Tuesday, December 25, 2012

i got faults, but i can waltz!

goodbye darkness my old friend, i´m taking a break for the holidays.  every project gets suspended in time.  last friday i finished the week with a 50x60 print for max snow, a re-do for me because one of my 2 finals got creased.  a tiny crease, but a crease nonetheless, one that wouldn´t blend in once mounted.  a print that takes another person to help in the dodging department.  there are shadows to take out in the foreground and the background of a high key print, and i just don´t have enough hands to do the job alone...  yes, it could have been retouched digitally, but to do it by hand is a bit rougher, not as clean, it has imperfections that give the final print a certain look.  and that would be very difficult to do in photoshop.  i mention this because it´s not always about perfection, a print has a life within, it breaths, it speaks to its viewer, and with the right imperfections in the right places it comes alive, the image sometimes feels as if it floats in front of the paper.  our eyes accept those flaws because they improve -sometimes- the final print.  when the flaws are all fixed through photoshop, you run the risk to lose the feeling of that moment captured by the artist.  because why would you go to print if you still see details to fix?  it´s easier to let go in the darkroom.
2 days earlier i had the opposite problem for elizabeth heyert:  i was able to hide -make disappear- a floor on a 16x20 work print, but when i went to a much bigger final size i just couldn´t do it.  i tried every which way but it was physically impossible.  some things i can do with an easel but can´t reproduce on the wall for a print bigger than me.  i didn´t see it coming, or maybe i didn´t want to.  in any case, i only know my own limitations once i reach them.  so we scanned, retouched, output an LVT neg, made a contact of it, made a work print, hoping it´s going to match the original feeling.  in this case it´s the softness of the light and the sharpness of a large format -8x10- negative that make the image work.  it works now as a 16x20 work print, and i´ll find out in january if it will work bigger.  i can guess but i won´t know for sure until i try, especially when it is part of a series and every other print has been made from the original neg.  it will be up to elizabeth...
to quote one of my favorite songs an analog silver print could sing:
"i got faults, but i can waltz!"
happy holidays.
and the print in the image above is a 52x52 in. from an LVT for deborah luster.

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