I’ve been mulling over what I want to do for a photography project after enjoying my 52Rolls.net project for 2014 (all my posts). I considered doing another year with that project, but focusing on a single camera and/or film, but I think I want to explore the printing side of things.
After tweeting with a few other 52Rolls members (thanks Alex, Moni, Mike), I am going to follow a suggestion Alex Luyckx had of breaking the year into quarters and doing a single printing method each quarter. So my plan is to keep up with a weekly schedule of at least one quality print a week using the method of choice. All will be 8×10 prints and I think at least one of the photos will be the same, so at the end of the year I have 4 prints with 4 different techniques of the same image.
- Silver gelatin. The old stand-by, which I haven’t done much of to be honest, so even that will be a fun adventure. I’ll probably do mostly enlargements for this technique, but if I am going to keep at least one image throughout the project, I’ll need a 8×10 for contact printing. Most likely I will do a digital negative on a transparency for that.
- Cyanotype. From all I’ve read, this is a great ‘get your feet wet’ alternative print process. I am a member of a local studio, Photosythesis, that has a full darkroom and UV exposure unit, but I might also build my own for this, or possibly just use the sun along with a home-built contact frame.
- Platinum/Palladium. Every print I’ve seen using this process looks incredible. It is not cheap, but it is one of the best processes for long-term archival quality.
- To Be Determined. There are many other alternative processes that I could try, and I haven’t decided on which one I want to try. Some of it will be based on the aesthetics of the final print, but another consideration is how easy it is to do.
I’ll also be shooting film throughout the year, but most likely with a less regimented approach than this past year. However at times with the 52Rolls project, I found myself shooting just because I felt I had to shoot. Sometimes that can be good to move past a plateau, but other times it felt like work. I do feel like my photography has improved by quite a bit, so in that sense the project was a great success.