The following photographers have been kind enough to post the following comments :

Stephen Gill, Neeta Madahar, Simon Roberts, Ben Murphy and . .

BERTIEN VAN MANEN  -  ` Working with Rob Sara `


In november 2010 I went to the Lake-district to visit Rob Sara. He was going to print my series "Let's sit down before we go" and he had been strongly recommended to me by the photographer Stephen Gill, who was doing the editing for this book. After a journey by train from London, I met Rob at the station in Oxenholme. Followed  by a trip by car over the dark, rainy and curvy roads of Cumbria, to his comfortable cottage, warm and cosy. Rob`s wife Lorrie had made a huge log fire and a delicious meal.

The next morning we had a drive of twenty minutes through the hills, beautifully lit by the morning sun, to arrive at Rob`s utterly efficient, inspiring and pleasant studio and darkroom.

We both felt like starting right away with the first print. That is, Rob does the printing and I am looking. We discuss the colours, the temperature of colours, the darkness, the details.
We work on Ljuda and Sveta with the sun lamp. I want it less warm and less dark. I encourage Rob to be courageous, to forget about the perfect print and to push further than we may normally. Rob makes a warm print and a cold print, we compare the two, more blue, less yellow, more contrast, less contrast, all the proofs are being put on the wall, we look and compare. One side of the picture should be lighter than the other. Sveta's face under the lamp should be lighting up. The red should be more, real red. More proofs are being made.
After some hours, we start working on another print, the second in the book, Volodja and his baby. Here Rob really has to be courageous, we want the face of the baby almost blank, with just a touch of the face visible, not too much! More proofs on the wall, as we compare them with the small prints of the scans that I brought.
I am aware that I am asking a lot from Rob, but he understands my wishes perfectly and we laugh a lot.

The next day we go back to the print of Ljuda and Sveta. This time it is perfect in one go. Rob is a genius! I am sure he has been rehearsing in his mind during the night....!

For four days we work very hard from early morning to late at night and we manage to do almost twenty prints. Rob has an idea now of what I have in mind and how I would like the prints to be.
We have a great time together, in between working we make fantastic walks through the almost super natural nature of this land.
Rob is not only a very good printer, he is also fun to be with, a perfect host and someone one would want to be friends with.


In January 2011 we meet again in London. Rob brought the seventy finished prints and we look at them carefully, together with Stephen and Patric Leo, the designer from Stockholm. We all are very much impressed by Rob`s work, it is absolutely beautiful!

Meeting with the publisher Michael Mack the next day, I am proud to show him these fantastic prints.

The work arrives in Amsterdam in perfect state by courier. It is packed in strong boxes, each print seperately put in a special envelope, the whole work protected by foam and bubble.

The wole process of working with Rob Sara was a special and wonderful experience.
The prints will be shown in exhibitions in New York, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. The book "Let's sit down before we go" will be published in october 2011 by Michael Mack in London.

Bertien van Manen

Amsterdam, May 2011

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rob Sara is one of the leading fine art colour analogue  handprinters in the UK. His considered, calm and consciencious approach to his work results in archival quality prints of the highest possible standards. His remarkable attention to the smallest details within each photograph and ability to create prints which draw out every subtlety and nuance from the original negative is why I chose to travel to The Lake District from London specifically to have Rob make the exhibition prints for my series about homeless encampments in America. It is a richly rewarding experience to witness handprints being produced with such care and skill, and an absolute pleasure to spend a few days in Rob's company.  

 

Ben Murphy

April 2011

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

``It is rare these days to find a colour hand printer who has the time, inclination, and above all the expertise to provide a boutique service for photographers. After a career printing for the great and the good in London, Rob Sara moved to the Lake District, where he now works for those photographers still seeking the ultimate in beautiful hand crafted photographic prints. I made a trip to his Studio One Darkroom to produce the book prints for We English, and spent a rewarding week working alongside Rob, in the tranquil setting of the South Lakes. During this time we were able to debate and experiment with each print, ensuring that I was able to get the very best out of the negatives. I believe the photographs and the book are all the better for that experience ``

 

Simon Roberts

July 2010


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


`` When I was considering a printer for my `Flora` series, I was looking for someone with a perfectionist attitude, someone who would pay the highest levels of care and attention to making my prints look the best they possibly could. As important to me was that this individual could be someone who I could work with, who would listen to my comments and factor them into the production process. Rob Sara is a pleasure to work with, totally professional, and the tag ` Master Colour Printer` suits him perfectly. ``

Neeta Madahar
August 2010


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


`` I have worked with Rob for around nine years, we have worked on many book and exhibition projects together. Rob has a great ability to tune his mind into a series of photographs and the feel they dictate. With his standards so high and zero corner cutting, he could be seen as the biggest threat to digital photography. ``

Stephen Gill
October 2010