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Saturday, 16 March 2019


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Water evaporating from ice is called sublimation, the process by which a substance in solid phase becomes gaseous without first becoming a liquid. Note relationship to printing, although in wikipediaing it (my neologism) it appears that dye sublimation is not correct since there is a liquid phase of the dye before it becomes a gas. Well another fantasy shattered.

We will not discuss the physics here.

Mike wrote “Did you know that snow evaporates even when the temperature is below freezing? ” that’s sublime ... no, wait ... that’s sublimation — solid directly to gaseous phase ;-)

I liked RC papers. They print well, develop without hassle, wash quickly and keep well.

But I have a small packet of about 25 FB papers stashed in the corner "jus' in case" (which works out to almost never).

I think this was the Dan Graham exhibition at the former Manhattan gallery of the Dia Art Foundation.


I'm sitting here at a "Mid 2010" 27" iMac, which is still satisfactory although on it's second hard drive internally and third external backup drive, so I'm starting to think about replacement. Looking forward to your implementation of the MINI, specifically the matter of whether or not you decide on an expansion chassis like the OWC unit for an easy SD card slot.

RC "paper" just feels...gross and plasticky and nothing at all like paper.

I remember well the kerfuffle over RC prints. I used it for years and only ever had two out of many hundreds discolor. One was hung in a place where it got direct sun for several hours each day. I am not sure about the conditions the other was subjected to. I do know that all the RC prints in my possession are fine to this day. Like yours, they are at least 15 to 40 years old. I used Ilford Multigrade exclusively and printed with split filtration.

I really hate being a geek, but when a solid like snow/ice turns into a gas like water vapour, it's not evaporation, it's called sublimation. Evaporation is the process by which a liquid turns into a gas. At least that's how it was taught to me many decades ago. My apologies for this pointless intrusion.

It’s Dan Graham’s installation on the roof of the Dia Foundation. A lovely thing too.

Back before that neighborhood became , well words fail me but it seems like a hundred years ago.

You don't need to try every 35mm lens. You just get a 2/35 Summicron and it is sure to be good enough. The rest is up to you.
Very good retirement plan, by the way. Just don't let some imaginary money target ruin it. Too many people keep working 'a bit longer' to save some more and when they almost have enough, it is too late.

How are your old XP2 negatives holding up? I quit shooting that film a few years ago because I was noticing a gradual shift to pink in my older negatives. The worst examples are building up density and getting harder to print. They were processed at different quality labs in the US so I was curious if this was happening to anyone else. I was also the one who bought your Canon 1V. It had a mostly shot roll of XP2 in it. I got the film processed. If you would like I could mail the negatives to you.


"I found a whole bunch of them in the barn". Scan 'em and print 'em up. MJ Retrospective TOP print sale here we come.

Mike wrote: "If retirement ever comes, though, I'll no doubt have to try out every 35mm and 40mm Leica lens that there is."

You can practice that scenario now, using a Konica as a stand-in for a Leica. Why Konica? It's the lenses. You can read about then here: http://www.buhla.de/Foto/Konica/eKonicaStart.html. Konica lenses are cheap, and wonderful. They are cheap because they cannot be adapted to most DSLRs. The lightweight Hexanon 40mm f2.8 is generally considered to be the equal of the legenday Hexanon 50mm f1.7 -- I have them both and rate them as good as any of the SMC Takumars.

I recently acquired the Hexanon 200 f3.5, which weighs almost two pounds, but pulls its weight. It has no tripod bushing, though, and there is no place to put one. I will just have to cradle it on a pillow.

Looks like one of those fancy prisons for arch villains with super powers.

Many mysteries in the last two posts. Reading today's I wasn't clear on whether Andrew or you were out in the barn looking for Robert Frank's first sold print. Then I went hunting on the net for the specifics of the Island in Charlie Pratt's book. Even his NYTimes obit only calls it "an island off the coast of Maine." Some more digging says that it is not as far as Monhegan, but that's not an answer, either. So I've got a copy of the book on the way. Can't resist Maine. Finally, what is easy to learn is that the descendants of the first Charles Pratt, the oilman, have left Pratt Mansions all over Long Island. Ah, another subject to pursue some day.

If my five minutes of googling is correct the artwork John Gossage is inside is Dan Graham's 'Two-Way Mirror Cylinder Inside Cube (1981)' at the Dia Center for the Arts.

Can I smile at the slight irony of an imagined return to a Leica? A return to an old Contax SLR would not surprise, but after all the comments about 'not being a rangefinder guy'... sounds like a nice plan, though. :-)

"Did you know that snow evaporates even when the temperature is below freezing?"
The process is called "sublimation" — the transformation of a solid directly into a gas without passing through a liquid phase. I'm particularly fond of the term because of its relationship to the aesthetic notion of "sublime", which seems apt for these sunny, chilly March days on the Canadian prairies when the snowdrifts begin to sag and diminish even though the temperature remains stubbornly below freezing.

