Film Photography Podcast Episode 138 - December 24, 2015
The internet radio show for people who love to shoot film! In this special episode Mat Marrash recounts the experience of his one-on-one workshop with Mr Alan Ross. Alan Ross is a renowned photographer whose unique vision combines traditional photographic methods with today’s technology. He worked side-by-side with Ansel Adams as his photographic assistant, and was personally selected by Ansel to print his Yosemite Special Edition negatives.
Back in late August of this year, I had a fantastic opportunity to learn one-on-one with a photographer that leaves me only two degrees of separation from Ansel Adams! A master photographer and insanely good printer, Alan Ross was a joy to learn from, an experience I won't soon be forgetting. In this XMAS bonus episode, you'll get to listen to my experience on the road, and see a few examples of just what I was up to in Santa Fe.
Day 1 Take-Aways:
If the information isn't there on the negative, shoot it again!
"It's hard to follow up a brass band with a string quartet."
Control is the name of the game in the B&W darkroom.
Large format ground glasses are chipped for a reason.
Day 2 & 3 Take-Aways:
Selective masking background, how-to, and practice
The negative is the starting point in making a print!
Pre-flashing of B&W materials and color transparencies in-camera
Spotting of B&W prints and removing silver from B&W prints
Filtration for creative control on B&W films
Leave. More. Headroom. - check those compositions!
Don't be afraid to overexpose even more!
In an effort to help give some consistency to printing Adams' negatives, Alan began creating masks on pieces of mylar to help with the intense dodging and burning requirements, a technique he now refers to as selective masking. By drawing an area to mask by hand and/or with a digital overlay, the photographer has precise control over the exposure to specific areas of the print as well as contrast. This allows an otherwise difficult to print negative into a "straight print" through the mask.
Here are some examples from some from my negatives that I took to Santa Fe to print.
The selective mask was made with cheap inkjet transparency material, printed on a $30 brother printer. Mask created in Photoshop after making a quick negative scan on an Epson V700.
Going from a very, very hard to print negative to a repeatable, nice print is quite an amazing feat! As you can see above, the print is a lot more even with both highlight and shadow information controlled. The image of the final print is a scan of the actual print, done on an Epson V700. All B&W prints were made on Ilford Multigrade Classic Fiber.