Goal Of “The Poop On Pictures”
This blog will discuss decisions involved in the making of photographic works of art. I plan to post a new image every 3 weeks along with a discussion of important aspects of the scene, the composition, practical aspects about capturing the image on film, key PhotoShop edits done to increase the artistic strength of the image and more.
Hopefully, people will respond to these posts and we all can learn from each other. I ask that dialogues remain constructive, not necessarily agreeing with my own comments but people should maintain a positive attitude. Individuals who might want to participate in these discussions include those interested in art, travel photography and photographic print collection. If you wish to take a look at some of the images we will be discussing,visit my website at www.RandallRBreseePhoto.com
My first college class in photography covered black & white films and a 4 inch x 5 inch view camera. I enjoyed the thoughtful approach to photography which a view camera provides and was impressed with the control and exceptional image quality that could be achieved with large format film. It wasn’t long before I acquired my own 4 x 5 camera and darkroom and I have pursued large format photography ever since. Most of my vacations from work as a college professor have been intensive photography jaunts which provide exercise, fresh air and plenty of natural beauty. I currently live in Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where I often photograph.
My Approach To Photography
From the beginning, my goal has been to move people emotionally with black & white prints that exhibit exceptional technical quality and artistic strength. My specialty is landscape and nature photography (including abstractions of those subjects) as well as nudes.
I began photography before the advent of digital imaging so I initially recorded images on film and made prints on silver paper in the wet darkroom. I was an early adopter of digital photography in my university research work and used both conventional and high-speed digital imaging extensively for scientific applications. At home, however, I continued to make personal “art prints” using traditional darkroom techniques because film was hard to beat for black & white imaging and silver prints were superior to early digital prints.
The evolution of digital printing has been spectacular, however, and my personal photography took a slightly different route a few years ago. I still believe that large format black and white film is hard to beat for acquiring images to be rendered as large black & white prints. However, I also believe that digital image editing/inkjet printing now can generally outperform conventional darkroom printing in terms of the number of image adjustments that can be made and the time required to make them. Consequently, I currently combine traditional large format film-based image acquisition with high quality film scanning (drum scanning), digital editing and digital printing to achieve images of exceptional quality. I have scanned/edited/printed numerous high quality 4 x 5 negatives which I previously printed in the wet darkroom and I’d have to say that my digital prints are stronger than my darkroom prints in almost every case.
This general approach to photography works well for me. That is, it allows me to achieve exceptional black and white prints in large sizes. Since I don’t depend on photography to pay the rent, I have the advantage of being able to take my time to obtain quality at each step. For example, I carefully drum scan every film to obtain the best possible digital file even though drum scanning is quite time-consuming and tedious. Different photographic approaches are advocated by others and are more suitable for their needs, but I hope you keep an open mind in this blog and judge the benefits of this photography approach by the images that are produced.
Randall R Bresee