View Full Version : Alternative Print Swap - RFF 20/20

10-29-2005, 03:49
I would like to propose an additional print swap group, to run as an udjunct to thre current system which appears to be very successful. I propose the following, based purely on what I would find attractive in such a system Ė

20 participants maximum (anywhere in the world)
B&W traditional wet prints only
8X10 paper size
The participant may, for artistic or practical reasons choose to use part of the paper, eg. allowing a border, or printing square format
Start with a theme, perhaps expand to other themes in the future if the group works well. Iíd suggest ďlandscapeĒ as a good general subject, and if the first group is successful, Iíd suggest a three month time frame to print, post, collate and repost.
Not specifically limited to RF cameras, although it is likely that most members would use a RF or classic camera, simply because those folk make up the list. 35mm, MF LF are all OK as long as it fits on 8X10 paper (Iíd love to see a 4x5 or even larger contact print up close!!)
Focus is on the quality of the print, you will be seeking to impress the recipients
Each participant to prepare 24 identical prints using wet darkroom techniques (you may get someone else to do the printing if you donít have access to a darkroom)
Each participant is provided with an ID number between 1 and 20
The participants shall mail their 24 identical prints to the coordinator, with their Id number on each print e.g ď6Ē
The coordinator shall collate the 24 identical prints, with all the other prints received such that there is 24 piles of 20 different (high quality B&W) prints numbered 1-20 corresponding to each participant
The coordinator shall post a pile/packet of 20 different prints to each participant, numbered 1-20, theirs to keep.
Posting the prints in either direction is tricky as they must not be damaged in transit. I suggest an international registered mail envelope with some form of internal stiffening such as thin laminate board, or sheet plastic etc. This could be placed back into the photographic paper packet, and the black plastic bag etc for protection, then posted.
One pile to be provided gratis to the list moderator in recognition of the time and dedication required to do this job
The remaining three piles could perhaps be auctioned on this site, and $$ donated to RFF to assist with running of the site. Iím guessing that a box of 20 8X10 prints may reach $100 or more
Perhaps a vote on the best photo could be run on the site with the prize being a RFF cap or something like that going to the winning photographer

Some other thoughts I had were that copyright would be maintained by the photographer such that the group of 20 photographs, or individual photographs, could not be reproduced without permission.

Iíve briefly looked at the costs involved Ė USD (Iím guessing here)

$25 for a packet 25 8X10 photographic paper
$12.50 to post packet of 20 photographs to coordinator (assuming itís international)
$ same amount of money provided to the coordinator such that the packet of 20 different prints may be posted back.
Hence for approx $50 USD you will receive a packet of 20 original prints from the group.

I am based in Australia and would be privileged to coordinate this, if there is enough interest of course. I donít seek to profit from this in any way, I see it as a means of collecting other folks work at low cost. I would obviously like to contribute my own prints as part of the collection.

First in best dressed!!!!

If you are interested, please indicate to me, either via the list or private email, whether you are a definite or a maybe.


Gabriel M.A.
10-29-2005, 06:25
That's a great idea. Although from experience, I should tell you that, if already ready access to a photo lab or archival inkjet isn't making many people turn around in less than four weeks with a print, I think that access to a darkroom to make a wet print may be only for those that practically either own a darkroom or have ready access to one virtually daily.

I wonder if that requirement could be modified to have everyone send a file to just one lab so that they could be printed on, say Fuji Crystal Archive, and have that lab send the prints to the organizer. The organizer takes it from there. Just a suggestion.

10-29-2005, 10:47
I'm in when we get to the nude theme. Okay, I'm in now too. :)

10-29-2005, 11:26
I'm in also. Let me know when you get the final details.


Washington State

10-29-2005, 11:51
I will give you a definite maybe :D

10-30-2005, 01:04
at least we have a few starters. I'll wait till we get a quorum or close to it, and then contact thosel who have shown full or partial interest. I'll then develop the concept a little further and discuss some logistics. I think this suggestion relies on a critical mass of 20 or so participants, to offset the postage costs in both directions.

I'll keep checking this thread and note the interest.


10-30-2005, 04:54
I like the part about raising funds for RFF.

10-30-2005, 05:28
B&W traditional wet prints only
I lost interest right there.


back alley
10-30-2005, 05:46
I lost interest right there.


me too!

also, i don't like the idea of voting for the best print/photo...too easy to hurt feelings.
and every attempt by this site to put forth and show case photos has turned towards the negative.

my philosophy from the beginning of rff has been to include as many as possible in all we do and i don't like anything that excludes others.


10-30-2005, 05:48
I'm a traditional inkjet printer so I can't play either, I'll just take my "dpi's" and go home :D


Nikon Bob
10-30-2005, 05:52
I'm a traditional inkjet printer so I can't play either, I'll just take my "dpi's" and go home :D


That goes for me too. Never did have a darkroom except at night with a power outage.


Gabriel M.A.
10-30-2005, 05:54
Todd & Joe, yeah: that's why I made the suggestion above. It's a very good idea, but it would prove to be a pain in da arse. And not everybody has the same "high" standard of what a wet print should be (RC paper vs. fiber, tonality, density, washing times, drying technique, paper brand, etc.)

