This quote from Lee Witkin about Eugene Smith and his darkroom work, this vibe, his energy keeps coming back into my thoughts, I hope to import some of this into my printing.
"(A Smith print) has a presence. It has a brooding dark power that comes off a piece of paper, a power that was imparted to it by Gene physically, spiritually, mentally. You can't separate the image, the print from the man. He worked to create the legend about himself that makes all this a fact. He lived with such intensity, with such self-destruction, with such drama. He was mad. He wanted to be mad. But he was a beautiful human being and he really cared, and photography was his whole life. All of this makes the prints have a kind of vibration, which is Gene's vibration…."
The final printing should be as connected to the creative process of the photographer as anything involved in the initial photo taking. The finished print should be the soul of the work, the final vision of what the artist is trying to say.
Update* I am not really happy with most of the prints I worked on tonight. I need to print much deeper than I have been so many of my white areas looked washed out and the blacks are not black enough. I need to take a lesson from W. Eugene Smith and print deeper and bring detail and highlights slowly with bleach.