Closing the Loop

River Trees

Images look so seductive on the screen. Yet that stops short of the intent of photography which is putting the image back into the world as a print. So I’ve started printing with this fine image to start. The good news is that modern printer technology brings it within reach.

I think it’s inevitable that this movement to a different medium, from screen to paper, requires a new feedback loop to fine tune the print. In the darkroom, you’d see how the negative printed as a whole on the contact sheet. The negative was against the paper and one could see which were dark, which were light. Focus and detail were hard to judge, but that little postage stamp image revealed a lot about the compositional potential in the image.

As I recall, an afternoon in the darkroom would yield just a final print or two. I remember how I’d attack printing a negative enthusiastically and give up after wasting a few sheets of printing paper, realizing that it wasn’t going to give me what I had hoped. Not much different from post-processing from RAW in the digital age. But once onto something, there was an interactive process. And dodging and burning with the. negative in the enlarger light table projecting the negative image onto the paper in its easel was a performance that moved closer and closer to the final image with each try at it.

Same thing here really. It took about 4 turns at the printer to get something that represented the feeling of what I see on screen here. A few photoshop layers and some adjustments in the new Epson Print Layout app on the Mac. So hopefully, printing becomes part of the standard workflow with the opportunity to show this work outside of Flickr and this site.

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