Sunday, 22 April 2012

Zero pinhole camera Project double take.

Camera Zero 6x9 delux
FP4+ 120 format, 6x6 neg,
 developed in PMK Pyro no afterbath,
Printed on silver proof paper gloss
Developed in Moersch 6 blue tone.
My attitude when using the Zero camera has become very relaxed. My approach is to look at the scene, roughly point the camera at the subject, take a light reading, calculate the exposure and open the shutter for about the right amount of time. Once taken move on to the next one. I'm not sure if this is such a good thing as I'm making a number of double exposures, which have turned out well more from luck than design.

Camera Zero 6x9 delux,
FP4+ 120 format, 6x6 neg,
developed in PMK Pyro with afterbath
printed on silver proof paper matt
 developed in Ilford warm tone
This has led to project double take but lets be honest basing an idea on a set of lucky mistakes does not bode well for the results. But then history is littered  with stumbled upon ideas that have gone well. With this in mind I'm going to carry on with the blindfold method of not winding on. I could be more controlled by making single shots and then combining the negatives in the enlarger to produce a double exposure but  this may take away the element of surprise and randomness to the results. With that said there needs to be some planning to the picture taking, so I'm going to use a location I know quite well in order to make the combination of double exposures easier to plan cutting down time looking for shots. It will be hit and miss anyway with this approach but hopefully not so many misses. The first roll is going to be a bit of an experiment so I'm not expecting many good printable photographs. But in this context what is going to be a good picture I think it will boil down to how well the combinations work together; once the first film is developed I'll be able to refine my method.

I'm setting the zero 6x9 deluxe to 6x6 neg size, loading FP4+ which will be developed in PMK Pyro using my revised method of inverting with an after-bath. I may not continue the bath for subsequent rolls if the photos look to soft. And so the project begins.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Silverproof paper

This is the second run of budget priced paper marketed by Silverprint and has a matt finish. The first run was gloss. I have used the later and was impressed with the photographs it produced. With its grades being limited to two I was not put off.

Ilford FP4+,120 fromat 6x6 negative, Developed
in PMK Pyro and printed on
Silverproof paper Matt.
I originally purchased the gloss paper for contact prints and didn't really take much notice of how well they were being produced until I obtained a 12 x 16 slottie (Nova paper processor. which was the dirtiest bit of kit I have ever purchased second hand, a story for another post). The silver proof paper was the largest sized paper I had on the shelf and I was  impatient to see how well this new piece of kit worked. I was surprised by the tonality of the paper which lead me to make a series of photographs. It is a shame it was a limited retail run. It will missed.

Then a second batch was announced on Matt paper, which is a finish I'm not a fan of, but I'm always happy to try something new. This will also be a limited retail run, so if matt is your preference get some boxes in while you can.
Ilford FP4+ 120 Format 6x6 negative, Developed
in PMK Pyro and Printed on
Silverproof paper Matt.
The paper is completely different from what I'm used to. It is difficult to tell which is the emulsion side in the darkroom but with a little practice, the back has a slight  fibre feel to it which takes a time to get the hang of. First impressions are good, the photographs remind me of the cover page to Black and White Photography magazine in the way it looks and feels but has a depth to it that ink cannot replicate. It also does not have that richness of tone you get with gloss papers. Having said that, I like the difference and  expressiveness  it gives to the pictures it produces.   

Ilford FP4+ 120 format 6x6 negative, Developed
in PMK Pyro and printed on
Slverproof Paper Matt.
The pictures that complement this post were developed in a warm tone developer from Ilford with the enlarger set at grade two, initially it was set  at  grade three but I found that the pictures had to much contrast. On hindsight it may have been better to use an un-toned developer, but then I was not planing to use the proof paper for a full print session. I got carried away after the first test prints and I'm pleased I did.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Processed print faults

Exhausted Developer
With all the processes that need to go well when producing a print in the darkroom it is surprising that faults are not more common. Even so the odd  one comes along to de-rail a good printing session. It does not matter how experienced you are sods law trips us all up!

Exhausred stop

Here are some of the most common faults: 

         Chemical fingers - this where odd irregular marks appear on the finished print usually at the edges. Make sure your hands are free from chemical contamination and dry before you handle photographic paper.

         Exhausted developer - fails to produced a full image once it has reached its completion time.
Exhausted Fix

         Wrongly diluted developer - produces faint grainy image. A bit like the above.

         Exhausted stop - leads to a purple tone to the white areas of the print.

         Exhausted fix - the slow brownish toning of the finished print in day light.

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