As part of the twitter community, I am working on my #PrintParteh skills. Depending on what part of the world you are in, some of these images might be considered NSFW (not safe for work), so forewarned.
Yesterday was my first day tinkering with printing and I started off with coating some cream Arches Velin with cyanotype. I then tried printing a paper negative and even with a 1/2 hr in full sun, the emulsion just washed off when I started developing it. Horrors! The second print you see got some weird results and I didn’t bother with an after photo. I had tried putting some wax on the back of another paper negative, but it made no difference and I think my thumb still had residual wax on it and transferred to the print. It is a thumb-shaped area of undeveloped cyanotype.
As part of my goals for 2018, I did a lingerie/glamour shoot at a studio in Worcester MA. Three lovely gals were modeling for the workshop, and all 3 were fun to work with. I was more myself this workshop and was thinking through poses, light and how to make minor adjustments to get the best light on a model’s face and eyes. The first shooting station was low-key, with the model on a plain white linoleum floor section. The light was setup in such a way that really the best shots were for the photographer to also be on the floor. The models were troopers because that concrete floor was unforgiving. My shots at this shooting station with all 3 models were my favorite of the entire session. I picked two I thought might work as B&W prints for my first day of print fun.
For these I used my small interior bathroom with a red safe light. I made 8×10 digital negatives and printed on Pictorico OHP transparency. I then used a contact printing frame for a number of test strips to get the exposure in the ballpark. In my bathroom it was around 3-4 quick flicks of the main light. Very scientific.
For the first print, I gave the exposure one flick at grade 1, and two flicks at grade 5 on Ilford MGIV RC, developed in Ilford Multigrade 1+9. I grabbed from the developing bath a little too quick as some areas have swirly, not fully developed areas. Overall I think it is a little too contrasty, so for my next evening of printing I will try a different mix of grades. My straight grade 3 test strip looked ok, but lacked a little punch. Model is Jessica Kay and I included the original dSLR image.
The next print I knew the negative was a little denser, so I tried two flicks at grade 1 and two at grade 5. Same paper and developer. Again there is a bit of a hint of lower developed parts in the print (I really need a darkroom timer). Again I think this one is a little too contrasty. Model is Ashley Charlotte and I included the original dSLR image.
So neither is a keeper really, but I think the digital negatives will work, so I will try again. I might give Ilford MG Art 300 a try.