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Thread: An Intro

  1. #1
    Christi Mac
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    An Intro

    Hi

    Thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Christi ( and yes it is a bloke's name on occasion ) and I'm based in Lasswade just outside of Edinburgh in Scotland. I've got a fair bit of experience in the photographic world but have struggled since my move to digital; I moved from a beautiful Mamiya 6 MF to an Olympus E-300 - which I still like despite it's rapid decline into outmoded status.

    I found this forum in a roundabout way while doing some research on a digital replacement for my now sadly defunct Minox 35 GT. Having nearly plumped for one of the Ricohs I then stumbled upon a discussion in the leica forums today which seems to have been pretty unfairly curtailed.

    So, looking to continue that discussion amongst a friendly, welcoming, enthusiastic crew, I'm really happy to have followed the trail to this place. It looks like a nice place to put my feet up ( you don't mind feet up do you? It does say "anything goes" up there ).

    I'm hoping to learn a lot from you guys. I was extremely lucky to study under an absolute master of black and white photography during my degree and I guess what I'm struggling with is replicating that process digitally. Hopefully this is the place to come to learn about that. To be fair - I've also struggled to take any serious photographs since the arrival of my toddler - 2 and a half years ago, so maybe it's lack of sleep too I love the concept of digital photography - and I love other peoples work in the medium, but have failed to really find my own path and style during my switch-over. That is something I aim to rectify - with your help hopefully

    Anyhoo - long winded intros aside... um... HI!

    p.s. I've posted a few pics up in my gallery space if any of you are curious.

  2. #2
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    Welcome Christi, feet up is great socks off is bad.


    Welcome we hope you find this a new home to hang out. Guy and Jack your GetDPI hosts.

    Going to look at your gallery now
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    Quote Originally Posted by Christi Mac View Post
    Hi
    I guess what I'm struggling with is replicating that process digitally. Hopefully this is the place to come to learn about that. To be fair - I've also struggled to take any serious photographs since the arrival of my toddler
    Welcome! Another Celt!

    Why do you want to replicate digitally? Yes, people here do process digital files to give an 'analogue' look; but then many think that digital has its own look and feel - another view of things.

    And toddlers are a lot of work - the first 25 years are the worst, so they tell me
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    Welcome Christi!

    As for B&W digital processing techniques, it is an enormous topic and tomes could be written on it. The simple answer from me is a pro-level printer with at least a couple of gray inks like the Epson 3800, followed up with a really great paper that takes the ink well like Harman FB AI Glossy, AND then print with them using a really good profile. With that combo, you at least start out of the gate with a great recipe for success.

    The longer answer is come to one of our workshops, but that would be a bit of a trip for you

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  5. #5
    Christi Mac
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    Re: An Intro

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    Welcome! Another Celt!

    Why do you want to replicate digitally? Yes, people here do process digital files to give an 'analogue' look; but then many think that digital has its own look and feel...
    Well - Celt to Celt - it's mainly because I had an established methodology and had found my "style" as it were. That style was enabled by a fairly sound understanding of the physical processes involved in film-based stills work. So I was using the zone system for my medium and large format work and developing "flexible negs" i.e. - developing low-contrast negatives which would retain detail everywhere and then using the darkroom to push the detail wherever I wanted to in the final print.

    Replicating that wet, messy, pleasurable process with a mouse and keyboard has proved quite hard for me... not because I don't understand technology ( I'm an interface designer now ) but, if I'm honest, because I didn't want to become a beginner again. This is the first ever photography forum I've joined ( and I'm a committed internet addict ) and that in itself is a statement that I'm ready to forget what I know, if you get me

    This is me becoming serious about my calling again after several years out in the sticks...

    edit: thanks guy and jack for responding too - yup it would be a heck of a trip ( but possibly an interesting journey ). And yeah I'm looking at a fairly high end B/W printer set up in the next year or so. Just need to get my kid out of nursery and into school before I can afford it

  6. #6
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post

    come to one of our workshops
    More popups!
    Sláinte

    Robert.

  7. #7
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    Oh, and FWIW, the Harman paper I mentioned above not only looks and feels like "real" air-dried F, it even SMELLS like it too --- really!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  8. #8
    Christi Mac
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    Re: An Intro

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Oh, and FWIW, the Harman paper I mentioned above not only looks and feels like "real" air-dried F, it even SMELLS like it too --- really!
    Now that would really push my buttons - I used to use a very obscure fibre-based paper that was made in Hungary ( Forte ring any bells? I think that was the name ) I really miss that texture and as soon as you mentioned the smell it came right back to me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    Quote Originally Posted by Christi Mac View Post

    This is me becoming serious about my calling again after several years out in the sticks...
    I know the feeling: I've been away for a couple of decades, now. This digital lark is similar, but different. And much less smelly! Not quite learning it all from scratch, but catching up on what's now topical. The end product may be similar, but the path to it is rather different. And if you look around, you will see that, for example, that a full tonal range in B/W while it can be achieved is secondary to the 'vision' - and this is much easier to achive digitally. It always surprises me that so much of the work here is B/W - almost as if digital had revived it.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    Welcome, Christi. You have a beautiful child. I'm looking forward to seeing more in your gallery.

