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Wednesday, 07 April 2010


Mike, kill those reflections! Get Tru Vue AR glazing for all your frames. It's a low-iron (i.e. not green) glass substrate with antireflection coating (not "non-glare" texturing) on both sides. You won't believe how prints framed behind it seem to have nothing over them.

Yes, I used that for the next print, which has delicate tones and lots of blacks. In this case, I wanted the surface of the glass to "take over" from the surface of the print in order to hide the spotting.



Greta looks more like a Doberman.

congrats on the Turnley print.

"I'm having a hard time with some of the inkjets". I'm presuming you mean prints rather than printers. I'd be interested if you could elucidate on this remark. (Please)

> even more precious than gold

*Too* easy!

So, platinum prints. Of what, I wonder?

Come on income tax refund!

Mike I would enjoy hearing how you mount you prints. I have a number of Peter s prints and was just getting ready to mount them (order supplies etc). They are the same size 12x18 image on a 16x20 paper.

It is normal to cover the signature for example.

I had the same experience this morning in the dog park. Two Great Danes both gave the GF1 a very thorough sniffing over. Had the 45-200 tele on so it didn't look like a box of treats. Maybe they smelled the hampsters or whatever runs things in there.

Quote... "Frank McLaughlin of Kodak once famously pronounced that one lifetime is not long enough to master both photography and dye transfer printing."

Wonder what Ctein thinks about that? ;~)

An unforeseen side effect of snack-sized cameras?

Mike - As a follow on to my comment on the Pd/Pt prints; I be VERY curious to hear what about the inkjet prints you don't like. And whether it BECAUSE they're inkjets, or because they're just bad prints. I'm still struggling with understanding what makes a great print (as opposed to great photo), and why people seem to so prefer some types over others.

I never drymount other peoples' prints, although I do drymount my own. Whether to show a recto signature or not is purely a judgment call--on the picture I picked up today (and that I'll show on the blog soon), I left it showing.

I assume that many collectors make the decision to show or not show the signature based on how rare the signature is or how it affects the value of the print, or if they're especially concerned to show that it's an original print. Personally I just make the call visually. In this case it would have meant a much wider float, which in turn would have meant a wider mat, which would have made the piece too big for me.

You can definitely do it either way, of course, based purely on personal taste or any other personal considerations that might be important to you.


Great photo. Something about it says double weight, gelatin silver print. I think that it's the depth. It comes across even on the computer screen.

Where's Abby of NCIS when you need her. I found myself drawn to the reflection on the print and wondered what MJ secrets could be uncovered if I only had the right software. I think I need a Caf Pow.

Dogs? Dogs! Maybe the plastics in Panasonic cameras smells of "Beggin Strips"?

As to the framing of the print, I'm enthralled that you chose a "conventional glass" for purely aesthetic reasons.

Hi Mike,

As you know, I shoot a lot of pictures at the dog park myself. Regarding the image of Greta above, I think that I can diagnose your problem (after all, you have admitted that you are a writer, not a photographer). The next time you try this be sure to mount your Panasonic GF1 on a tripod using the appropriate quick release clamp and an L-bracket. Set your camera in the clamp in the vertical position. Next, attach the DMW-RSL1 wired remote to avoid any stray camera shake. You are now ready to shoot.

I see two main technical problems here. First, the subject appears to be in motion. As Yousuf Karsh would advise, the best portraits are achieved when the subject is in a natural pose, but motionless. You will need to work with Greta’s owner to achieve just the right balance.

The second problem involves the concept of “depth of field”. As you can see the dog’s nose is grossly out of focus compared to her feet. To correct this, try using a smaller aperture, say f/8. I am sure that Wikipedia has some excellent articles on the subject.

If you follow these simple tips, I am sure that you can get a much better image – perhaps something worth showing on your blog – next time.

Cheers, Your Pal,


PS. You might also want to consider using an actual box of dog treats instead of trying to fool the dog with your camera.

Hi Again,

Apropos of my previous post, for a more “casual” portrait, you might want to consider including your own shadow as well as another dog(s) in your picture. To top things off, try getting Greta to sample the fragrance of another dog’s anal glands.

Always happy to help.


"Great photo. Something about it says double weight, gelatin silver print. I think that it's the depth. It comes across even on the computer screen."

This is a bit along the lines of what I was talking about earlier. How the heck would you possibly be able to tell? Or is it really just hyperbole, and people only *think* they can tell? And if John is correct, does that make it better than if it turns out to be an inkjet print?

That Shutterbug tidbit is a great reminder that I'm missing out on nothing by not subscribing to any photo magazines.

