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Friday, 13 October 2017


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Speaking of heart’s desire:
I once was smitten by a lovely lass in Colorado. What most caught my attention was her house contained the most fantastic home darkroom I have ever laid eyes on before or since. I still have an image of it in my memory though it was forty years ago. Unfortunately she suspected that I loved her more for her incredible darkroom than her wonderful personality and nothing further developed.

Why not work in your darkroom with a 4x5 enlarger to make enlarged proofs? Put 9 35mm negatives in a glass negative carrier and project to 8x10 or larger paper. Expose and develop. Enlarged proofs you can view easily.

4x5 enlargers are more plentiful than 8x10 units. Generally take less space as well.

I once had a nightmare that I had to shoot photographs on film and process them in a darkroom. Where's the computer? Where's the COMPUTER! *Wakes up in a cold sweat*

Do you think you would be happy giving up the joy of watching the print come up in the developer tray? The other stuff, yeah.

And do you really like H C-B's prints? I only recall one show at ICP of his work with really crappy prints, great images though. Crappy prints, but that was actually talked about at the time.

I do still have a darkroom like that, lot's of enlargers, only a 7' sink, and a 5' contact printer. I don't use it much and would like to. Just make time I guess. RIght?

I did give away a Chromega F earlier this Summer, and I hope the recipient does good work with it. But I do still have a Durst 10x10 enlarger.

But here I am making B&W prints on the Epson? A tiny first step? Or not?

"I'm too old—I no longer have the energy and vitality needed to engage in the kind of travel and hard work needed to keep such a support system busy."

Really? Buck up Mike. I'm about to turn 73 and I'm still climbing mountains in the Adirondacks. Okay, I concede that I have a harder time winding up my enthusiasm than I used to but hey. Doing what I love (once I get over the "stay at rest" inertia) is what keeps life enjoyable in this crazy and disheartening world. Take some vitamins, pop one of those energy drinks, get out there and do it.

BTW I still have all my darkroom gear, a Besler 4x5, and all the accouterments to make up to 16x20 prints. No darkroom to put them in though. I'm content scanning and printing digitally.

A couple of years ago, I saw a show of prints from early Ansel Adams photographs. They were uniformly flat, a stop or two from 18% gray. The captions didn't say whether they were his own prints or ones done by a later worker. Either way, I took away a lesson that even the greatest photographers don't produce their best images with a "straight," unprocessed B&W image.

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