    You have come to a great place to share and learn. Guy and Jack are full of knowledge and willing to share it. There is so much good "stuff" going on here.

    BTW, many here are still shooting film and scanning to digital. Then you can start with that flat "negative" that you speak of and work it in the digital darkroom...just another option.

  11. #11
    Christi Mac
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    Re: An Intro

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    ...And if you look around, you will see that, for example, that a full tonal range in B/W while it can be achieved is secondary to the 'vision' - and this is much easier to achive digitally. It always surprises me that so much of the work here is B/W - almost as if digital had revived it.
    Oh yeah I totally get that. But for me I think the path has to be towards achieving that full tonal range... imo it's quite often when that technical side of things is in place and second nature that the vision can be allowed to flow through. My heroes are people like Koudelka, Karsh, Albert Watson... all people who honed their craft to the point where they never had to think about it when they were shooting and who produced some of the most amazing prints I've ever seen.

    I guess that's where I'm coming from. I'm pinned to that fine-print background inextricably - so my path is possibly going to be pretty long and pretty hard too. Looking forward to it though.


    EDIT: thanks Cindy - she really is beautiful at least in my eyes. And yes the scanning option is one that I'm toying with. I did it with my Mamiya 6 and I still have a 5x4 camera here which really should see the light of day sometime soon ...

  12. #12
    Super Duper
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    Re: An Intro

    Another welcome to a great place. Lots of talented and more importantly helpful people here to help or just have fun.

    Terry

  13. #13
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    Hello Christi
    Pleasure to meet you
    I'm a big fan of Edinburgh, A Beautiful City.....My husband & I LOOOVE to go to the Fringe and stay at 'The Glass House' Hotel
    (in particular the Literary Festival where we have met Jeanette Winterson, Muriel Sparks & Martin Amis)
    and have friends in Inverness & the Isle Of Skye.
    You've discovered a GEM of a site. Cheers!
    All the Best - helen

  14. #14
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    Re: An Intro

    You probably already know that you cant replicate silver prints via digital and dot prints. You can also flip the statement and say silver cant do what dot can..
    I stopped trying to get the silver look a while ago..
    let it go
    and explore what you can do with today's tech. I found it to be quite a liberating experience.

    btw as far as colour printing is concerned the dot printing tech I have found is far superior to the old methodologies. Maybe a good place to start and get comfortable - colour ( the new black and white)

    good luck.

  15. #15
    Christi Mac
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    Thanks for the warm welcome guys It's already proving to be quite a stimulating place to hang out...

    Helen - where in Inverness are your friends from? I grew up about 30 miles north of there and lived in Inverness ( The 'Sneck ) for a good few years myself.

  16. #16
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    Quote Originally Posted by Christi Mac View Post

    Helen - where in Inverness are your friends from? I grew up about 30 miles north of there and lived in Inverness ( The 'Sneck ) for a good few years myself.
    Christi
    Boleskine House ,Foyers ,Inverness-shire with 99 acres!! / which was owned by my husband's friend Jimmy Page. You may as a local heard the rich History of the House. it was our place to hang during the 80's & early 90's. Beautiful views of the Loch from every window.......from every window was a Turner Painting.....across the Loch was the Mount which the Three Witches met MacBeth and my husband Eric was a member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club. Eric & Jimmy had opened up a Bookshop in London called the 'Equinox'.
    Jimmy eventually sold Boleskine and it was turned into a Hotel much to everyones dismay..... they ripped out all the original fireplaces, dutch tiles on the roof(etc).Jimmy decided to try & rebuy Boleskine but when he saw the sad state of affairs he was brokenhearted. Therefore when we go to Scotland, we now go to Edinburgh & The Isle Of Sky.
    By the way, have you been to Adam Mclean's Alchemical Shop in Glasgow
    and at the last Fringe he had an exhibit of his Alchemical Drawings
    Quite Beautiful & Fab !!
    All the Best- helen

  17. #17
    Christi Mac
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    Re: An Intro

    I used to cycle past Boleskine house 2 or 3 times a week Helen so I know it well. I always used to stop off at The Dores Inn for refreshments too Sad to hear about the house, I always used to thin it was pretty spectacular around there. Not heard of that shop I'm afraid... but if I hear of the show being on again I'll definitely be giving it a look.

  18. #18
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    CHRISTI
    We spent many an evening at 'Foyers Inn' the pub down the road
    (is that the same one /Dores inn)
    & struggled through the Darkness to find our way home.....aye with a WEE Nip or Two
    Here is a shot on the hill above Boleskine: SCOTLAND IS DIVINE!!!!
    Last edited by helenhill; 16th March 2008 at 16:54.

  19. #19
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: An Intro

    and Finally ..... BOLESKINE HOUSE .... What a Fabulous Route you must have taken on your bike

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