Much of darkroom work is hand waving. Aligning images to build a print is part of the world of assembly processes.
Projecting a beam of light through a modulator, such as a piece of film, is the way of the darkroom. The enlarger is light and lens. We increase our control by being able to change the color and intensity of the light. These are the little pieces we build a world with.
Here, we see a color print, made from separate BW negatives, using filters, manual registration, and RA-4 color paper.
Notice how casual the assembly is. No film punch; no micro calipered, glass carriers; none of the carping crap posted on the Film Forum by slow moving Flim Flammers.
Next, Jerry Uelsman shows his method of making combination prints. He uses several enlargers, each with a negative of one element of the finished image.
There are people who use the computer to write their essays and there are people who still use a yellow pad and a pencil. They both can write excellent essays, stories or whatever. The process is the means by which you complete the image, but you don’t want it to be the end. There was a point at which the emphasis was on the Zone System that was all so technical. So you had this precise full tonal scale image, but what was the subject matter? It’s a cat or a sunset. So what? I’m committed to the darkroom, but I believe that if I had been 20 years younger when Photoshop came out with its visual options, I might be sitting in front of a computer rather than standing in front of an enlarger.Jerry Uelsmann