I took a day off from work on Friday. I originally hoped the weather would be nice to go out exploring after removing my classic car from its winter slumber, but it was wet and not so nice, so I decided to head to my community darkroom and make some silver-gelatin prints.
I am still figuring my way around a darkroom, so I made a few mistakes with this series of prints, but overall am happy to get some decent results. I brought loads of negatives but ended up only using four for the printing session, all 35mm negs, and all from last year’s 52Rolls project.
All the prints in this session were developed in Dektol 1+3. You’ll have to excuse any scanning mis-alignments, I found it a little difficult to get the prints onto the platen without them moving around on me. Any difference in alignment is from the scan rather than in the print. And on the subject of scanning, I used my Epson V700, in 24-bit color, and the images are straight from the scanner.
First up was a Greek Orthodox church I shot on the campus of the Uni of Connecticut. You can see my scanned version (w/crop) on my flickr photostream. It was shot with a Leitz-Minolta CL with M-Rokkor 40mm/f2 lens, on Tri-X and developed semi-stand in Rodinal 1+100.
The straight print of the original neg. This is on Ilford MGIV multi-grade RC paper, and I used a grade 3 filter. A bit of the edge of the neg is showing top-right (whoops), some spots in negative above the church and that ugly wood post in the foreground. I knew when I shot it I would crop that out.
I then adjusted the enlarger to crop the print some to get rid of the distracting elements of the original (and remove the spots in the sky), and fiddled around with the contrast filters till I decided on going with less contrast with a grade 1.5 filter. This is the result, which I am pretty happy with.
My next subject was from the same Uni of Connecticut roll, this time of two contrasting trees. The original as I scanned it and adjusted from the negative. The first print made the sky completely featureless. I think I used a grade 1 on this print because I knew the contrast between the two trees was already quite pronounced.
So discussing with Chris who runs the darkroom, I decided to try ‘flashing’ the paper before making the print. I tried a few different exposures for this flashing and settled on 0.5 secs with the lens at f8. Since I didn’t want to move the original negative holder, I used a different enlarger/easel, which you can see along the edges. I probably should have flashed on the same enlarger.
And final decent print, from a much earlier roll shot on my Belca Beltica, on Ilford FP4+ developed in Ilfotec DD-X. The original has quite a graphical nature to it, so I decided to emphasis that in the print. Also for this print, I changed papers to Ilford MGRC Warmtone multigrade. It took a while to get the exposure time and contrast grade how I wanted it. First with a grade of 2. You can see a bit of the edge of the emulsion in the upper right, which I didn’t notice till after I finished the printing session.
And with longer exposure time and a higher grade of 4. This one I think I am going to use for a 2nd pass Lith Print, so I knew it would perhaps be a bit too dark for a regular silver-gelatin, but I rather like the result anyway.
And finally the original scan of a shot I really liked and thought would print well, but which proved to be difficult. It was late in the printing session, and I should have just packed it in, but gave it a try anyway. Again printed on Ilford MGRC warmtone paper. I believe this was grade 2. It was ‘blech’ in any event, but I might plug at this one. It might be a good subject to slight over-expose and then bleach back the marker itself to get the similar look I loved from my adjustment of the original scan.