Dogs are attracted to wide angles too. Witness this, taken with a 20mm Super Takumar on a Spotmatic (1973). I had to clean the lens.


"He said when one of his kids does something adorable, he can usually only get off one shot of it, because immediately after he takes the picture the kids come running over wanting to see it!"

Mmm... give film a try?

Just returned from a presentation by Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography - held at College of Dupage - great stuff. As you probably know, he's been shooting with large format scanning backs for some time. He had some prints with him too. The inkjet printed on Hannemuelle paper was outstanding. Printed on the HP 3100 - Stephen said he helped develop with HP. This series of printers is amazing with color spectometer built in. First time I've seen a comparison to silver gelatin and inkjet side by side. I'm not doing a very effective job of describing this quality. Do check out Stephen's site for better info: www.sjphoto.com

Dear Ed,

Frank was perhaps prone to understatement. One lifetime is not enough to master even dye transfer all by itself.

pax / not-even-close-to-being-there-Ctein

Is this why a common lomography cliche are wideangle pictures of curious dogs, just like Greta here?

Why do I find the photo of Greta more appealing and interesting than the other BW photo?

No pun intended, but sometimes those snapshots do have that crisp, fresh, and candid feeling.

re: inkjet... Mike sez, "I'm having a hard time with some of the inkjets"...

People Who Print Inkjet vary in craft and competence, just as People Who Print On Traditional Silver vary in craft and competence. There'd been an exhibition of prints, images from Annie Leibovitz's "Woman" book, at a local college. I went to see it, and the inkjet prints were utterly abysmal... contrasty, blotchy, ugly. VERY disappointing.

On the other hand, Joyce Tenneson once showed me some inkjets that SHE made from her "Flower" pictures, and they were absolutely gorgeous.

re: dogs...

I used to use Minolta cameras for my work (I'm dating myself, now...), and I happily discovered that all sorts of critters... big and small... were attracted to the sound of the motor drives, which made it a lot easier to photograph them, as I didn't have to actually chase them down, or do anything to get them looking into the camera (especially Horses and Llamas, both of which are bigger, faster, and nimbler than I am).

The Minolta drives had a bit higher-pitched "whine", than my subsequent Nikons (which never attracted any critters). I suspect that it was the sound of the motors that piqued their interest. I do know, from my friend Steven Alexander, who uses EP-2 Olympus cameras, and did have a GF-1, that they have a subtly different "click"...


I did not even think of that, but you're probably right. I'll try to test it next time.


I remember when 8x10 was a big print; but that was a LONG time ago. These days a 17" carriage is a kind of medium-sized printer. You'll note that Epson makes TWO printers in that size (the 3880 and 4880; so both are their second try at that model, too, it must be a VERY important size for them). (I am busily NOT buying a 17" carriage printer; it appears that I'm even going to succeed.)

I, too, caught your dog-whistle code on the upcoming print offer.

Rotts and similar breeds are certainly dangerous animals -- in the same sense that humans are; we're capable of doing lots of damage if we put our minds to it. I've met quite a few, and all of the ones I've met have been rather far over on the "sweet beast" end of things; they average out far better than humans in that regard. (I've never tried the experiment of attacking their person; that might well turn out to be a bad idea.) It's a pity that there are people who want psychotic dogs, and that those people tend to pick breeds like Rottweilers. (I suppose it's sometimes accidental -- somebody just doesn't know how to raise a puppy and messes them up by mistake, rather than intentionally. Given how easy it is to find out the basics, I'm not quite sure which angers me more.)

Actually, most platinum prints are made from palladium, or a combination of both Pt & Pd. Palladium at present is certainly cheaper than gold—Tony Mc


Greg's comment about inkjets caught my attention. My own experience has been similar. I was really impressed by some of the images I had seen on an internet site and then had a chance to see inkjet prints of them in a gallery (this is in 2003). I was very disappointed; the prints were over-sharpened and had a very digital and unnatural appearance. That same year, I went to a local art fair and saw some inkjet prints that were fabulous; I, then and there, abandoned any idea of resurrecting my Cibachrome darkroom. The skill and judgment of the printer is, perhaps, more important with inkjets (or any digital print), than with traditional printing.

The prints I saw were by Scott Hendershot, who along with being a good printer is a terrific photographer. I should have mentioned him in response to your previous posting asking for interesting sites. I’m late, but you can find them here:



Dear Mike,

I just had a doggy thought...

Many of the actuators in focus mechanisms (as well as sensor dust removal schemes) oscillate at higher frequencies than we can hear. But are they higher than dogs can hear?


pax / Ctein

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