Embarrassing First Attempt

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Xia_Ke, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    So I got my paper developer in yesterday but, didn't really have the time to play so I was going to wait until Friday when I could lock myself away. I ended up processing a roll of Tri-X and couldn't seem to get a couple shots scanned right. I got so pissed at the scanner I caved and marched into the bathroom. Quickly threw everything together, mixed up my chemicals and said my prayers...LOL I only had enough time to try 5 prints but, definitely gave me a good idea of what I'm up against. All I have to say is F*** YOU DUST AND CAT HAIR!!!! ...LOL I'm embarrassed that this is the best I have to show but, what are you gonna do right?

    PS- The cat hair and dust is on the print, not the scanner. Please disregard the fingerprint (note to self, do not grab paper with sweaty hands) and also disregard the rub mark (another note to self, be careful agitating paper with the tongs)

    Oh yeah, this was Ilford Ilfospeed Glossy RC Grade 2 in Ilford Multispeed 1+14
     

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  2. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    I like the image, do you have a can of dust-off?
    Also, doing a test strip prior to the print to determine your exposure time would be helpful?
     
  3. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks pes :smile: Yes, I did a real quick test strip. I was scanning right before bed and said the hell with it so I just rushed right through setting up and banging out a couple prints. I realized afterwards that for some reason I never even took the temp of my developer...LOL Biggest lesson learned is not to get complacent. I've gotten so used to film developing that I just run on autopilot now and feel like I could do it in my sleep. This was a definite eye opener that paper is a whole other ballgame. Anyway, thought you guys might get a good chuckle out of this attempt...LOL
     
  4. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    Brings back old memories. Your curses made me laugh.

    Getting it together is part of the fun - it takes a few tries before things start looking better. Keep at it..

    At least the Red Sox are doing well - nice hat!

    Paul
     
  5. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks Paul :smile: Hopefully things will come together a bit for me on Friday. I will have the house to myself so I will be free from distraction. I can slow down, take my time, and play around with it.

    Yes, the Sox are looking great. I can't wait for the season to get into full swing. I'm psyched Colon is looking so good. They were saying this morning on the news that he already a ways ahead of where they hoped he would be and they are bumping up his first start :D
     
  6. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Looks to me that the cat hair and dust is on the negative not the print. In addition to Dust Off which only blows the stuff around to land somewhere else, they make an anti static brush to pick up the stuff from a neg.
     
  7. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    For now you can hang a wet towel in the room to raise the humidity and reduce static electricity.
     
  8. r-brian

    r-brian Member

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    I have problems with my scanner (Epson 2450) when it comes to negatives like this. The scanner does not recognize that there is an image there and gives me a 'Film not Found' message. Sometimes it just scans half a netative.

    Depending on what kind a enlarger you have, the dust and hair can be on the condensers or contrast filters or lens or negative carrier (if it's a glass carrier), etc. I use an old DII for my 4x5. I ahve to clean the condensers with a static cloth, clean the glass negative carrier with the static cloth, clean the negative with a static brush. And I wonder why it takes me an hour or so just to get ready to print.
     
  9. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Both my scans and my prints look so much better, very little spotting, since I started using an anti-static brush on the negs. I tried Dust-Off, bulb blowers, and Pec Pads with their fluid, but nothing works as well and is as easy as the brush.

    Although I have both a cat and a long-haired dog (border collie) I have yet to see that as a factor in my darkroom. Vacuum the darkroom (2nd bathroom) once a week, keep the door closed when not using, hang film in shower stall with door closed, etc. Make sure your enlarging lens is clean on both sides, dust likes to settle on the top-facing element, and make sure you dust the enlarger or cover it in plastic sheeting and tie it off.

    If you don't have time to print, then don't rush it. Nothing good ever comes from being rushed in the darkroom. If you don't have a few hours to devote to it, just wait. It'll relieve much frustration.
     
  10. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks guys :smile: I'll have to look into one of those static brushes. I can assure you that the dust and cat hair is not on the negative though. That I did check. Could be in the lens cone though or even just fallen onto the paper after I put it on the easel. (I'm using an automega B-7 btw). I didn't really make any sort of effort to rid myself of dust last night. Hadn't really had any probelsm with it developing film so didn't pay much attention to it. Obviously that was a mistake...LOL
     
  11. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    The more you develop and print the more you will learn what you are doing right or doing wrong.
    Things will get better and it will all come together, so keep at it.

    I have 3 cats, 1 dog and use my laundry room as my temporary darkroom.
    I run some hot water in the utility sink with the door closed for a while to get the humidity up and dust down.
    I dust off my enlarger and negs in another room before starting and this helps keep the dust and hairs down. But, no matter how much I try I always find dog hairs on my fixer tray after I am finished. I always wonder how they get it there, the dog never goes in the laundry room.

