Marymere Falls Olympic National Park

Sometimes a minor increase in print contrast can make a big difference. While you're shooting, you can't always anticipate the kind of print contrast you'll need later in the darkroom. There are times, however, when you have an inkling. One morning while traveling with my family near Olympic National Park, we woke up to overcast weather. I had hoped to drive to Hurricane Ridge for some spectacular scenery, but the weather changed our plans. Instead we decided to move on to the Storm King Ranger...

Baring Falls Glacier National Park

Even the best negatives can be Improved In the darkroom. Sometimes a relatively simple photograph requires considerable darkroom work to get the best results. In 1983, I visited Glacier National Park with a friend. In the few days we stayed, we managed to take quite a few hikes. Baring Falls was a short excursion from the main route through the park, Going-to-the-Sun Road. When we arrived at the falls, everything was in deep shade. Even though the sun was quite strong, very little light reached...

Serious Zone System photographers use 4 x 5 or 8 x 10 or insert the format of your choice here cameras

View cameras certainly make many aspects of the Zone System easier. With sheet film you can individually expose and develop according to the results you want. The same is true of roll film cameras with interchangeable backs, although it's not as convenient since you must match all the exposures on a roll N, N 1, N - 1, etc. . With 35mm cameras, modifying the developing time is truly inconvenient. You would need several camera bodies, each with a roll of film for a particular tonal range. It's...

Simple Portraits

The best portraits are moments shared between photographer and subject. Sometimes a collaboration and sometimes a confrontation, portraits are rarely made without interaction. I've been photographing my son Todd since a few minutes after his birth. He's familiar with and comfortable around the camera. Usually he ignores me, although at times he performs for the camera. One such time occurred when I photographed Todd wearing a favorite hat. He was rapidly outgrowing it and the hat barely fit....

Working with Warm Toned Papers

Black-and-white portraits can often be enhanced by printing on a warm-toned paper. Most manufacturers produce a paper that yields significantly warmer tones than those of their Figure 40. This photograph is sharp, but it's rather boring. It doesn't show any of my son's energetic personality. Figure 40. This photograph is sharp, but it's rather boring. It doesn't show any of my son's energetic personality. other papers. Agfa's Portriga is one that comes immediately to mind. For years I printed...

Why Black and White

Among all photographers professional and amateur black and white accounts for less than 10 percent of the photos that are taken. Why then is it still so popular among serious photographers There are a number of reasons, any one of which you might have discovered for yourself. When I began teaching, I told the students on the first day of class, You are going to learn how to see in black and white. Soon black and white will seem more real than color. A number of the students discounted my...

Shutter Efficiency

Variations in shutter efficiency affect leaf shutters between the lens , such as those found on view cameras or some medium-format cameras. Cameras that use leaf shutters gain efficiency when the aperture is small and the shutter speed is fast. At small apertures, the shutter remains open longer than it needs to be. This is especially a problem at higher shutter speeds, when the film can be overexposed by a stop more than has been set. It usually happens when using fast films under bright light...

Contrast Confusion

Understanding contrast is critical to every step of making a black-and-white photograph. It's important for exposing and developing the film, as well as choosing an appropriate paper on which to make the final print. Yet contrast is often misunderstood or, worse, ignored. The term contrast can refer to several similar but different aspects of photography. Because these aspects are often related, and sometimes dependent on one another, photographers often become bewildered when discussing...

Darkroom Aesthetics

The importance of aesthetics in the darkroom is too often ignored. The nature of the photograph can be changed by the choices a photographer makes in the darkroom, which is why many photographers insist on making their own prints. Although I've dealt with many fine photographic labs, which I wouldn't hesitate to use for commercial work, I still prefer printing my photographs. No one else will interpret them quite like I will. Starting with the choice of film developer and progressing through...

For Carolyn and Todd

We know it's the journey that's more important than the destination. All rights reserved. Copyright under Berne Copyright Convention, Universal Copyright Convention, and Pan-American Copyright Convention. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher. An imprint of Allworth Communications, Inc. 10 East 23rd Street, New...

Advantages of 35mm

Large- and medium-format cameras are comparable when It comes to controlling film exposure and film developing for creative purposes, often using Zone System methods. Using 35mm cameras to get similar results can be uncommonly hard. Because of widely varied exposures on a single roll of film, and difficulty separating rolls for various developing times each developing time would require a separate camera body for most 35mm cameras , the format is often dismissed for serious work. Perhaps that's...