11x14 is a nice size for traditional darkroom prints. They have presence without being a pain to wrestle around. 35mm looks good at this size and 2 1/4 glows. Also the cost per print is not bad.
RC paper is really handy but I like how FB feels when you hold it. Dumb reason but anyone going back into a darkroom now is not expected too be entirely rational.
Remember stabilization prints? I have a few from the 60's that were still OK when I passed them on to my cousin a few years ago. Did not expect that at all.

That’s a good informal portrait of John Gossage, very befitting of his uniqueness! I first made John’s acquaintance about ten years ago while doing research for a Japanese photography project. Among his many other attributes, John happens to be among the best collectors of Japanese photo books in America. I’ve since met him several times in D.C. and Chicago, each being a memorable encounter. He’s a generous and boundlessly energetic fellow. (He also knows his town and its environs, a knotty place, like the back of his hand!)

Regarding “retirement”, it’s always fun to see what people anticipate versus what they experience. I think by many people’s conceptions you’ve long lived a retired lifestyle. Yet you have a different concept of retirement. Many of my acquaintances have long been “retired” but seem busier than ever, often in ways very different from they would ever have imagined. My caution: be careful what you wish for.

Mike, Like you I have drawers and archival boxes of B&W prints from 35mm TX of various sizes. Of all the 12? B&W prints on display in my living room and dining room 50% are from "wet" prints I made in my darkroom and the rest are Epson 2200 prints are made from scanned negs and printed using the "Black Ink Only" method I read about in the old 37th Frame you published. Hundreds of prints both color and B&W are in boxes. I'm fine with the appearance of my 35mm work as I am with the appearance of my 4x5 work. Each represents what I shot well.

Nobody looks at either print made either way as anything other than a nice B&W print.

I lost my own thread here but have you ever looked at a nice B&W print from TX on good paper and wished it had greater resolution. I mean OK a print from a 6x6 camera or larger has that resolution but now in todays age of absurd resolution possibilities who prints and who needs these resolutions? What does resolution convey or what does it add.

I'm sure the print you illustrate the article with needs nothing more than what it is.


Looks like the work of Dan Graham, maybe at the Dia Arts Center?

My recollection of RC Paper was a "Plasticky' feel with a bad gloss.

....maybe it got better, but as long as you are dreaming, go for the nice fiber based stuff........

Funny you should mention RC papers; I've had a similar experience.

Back in the late '70s and early '80s I was printing everything on RC papers because they were easy to process. I switched to fiber based papers because everyone told me that RC papers would "crack" and "fade" over time, while the fiber varieties would be "archival".

Fast forward to today, and my RC prints are just as good as when I printed them. No cracking, no fading. The fiber papers? Some are still good, but others clearly didn't get enough hypo clear or washing, or both. So much for the expensive Zone VI archival print washer I scrimped and saved to buy!

“If I ever retire, I'll probably go back to shooting with a film Leica, except I'll probably shoot XP2 and find someone else to develop and proof it“

That would be Edgar Prauss in Rochester. He may be “the last man standing” in the city built by Kodak.

The sublimation of snow in below freezing temperatures will be all too familiar for anyone attempting to take closeups of snowflakes of various kinds.

RC "paper" just feels...gross and plasticky and nothing at all like paper.

Posted by: Maggie Osterberg | Saturday, 16 March 2019 at 05:48 PM


Absolutely my experience. I earned my biscuit working as a photographer and always used fibre papers even when RC was introduced. Why? Because I disliked the RC feel. Later, after moving away from Britain to the Med, the problems with water supply caused me to opt for the short washing times of RC. I soon gave up because all I could find was multigraded stuff and I hated the experience with filters etc.

Fortunately, I ended up with gigs that required nothing but Kodachrome, and so that made life easier except at airports.

Large format film is nice, but the expense, unless you have a client against whom to charge it, is stupidly out of balance with the value of what you get. One could say much the same thing about any digital camera these days that costs over a couple of grand: what does the average snapper do that required massive files?

I think we have long passed the point where the amateur needs better from the manufacturers: they already give us all we can use.

Regarding retirement: for photographers it can come all by itself via the fading away of 'phone calls. It's a natural event that often gets spurred along by changing situations at client HQs and younger people coming in to replace them, younger people bringing with them their own new power structures into which you, being older, won't fit. We all have our span. Once, the photostock business was the natural place into which to drift as that new situation faced one; today, it's not worth the candle. Best selling all the gear for what you can get, keeping one favourite camera and lens "just in case".

The tough bit is getting over it, accepting the realities of fame, fortune and change.


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