All my images are assembled in a traditional darkroom under one enlarger using a masking technique developed and perfected over the years. This technique has it’s limitations and I address them when working on ideas. Also, before I print the original, I make tests and adjustments for every negative to be printed. I write the tables where I indicate the proper exposure and all sequences of manipulations for every negative used. Next is the stage of “dry” printing. This part is the most unforgiving . I meticulously project one negative after another, constantly changing precise masks until the last negative is used. It feels like returning safely home after a long, long drive. This part is all about discipline and has very little to do with art. Next comes the time of “judgment” when the first print emerges from the developer. It is a very exiting moment for me. I look for possible mistakes as the image reveals itself and a great feeling of relief and accomplishment when print is “flawless”. I always print editions of seven plus three artist proofs. Unfortunately the technique I am using has no room for mistakes. It requires complete concentration and can be very exhausting physically and mentally.
In this respect digital manipulations are easy and forgiving. But my method, as hard as it is, gives me better and immediate quality control. I do print from original negatives after all. Also, I don’t feel at this time the need to change the approach which works. I don’t know for how long I will be in good physical shape to be able to continue working this way. But then I will always have the alternative of switching to digital manipulations. -Ventilate (read more)