FILM TECH­NI­CIAN PAUL REIN­WALD

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MAK­ING PRINTS, YOU CAN AL­WAYS MAKE AN­OTHER ONE IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT YOU JUST DID, BUT WHEN YOU’RE DEVEL­OP­ING FILM, YOU ONLY HAVE ONE SHOT AT IT. THAT’S SOME­THING YOU DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT TOO MUCH WHEN YOU’RE DO­ING IT. — PAUL REIN­WALD

Dig­i­tal im­age­mak­ing has taken over pop­u­lar photography, but staunch de­fend­ers of tra­di­tional pro­cess­ing re­main. Devel­op­ing film and mak­ing film-based prints still rep­re­sent a large per­cent­age of busi­ness for Santa Fe’s premier photo lab, Vi­sions — and it’s not all color work by any means. “We’re still run­ning black-and-white film,” said the lab’s Paul Rein­wald. “I just got off the phone with Deb­bie [Flem­ing] Caf­fery in New Or­leans; she sends all her film up here. I ran a test, FedExed it to her, and we de­cided how we wanted to de­velop the film.”

Rein­wald is in charge of film pro­cess­ing at Vi­sions, lo­cated at T/N Plaza on Sec­ond Street. “I use Ko­dak Ex­tol for black-and-white de­vel­op­ment. We use a dip-and-dunk sys­tem. You un­roll the film in the dark and hang it up, then it trans­ports through the ma­chine. There’s an in­frared mon­i­tor so I can watch what’s go­ing on. I pro­gram the tim­ing, and I use a ni­tro­gen­burst sys­tem for ag­i­ta­tion; it dis­places the chem­i­cals. It’s very smooth. That’s why I like devel­op­ing my own film here.”

A large print of one of his im­ages, a land­scape taken at Arches Na­tional Mon­u­ment, is on the wall in the lab’s front of­fice. “All I shoot is 4 x 5. I have a Lin­hof Tech­nika [view cam­era] and I still shoot Tri-X,” he said, re­fer­ring to the ar­che­typal black-and­white film from Ko­dak. “I make my own prints at home. I worked for years for Paul Capon­i­gro. My dark­room has an en­larger I cus­tom-de­signed with parts from three man­u­fac­tur­ers. I taught photography at the Kansas City Art In­sti­tute be­fore I moved to Santa Fe and I did a lot of cus­tom dark­room de­sign. I de­signed Bar­bara Van Cleve’s dark­room when she lived here.”

The year that Capon­i­gro left Santa Fe, over 25 years ago, Rein­wald be­gan work­ing at Vi­sions. He was first em­ployed by Pat Martin, who es­tab­lished the busi­ness. Vi­sions is to­day owned by Cody and Nikkol Broth­ers. On Dec. 15, Rein­wald was alone in the of­fice be­cause the own­ers were in Las Ve­gas in­stalling an ex­hi­bi­tion of Cody’s photography, Na­tional Parks of the Amer­i­can South­west: A Cen­ten­nial Por­trait, at Cae­sar’s Palace. (The show hung in Novem­ber at the Rus­sell Se­nate Of­fice Build­ing in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.) “I’m mainly a tech­ni­cian here,” said Rein­wald. “I run film [hun­dreds of rolls in a month], and I try to keep the ma­chines run­ning and so forth. Cody makes the prints.”

Vi­sions pro­duces a lot of large prints — up to 48 x 96 inches — for its cus­tomers, many of whom are pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phers. The lab does film devel­op­ing, scan­ning, print­ing, or mount­ing work for Jamey Still­ings, Brad Wil­son, Zoe Marieh Ur­ness, and many other pho­tog­ra­phers from Ver­mont to Cal­i­for­nia. “We don’t do any inkjet print­ing. We print on pho­to­graphic ma­te­rial. Af­ter devel­op­ing, the film is scanned, then we work the im­age in Pho­to­shop — Nikkol does all of that, and all the siz­ing and re­touch­ing, which is huge on these big prints — then it’s down­loaded into the printer.”

Rein­wald, a New Jer­sey na­tive, has a great photo of Muham­mad Ali he took one day in 1976. He was on a flight from Ne­wark to Kansas City, re­turn­ing from bi­cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tions and pho­tograph­ing the tall ships in New York Har­bor. There was hardly any­body on the plane, and he sat alone all the way in the back. “I no­ticed a com­mo­tion way up front, but I was just tired. Ali came walk­ing back, used the re­stroom, in­tro­duced him­self, and sat down with me for the flight. When we shook hands, his hands were huge and I felt like a lit­tle kid,” he said, laugh­ing. “I talked to him a lit­tle about my photography and at a cer­tain point, he said, ‘Don’t you want to take my pic­ture?’ But I don’t pho­to­graph peo­ple. I said, ‘Well, I’ll try.’ I had to shoot at a slow shut­ter speed so the pic­ture is a tad soft, but it’s not hor­ri­ble.”

Rein­wald’s per­sonal pho­to­graphic prints have been ex­hib­ited around Santa Fe. “My last show was at Harry’s Road­house. That’s like my home. I’m like Norm in Cheers there. And I sold more there than I have at lo­cal gal­leries. It was great.”

About his forte at Vi­sions — devel­op­ing film — he had a fi­nal thought. “Mak­ing prints, you can al­ways make an­other one if you don’t like what you just did, but when you’re devel­op­ing film, you only have one shot at it. That’s some­thing you don’t want to think about too much when you’re do­ing it.” — Paul Wei­de­man

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