I took a couple negatives in with me to a printing session at my community darkroom, well actually a few more than a couple, but I only got to two of them. The first was a 6×6 shot on SFX 200 with a IR filter using my Yashica Mat-124g. I’ll include both the scanned negative and a scan of the print. Ilford 8×10 MG IV RC glossy paper for this one, and I used only a grade 1 filter since it was pretty high in contrast already. When I made the shot, I knew I didn’t want much of the foreground in the shot and that I’d prefer to crop it, and despite getting as high as I could with the tripod, I couldn’t keep the foreground out and the relationship of the trees to the roofline. So for the print, I cropped.
My next selection from a Renaissance Faire took a whole lot of work and I still was not all that happy with the result. Most of the work was needed because the shot had way too much contrast between subject and background and I wanted to get some detail in the background while keeping the subject lighter. I ended up trying several different rounds of burning the background, doing some pre-exposure ‘flashing’ of the paper along with burning, nothing really got the result I wanted. All of which was great practice (since I’d never done any of it before), but a little less than satisfying since I didn’t get the result I wanted. The original was also shot on SFX200, but with no filter. I had my Canon FTb and the internal meter is a little off, so most shots were underexposed. In retrospect, I should have gone with a known camera and a better film choice (I think it was my first time shooting both the film and camera, never a good idea for an event). Anyway, she made a nice portrait. I used Ilford MGIV RC paper again, this time the pearl. Development in the community darkroom uses (I believe) Kodak Dektol or similar. Besides the burning, I also cropped the shot down to remove as much of the background that wasn’t (IMO) necessary. It was a pretty quick setup, I was buying some of her hand-made note pads and asked her for a portrait. Meter, try to frame as quick as possible and shoot.
I had a number of ‘reject’ prints that I went through the entire fix/wash/dry process, so I decided to try some kitchen sink toning. I mixed up some very cheap instant coffee (the same kind I’ll use for Caffenol developer), and submerged one print in a diluted sink full of the coffee. I probably let it sit there for 20 minutes or so, checking it a few times against another rejected print. I also added another large cup of instant coffee to strength the soup a little. It came out…ok. Definitely looks like I spilled coffee all over it.