    You will get the hang of the printing part on pretty soon you will be saying 'wow that one looks really good'

    good luck
     
  12. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks mwdake :smile: I'm sure I'll be fine. I was freaking in the beginning with film and now that's walk in the park. Just need to get a few sessions under my belt in the darkroom and hopefully things will fall into place.
     
  13. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    That's a waste of a perfectly good towel! I would suggest wetting the cat and hanging it in the bathroom to reduce static; can't say much about reducing the electricity in the air, tho'. :wink:

    Go Sox!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 29, 2008
  14. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Hey Xia_Ke,

    Thanks for the post - it brought back memories of "my" first print, which was amazing similar in quality to yours. I think that simply getting a viewable print on your first attempt can be considered a raging success. Perfection can come later. Well done and keep working!!

    cheers eh?
     
  15. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    LOL... Thanks Jim. I'll keep that in mind :D

    Thanks John :smile: I guess will all the stories of similar results from others on their first attempts I don't feel quite so bad. Still I was hoping for at least a decently exposed print :sad: I really have no one to blame for that but myself and impatience though. No work tomorrow and I have the apartment to myself tonight. Needless to say I will be locking myself away in the bathroom. Hopefully I'll have something decent to post either tonight or tomorrow :D
     
  16. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

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    Aaron,

    Run, don’t walk to get an anti-static brush. My dust spots were cut down by about 73.28%. Also running hot water in the dr/bathroom will help. Just don’t over do it or you will be printing in a sauna. (I learned this one.) Keep your hands as dry as possible. The moisture and oils from your fingers will leave marks on the paper. Every time you set-up/print/break-down you will learn another time saving trick that will be unique to your dr. Soon printing also will become second nature!

    Good luck and have fun.

    Mike
     
  17. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks Mike :smile: This last time already was like a sauna. I was so excited, adrenaline pumping, that I was sweating like a pig and it was only 70 degrees in the apartment...LOL I have no doubt I will be picking up some time saving tricks. This last attempt was an eye opener for what will actually work and what won't work set-up wise in my bathroom. It was one thing to try and plan it out with a floorplan but, I threw most of that planning out when it came to actually working in there. I hope tonight goes smoother. I'm not leaving my bathroom until I get something presentable...LOL
     
  18. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    I remember my first home made prints came out completely black, even the test strips. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, then David Carradine appeared and told me, "You must stop down the lens, Grasshopper."

    I had major dust issues in my home darkroom, exacerbated by the ancient carpet in there. I spent $60 on a home HEPA de-ionizing air filter machine dealybob and it's probably the most valuable piece of my darkroom equipment. Works almost magically! You could probably find it any place like Walgreens, Wal-mart, any large pharmacy and assorted stuff type store.

    - Justin
     
  19. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks Justin :smile: I'm thinking I may need to stop down a bit more myself. As it was my exposure times was about 10 seconds...LOL I won't be able to make it to Walmart tonight but, will try and make it sometime this weekend :smile:
     
  20. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Well, the second round definitely went MUCH better! Thanks everyone for your help and advice :D I posted a few of the shots from this round in the gallery :wink:
     
  21. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    Xia Ke,
    When I look at your first attempt it looked very similar to my first attempt.

    My first mistake was this: I didn't understand about standardizing the process. I would make the exposure (some arbitrary time, say 10 sec.), then I would watch the print in the developer and pull it when it looked good under the safelight. I would end up with uneven development because the paper never finished developing. When I standardized the development time (say 3 minutes); what my test strips were showing me then made more sense (single exposures). I learned to vary exposure time (2 sec. increments - without playing with the f-stops), not developing time - my results improved immediately.

    I was also working in my bathroom - one tray on the sink and two in the bathtub.

    Paul.
     
  22. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Gotta tell ya I see a lot of things happening with this print. Maybe an extra ten percent overall with some burning in the ground and dodging the upper corners a bit. Just for starts. I know when someone told me what I should do I pretty much gave their kind hearted remarks their due consideration, but jst wanted to throw in my two cents worth. You're doin' great, man. GOSOX!
     
  23. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks guys :smile:

    Paul, I took a more methodical approach on my second attempt Friday. Kept developing times and f-stop consistent, while just varyingmy exposures. Got much better results.

    Chris, I definitely plan to revisit this shot. I'm going to need to practice my dodging and burning though as this one is going to take a bit of ork to get it right. I ALWAYS appreciate an extra 2 cents, so please don't hesitate when it comes to me. I'm here to learn and will take any advice/guidance I can get.

    Not sure if you guys saw these but, I uploaded my shots from Friday's session into my gallery here. These are just straight prints:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  24. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    I like the forest scene. It looks good from here - the snow looks good on this monitor (CRT), but looks blown out on a flat screen - I think that's a great one to play around with and see how much detail is in the shadows.

    You have nice forest in Main.