future for me in photography using the Epson 4990 to scan some of the hundreds of Hasselblad, 4X5 and 8X10 negatives I never got around to printing and use Photoshop to complete them. Hopefully, my Canon i9900 printer will work well with the new fiber type papers being introduced.

Again, thanks for being here. I intend to be an active participant.

15-Oct-2007, 16:27
That (digital printing) is certainly one direction to seriously consider in continueing being active in photography.

But as another possibility, how about one of the alternative processing methods? Some require a minimum of darkroom facilities and time in the dark. Cyanotype, for example (can be toned if one does not like blue prints), POP paper is another. Van Dyke is another. These can be exposed in frames out in the sun, which may or may not work in with the care of your son.

I only suggest this because I enjoy the hand-made print, and I personally would not be as satisfied with producing images via a inkjet printer. But this is just a personal bent and I also understand how digital prints would be very satisfying way to produce images for many people.

best of luck in whatever path you take!


Ted Harris
15-Oct-2007, 17:51
Welcome Deane,

Glad to have you here and happy to help in any way possible.

15-Oct-2007, 21:44
Welcome. :)

Jeremy Moore
16-Oct-2007, 06:28
In addition to the high level of expertise here, the people run the gamut from new to large format to shooting it for ages, people from all over the world, those shooting 2"x3" handheld to Monte and his 20"x24" ambrotypes (try that hand-held, Monte!), and an age range from mid-teens to those who trump you, Deane.

Welcome. Kick back. Read the archives. Enjoy the company.

16-Oct-2007, 07:37
Welcome Deane!

With your experience, you sure can add to this forum! I look forward to reading your posts. You can receive lots of help with PS & scanning here. I made the switch from wet to dry darkroom years ago and have not looked back.

Kind Regards,

John Kasaian
16-Oct-2007, 11:33
Welcome Deane!

Eric Biggerstaff
16-Oct-2007, 12:49

Welcome and I look forward to reading your posts and learning from you.

Andrew O'Neill
16-Oct-2007, 17:39
I'd love to hear about your experiences with Adams and Sexton...

Deane Johnson
16-Oct-2007, 18:05
Ansel was very open and made you feel welcome and equal. He was very much an ordinary person who truly loved photography and wanted to share what he knew. He was a tremendous communicator. While he was a master at the technical issues, what stands out in my mind to this day was his concentration on the aesthetics of the photograph and what it was saying. It was not a mechanical or physical thing, it was a form of communication. One thing he said that sticks out in my mind is that he didn't believe in giving photographs titles. If the photograph needs a title to tell the viewer what the photographer wanted them to think, the photographer has failed to communicate through the photograph. I think of that today every time I see a photo with a "title" such as "Beautiful Sunset" or "Romance" or "Serenity", or whatever. Don't confuse that with a descriptive title, which Ansel used, such as where the photo was taken and perhaps the date.

John Sexton, a technical genius, perhaps even better at technical issues than Ansel was, is too technical for me. My reaction to his photographs is that they are too mechanical. In the darkroom, he used techniques I didn't especially care for, but the technically perfect photos he creates time after time certainly suggest the procedures worked very well for him. He is a fine, open and friendly gentlemen.

I think it was when I finally realized that I didn't even belong on the same planet as Ansel Adams as a photographer, or that I would never qualify technically to even sweep up John Sexton's darkroom, I began to lose interest in darkroom work. I'm hoping to resurrect my interest with an Epson scanner, Photoshop and the new fiber based inkjet papers. Discovering this forum has been a fantastic benefit for me.

Merg Ross
16-Oct-2007, 21:13
Deane, indeed welcome to the forum, and thank you for your comments regarding Ansel.

I knew Ansel for thirty years, and your opening paragraph is an excellent summation of the man; "an open, ordinary person who loved photography, and a communicator who wanted to share what he knew". I could not agree more with your assessment of Ansel.

However, I do find the comments in your last paragraph a bit distressing, the fact that two supposed teachers of photography led you to doubt your own skills and vision.

Welcome back to your photographic pursuits!

Merg ross

Uri Kolet
19-Oct-2007, 23:55
Welcome from Vancouver in the Canadian Rockies, Deane; glad to have you here.