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Thread: The art of printmaking

  1. #1

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    The art of printmaking

    I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a good book or two devoted to the art of printmaking?
    I'm interested on how to conceptualize the print and to think about how to dodge and burn to achieve what is intended.
    Ansel Adam's "The Print" does talk about this and has some excellent before and after examples.
    There must be other books or articles that discuss this in depth.
    Thanks!

    Randhir
    Randhir Singh
    randhirsingh.net

  2. #2
    jim_jm's Avatar
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    Re: The art of printmaking

    I have several books on printing which I refer to all the time for techniques and inspiration:
    1. "The Photographer's Master Printing Course" by Tim Rudman
    2. "Gradient Light" by Eddie Ephraums (geared toward use of variable-contrast papers)
    3. "Creative Elements" also by Eddie Ephraums (more for landscape photography printing technique)
    4. "The Art of Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum (covers a lot of other subjects as well as printing, but also talks about inspiration and visualization)
    Last edited by jim_jm; 28-Dec-2020 at 01:49. Reason: spelling

  3. #3

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    Re: The art of printmaking

    Thank you Jim! These look great.
    Randhir Singh
    randhirsingh.net

  4. #4

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    Re: The art of printmaking

    John Blakemore’s “Black And White Photography Workshop” is very useful, broad along the same lines as Bruce Barnbaum, cited above. It has an especially good explanation of the zone system.

  5. #5

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    Re: The art of printmaking

    A good print starts with a good negative. The less appropriate the negative given the light circumstances, the more hassle with dodging and burning. And a negative is good if it is in line with your wishes, the pre-visualization. So I would advise you to read Adams’ “The Negative”. The need for dodging and burning is in fact the consequence of an imbalance between exposing for the shadows and developing for the highlights. If this balance is right and the negative is good to print on grade 2 or 3, the modern variable contrast papers have enough leeway to come to an ideal print. Btw, mostly burning is less risky than dodging. In both, the risk is that you do it too long which leads to unnatural tonal values in that areas. And it is difficult to control it, costs a lot of expensive paper.

  6. #6

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    Re: The art of printmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by otto.f View Post
    A good print starts with a good negative. The less appropriate the negative given the light circumstances, the more hassle with dodging and burning. And a negative is good if it is in line with your wishes, the pre-visualization. So I would advise you to read Adams’ “The Negative”. The need for dodging and burning is in fact the consequence of an imbalance between exposing for the shadows and developing for the highlights. If this balance is right and the negative is good to print on grade 2 or 3, the modern variable contrast papers have enough leeway to come to an ideal print. Btw, mostly burning is less risky than dodging. In both, the risk is that you do it too long which leads to unnatural tonal values in that areas. And it is difficult to control it, costs a lot of expensive paper.
    My negs are *perfect*, they have been ever since I started out with the zone system in 1989. But I dodge and burn 99% of the time to emphasise certain areas or elements in a print. It adds depth and expression, it's how a print becomes a Print. Same story with split grade printing, and nothing to do with a bad negative. Dodge & burn is not difficult at all (to repeat) as long as you can count.
    The future is not what it used to be - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7

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    Re: The art of printmaking

    The books Jim listed are all great. I’d add also “the elements of black and white printing” by Carson Graves.

  8. #8

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    Re: The art of printmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
    My negs are *perfect*, they have been ever since I started out with the zone system in 1989. But I dodge and burn 99% of the time to emphasise certain areas or elements in a print. It adds depth and expression, it's how a print becomes a Print. Same story with split grade printing, and nothing to do with a bad negative. Dodge & burn is not difficult at all (to repeat) as long as you can count.
    Ok, I agree, maybe my text was a bit suggestive towards anti dodging and burning, which is not the case. And I do work myself with local contrast and split grading. Nevertheless, a good start is half of the job.

  9. #9

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    Re: The art of printmaking

    Thank you all for the valuable feedback.
    My question had more to do with how to think about these things rather than how to do it. The same ideas apply with black and white or colour and digital or analogue.
    Randhir Singh
    randhirsingh.net

  10. #10

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    Re: The art of printmaking

    I might add that Ansel Adams "Examples, the making of photographs" is worthwhile too.
    Thad Gerheim
    Website: http:/thadgerheimgallery.com

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