Originally Posted by Lauffray
Thanks Cal, great advice. Do you still print on fixed grade or do you use multigrade paper now ?
I outgrew using resin coated multigrade papers decades ago, in fact for me it took only one semester (my first). The idea of my advice, and what they teach you in 4 years of art school is to get enough control that you only need one straight grade of paper (fiber) to print negatives that are easy to straight print. Think like a large format shooter who is making a negative that is going to be contact printed. This is the challenge. Does not matter if you are shooting small format because the idea is that you are optimizing your negative for just one paper.
When my photography professor noticed that I got a level of consistency that other students did not possess he told me to start buying grade 2 fiber and adjust my negatives for the contrast of the paper.
Once you can do this you already are a pretty good printer. This seems to be the most basic skill required to become a fine art printer that they taught in all art schools. Not sure if all art schools have darkrooms anymore.
Today I'm only printing digitally using an Epson 3880 (17 inch wide) and a Epson 7800 (24 inch wide) using Piezography (7 shades of black). It seems the eye I developed from analog printing has helped me a lot with the digital printing. Really remarkable what I have done in one year. I have a Besseler 23C in storage because I don't have the space to set up my darkroom in Madhattan.