I think at the very least a few people would feel short-changed; that's why maybe Fuji Crystal or similar would put everybody on the same level, and leave inkjet out of it (hey, most of us *can* stop by and drop off a file, and then pick the print up later)

10-30-2005, 07:24
I watned to make the suggestion that people could upload their photos to some on-line printer under a group account name, then each person order set of prints. I realized, however, not everyone scans, and the original purpose of this one is traditional wet-room. *shrug* But the corollary to this is that not everyone does traditional dark room printing :p

10-30-2005, 07:28
How about 2 groups of swaps: digital and traditional prints. Join the one that you do.

jan normandale
10-30-2005, 07:29
give Ralf a chance here. He wants to do wet let him try. Subscription to the thread will tell if it is going to work.

Like Gabriel, I know the time issue is under estimated based on two print swaps I've done at RFF. My guess is 10 players. Let 'em go an try. Why not?

I can't participate for reasons outlined by Gabriel and Todd, no access to a wet darkroom and right now my funds won't let me build one let alone buy the chemicals and trays. Still I think it would be very cool to see the wet prints.

good luck Ralf

cheers, Jan

back alley
10-30-2005, 09:57
i'm not against the 'wet' part, it's just i won't/can't join in on it.

i am against a competition for 'best'.
there are other places for that but not here.
at least as far as i'm concerned.


10-30-2005, 10:03
All of the above is greta information. It seems there is a body of members thinking it's got potential, but not for them due to the darkroom and wet printing issue.

I chose that, as in my original post, becuase of what "I" an interested in, which is wet darkroom printing. I don't considere this to be more noble or better that other printing methods, it just within my realm of knwledge, interest or expereince.

I take the point the point regarding haveing a competition and potentially offending some folk so I think it's a good idea to perhaps drop that suggestion. I think participation is the key, not winning or losing.

If my initial suggestion regarding wet printing doesn't get enough support, perhaps I should include ink printing. If the numbers are there however I'd still like to proceed and perhaps, as suggested by Frank, there may be two lists.

I think it's still an attractive proposition either way, any opporunity to share good quality work with other folk and view (and keep) thier work close up and not through the computer screen.

What i'd like to suggest is that after a period of one week from now, I reevaluate the numbers relating to wet V ink printing, and see how we go from there.

I appreciate all of the comments above both for and against my initial thoiughts. Cheers

back alley
10-30-2005, 10:08
i've 'stuck' this thread so it will stay close to the top. this should allow for more viewers.

good luck! :)


10-30-2005, 13:16
Let's not worry about picking a BEST print. That's subjective anyway and everyone can have their own favourite. Perhaps we coulde set up a poll: those interested in participating with wet prints, and those interested in participating with digi prints.

11-05-2005, 09:55
Use of a lab is honorable etc but if one is going to do that, why not just post online? Why bother with prints? Online display is the wave of the future for many photographers.

Printmaking is an additional layer of skill, applied on top of the photography and perhaps the film development. I think it's interesting to compare wet with inkjet, as wet is history that we can still share, and won't be able to in a couple of years.

My perspective is that fine inkjet beats fine silver, and that both are rare.

11-11-2005, 00:42
I think the number speak for themselves. The concept relies on volume and it's simply not there.

Thanks to Frank (my nude self portrait is in the mail :), and all others who provided advice and suggestions including, Leo, Gabriel, dostacos, djon, Jan, Gene, Joe, Todd, Nikon Bob, Jano.

If ever the numbers do add up, I'm happy to coordinate this in the future (and in typing this I'm recalling the Sienfeld episode where Kramer and Newman do the numbers for the Minnesota milk bottle scam!!) as I think it has some merit. I'm happy to include a digitally printed scan (even tho I've never actually seen one)(I think), I 'm led to believe the quality is good.

And even though I'm a novice to RFF and rangefinders in general, I'm lamenting the loss of a member; see post "another one bites the dust" who contributed over 1000 posts since Feb this year, over political issues. I am trying to think of the correct thinks to post in reply.


01-01-2006, 22:58
I'd like to be in.
From experience in other areas, I'd be against any form of competition, voting, etc. Just show what kind of work you like.
Stan (A genuine Kiwi)

01-26-2006, 12:02
B&W traditional wet prints only 8X10 paper size
Sounds like a good idea, but what a tiny paper size (will not be the problem).
Each participant to prepare 24 identical prints using wet darkroom techniques
gulp ... 24 prints I would use months to do this :). Normally I do between 1 and 6 prints an evening and there is max one session per week.

If there's a chance to do less than 10 prints ... I think about it, because I need at least one session to get all the data I need, and one more to do the prints.


01-26-2006, 14:16
My 2 cents..

1. Don't like the theme idea. We are all grown-ups and know what kind of photographs we want to make. It's not a beginning photo class.
2. Let people make whatever type of print they find appropriate to their own work.
3. Not interested in any kind of competition.
4. 24 finished perfect prints is a lot of work in the darkroom.

Anyone interested in something a bit more casual/flexible, like a postcard swap? Other sites have done this and it seems like a cool idea to me. One could quickly colllect a lot of work that way and look forward to lots of surprises in the mail. Collect 'em and trade 'em with your friends. Fun!


01-27-2006, 23:14
1. Don't like the theme idea. We are all grown-ups and know what kind of photographs we want to make. It's not a beginning photo class.
2. Let people make whatever type of print they find appropriate to their own work.
3. Not interested in any kind of competition.
I think 1. and 2. are necessary when you want to creat a homogeneous pack (book like pack) of prints.
The third point is the only one which I also don't like.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea :).