« Cookin' With Gas (OT) | Main | Happy Thanksgiving! »

Wednesday, 23 November 2022


I can't remember the last time I encountered a piece of writing that made me want to stand up, applaud and yell "Bravo!" like this blog post did. Well done, Ctein.

Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?


quite the ctome on custom shipping and handling

Bravo, Ctein and Mike!

Everyone should have their own Ctein.

There are other differences.

About 30+ years ago I bought some B/W prints which I was told were printed by the photographer and signed by him. Many years later I was interested in more photos and happened to see the same photo available for sale.

I was shocked at the quality which I was told were printed by the photographer's son which had a stamp of certification. Buyer beware!

Regarding the quality of prints and my firm belief that prints rather than digital files are what we should be "leaving behind" I wonder what Ctein would say about the huge advances in printing quality/longevity of prints on quality paper from printers such as the Epson P900 and its print inks. I would suggest that most amateurs can get excellent prints albeit not to the ultimate quality he can achieve but certainly a quality which is very good.

From my own practice of printing on 17x22 with a 15x20 image area m4/3 is the perfect sized file without cropping. Did you crop the files from the Sigma camera or did you maintain the 2/3 proportions?

[I shoot with the 4:3 ratio enabled but of course the DNG files are 3:2. I'm not doctrinaire about it; I don't tend to like radical cropping but I'll adjust if need be. The one that convinced me to relax about it was this one:


I "forced" this into 4:3 when actually it looks better with more air on both sides. So now I figure I'll just give each individual picture what it needs. --Mike]

Printing is an art all on it's own and being a photographer DOES NOT make anyone a printer.

Josef Koudelka and others at Magnum had the privilege to have Voja Mitrovic in a darkroom, masterfully printing their images like nobody else would have done, and they all treasured that!

Mitrovic was what we all know as a "Master Printer". He like Ctein, printed, the others triggered their cameras!

I understand Daniele’s featured comment, but nobody has suggested that a photographer needs to build his/her own camera gear, or manufacture his/her own paper, to reach optimal results. As Ansel said (loosely) , the print IS the performance, not just the taking the shot (the negative).

I’m constantly surprised at the number of people that conflates an agency/lab printer’s output with the photographer’s worrh. The printer might be excellent, and I bet that’s the secret behind all of those arrogant star photographers who declare they don’t need a meter because they are so hip they can “read the light” and never need one.

Patently, that’s bullshit. You need only turn a few degrees to the side to get a quite different recommendation from your meter, and that’s with black/white! A skilled photographer has to be able to understand the part of the overall image that is the most important to him, and concentrate on getting that bit exposed correctly. The surrounding stuff can be adjusted either way, and nobody really knows or cares. Those who believe this nonsense of the amazing technical genius with a camera need to expose themselves to the rigours of working at it for a living. Once that’s under their belt, those scales fall from the eyes and the hype is seen for what it is.

As I’ve mentioned before, only when you process your own stuff can you see how accurate or otherwise your exposure technique actually is; if the closest relationship you have with your negs is the contact sheet, you are already too far removed to draw lessons on how to do better the next time.

Dear Rob,

Which has what to do with anything?

pax / Ctein

Not trying to poke any holes in Daniele's commentary, but there was one anomoly that comes to mind. Bryan May, of Queen fame, built a guitar out of reclaimed wood from a fireplace mantel. That guitar has remained his primary instrument over most of his professional playing and recording career.

This singularity refutes nothing.

For what its worth, I print because I'm a bit of a masochist and find a bit of satisfaction in expanding my skills. I'm certainly under no delusion that an accomplished master printer could not handily exceed the quality of my output, and in a more timely fashion.

From the sound of it, perhaps Ctein should get the 60%!

The comments to this entry are closed.