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Friday, 22 February 2019


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In my commercial photography days, I (or an assistant under my supervision) printed and then viewed all of my work in a MacBeth viewing booth which had 5000K-approxmately daylight-illumination. 5000K was the industry standard. I also used the same set up for my personal work. The problem therein was that I never knew the temperature of the light under which the prints would be viewed in a gallery. However, in my experience, if a color print contains neutral whites and/or neutral greys, even under tungsten light the eye "adjusts" to see those values as neutral which brings the colors in a print to close to that as viewed in 5000K - not perfectly but close enough. Illumination intensity, as you have mentioned, is an entirely different matter.

"his photography business is going great guns" ? Wow, good for him. It demonstrates his way with people and his business/organizing skills (and, of course, talent). So many photographers struggle now to make a living. And everyone today with a DSLR thinks he is a "photographer."

As for blogging: I must be a dinosaur. I use black and white film and write a blog on a semi-regular basis. Fortunately, it does not need to pay my expenses, so I have not tried to monetize it. Good luck to both you and Kirk.

My copy of "The Search for a Master's Legacy" came today and I thank you for mentioning that. I must say I was surprised that you consider the imagery of Garo and his ilk as having aged poorly. One may as well say Steichen's image of J.P. Morgan has aged poorly. Or that any style of imagery that is not in favour in the present has not stood the test of time.
Glancing through the book though I was reminded that many of the early modernist prints I have seen seemed similarly lacking in highlights. In reality though I would suggest that the paper white of what was available and used is closely linked to what we perceive as brightness and highlights today. Papers that worked for the bromoil, platinum, and bichromate gum processes would never achieve today's white highlights, not even those of Karsh's timeframe. Of course the horror of highlights might merely be the flipside of 'scared of shadows.

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