On the editing table, installment one

October 25, 2017

An ongoing series about editing work.

Scroll down the page to read about the images.

Clicking any image opens a gallery.

Paris, March, 2000.

This is a finished print in a temporary mat. It helps to have extra mats or some high quality cropping Ls for this process.

I looked at a laser proof of this image for many years before finally making this 9x14" Epson P800 print. The paper is Canson  Rag Photographique, which has a nice brightness without using optical brightening agents which can diminish over time. I used the Advanced B&W mode of the Epson and dialed in my own printer settings for a soft sepia tone. It wasn't my intention when first taking the photo, but I think the warm tone gives an Atget look to this classic French building.

I've looked at draft copies of my photos dozens of times over the years before getting down to making quality, matted presentations of my favorites. There is a huge difference between seeing an image on screen and have a print you can hold in your hand, and a quality laser printer can be a great help in this process. I've been printing proofs with my laser printer (mostly b&w) since the mid 1990s. Here are some camera phone copies of this week's work in progress.


St. Vincent de Paul. December, 2003. Paris.

The mural was made by Jean-Pierre Vasarely, (1934-2002) who went by the name Yvaral. It is made from stationary vertical metal slats and designed so that the image unveils more of itself as you walk down the street.

I have this in color, but it works better in black and white, and it's a monochrome work anyway. I revisited this area on a recent trip and made some new images, but I'm still happy with how this rendering conveys the strength of the artwork and of VIncent's character as well.

Here's a wiki page on Yvaral: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Pierre_Yvaral


A billboard on the Champs-Elysées, Paris, December, 2003.

It was a brisk day with a cold color sky. No matter how many times I looked at this image over the years, I was never happy with its cold blues and clatter of color. 

A few nights ago, I made this black and white print (abt. 9 x 15" in a 16x20" mat). I think it's much stronger than the color version. That said, I may look at it two years from now and decide to try it in color again.

Like any written or visual art, a photo's meaning changes over time as it reflects what you bring to it.


Provincetown / N. Truro, 1981/82.

A pregnant woman watches a man walking towards the ocean in the dunes near Pilgrim Lake, between North Truro and Provincetown on the lower Cape. 

A long time ago, a friend pointed out symbols and symbolism in this image that I hadn't consciously considered. Sometimes I need to study a picture over many years to realize what I originally saw with my intuition. Trusting intuition makes me a happy photographer. 

This is a commercial print from a scan of a faded color negative. Some of the fading is evident in magenta tints wavering over the image. It will probably take a lot of hours to correct this - or I may just make it a bit lighter and leave it that way.


Nevada, February, 2004.

This placid looking wild donkey was one of several wandering in the hills near Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. I was probably being stupid, but I walked right up to him and made this picture with a wide angle lens.The lens enlarged his head forward from the rest of his body. That's one of the reasons I like it. 


Patrick. 1989/90.

This is Patrick. It will take years to print all the wonderful photos of him. Character, brains, talent, a gold heart and good looks.

I usually use white mats, but I like the wide, white borders here surround by black. This is just a laser print that I have now marked for quality reprinting.

Having a clean, well-lit space is key to editing and working with your images.


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