Enlarged Contact Sheets in the North Texas Area?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by kwmullet, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Okay, I've been looking around for a few months, and I haven't been able to find what I want, so maybe the North Texas APUGers might be able to chime in with a suggestion or two.

    I'm looking for an alternative to lab machine proofs from 35mm and MF work. What I'd like to do is find someone local with an 8x10 or 10x10 enlarger who can enlarge my 35mm and 120mm printfile pages onto 16x20s so I have, in effect, enarged contact sheets.

    BWC (local lab) used to do this ages ago, but the closest they do now is a large index print, and it's SOOOooo funky. When they do an enlarged index print, it's (naturally) a digital thing out of photoshop and they just put more whitespace between the 35mm-sized frames. completely useless to me.

    I'm looking for an all-analog, enlarged contact sheet.

    I don't want to ship my babies anywhere. I want to drive them somewhere in the North Texas area for this service. Anyone got any suggestions?

    I guess way down the road, when I build a separate building for a darkroom / rental apartment, I'll also try and find myself an 8x10 enlarger to dedicate to this purpose, but that's not doable right now.

    Signed,

    Frustrated in Denton.
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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  3. lee

    lee Member

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  4. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Lee,

    I saw a few weeks back where you mentioned him on either pure-silver or the large format list, and dropped him a line but never got a reply. Looks like a phone call is in order. :smile:

    -KwM-
     
  5. lee

    lee Member

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    I don't know for sure that he can do what you want but maybe it is best for a phone call. As an effort of last resort, take a photo class at Colin County as they have several 8x10 enlargers. Tell them why you want to take the class and bs them a little bit and it might work.

    lee\c
     
  6. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    You may be able to pay one of the lab techs or students there to print them for you. I'm sure it would be VERY easy to find someone that would be willing to make some extra money. This would probably be the cheapest alternative and you can also supply them with the same paper your final prints would be on so there wouldn't be that variable to take into account.
     
  7. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    This is the one reason that I would consider buying a used flatbed scanner with a backlight. Sure it is a huge compromise but it would let me judge lighting, composition, subject expression, etc. quicker and easier than a thirty five mm contact sheet.
    I haven't actually done anything except occasionally consider it, but I confess to having impure thoughts :surprised:
     
  8. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Being a Collin County student (who hasn't been in their lab for about 1 year), I'd be rather careful of who you give your negs to. I remember several, uhm, unpleasant episodes in that lab that ultimately led me to build my own darkroom. For example, someone once put toothpaste in the paper developer... For what purpose, I can't imagine. The Collin County area is full of rich little kids with sh!t for brains... I've had a few pieces of lab equipment stolen in that lab, too.

    If you'd like, take a class there, it's the safest route. You can probably enroll in a portfolio class, just show Bird Williams IV, who I believe is the photography head honcho, your work. Bird is a very nice, very knowleadgeble guy, whose family used to run a photolab in the DFW area (before my time, though). For the price of tuition and gas, it might be worth it for you to just buy an used enlarger; it can't hurt to check.

    BTW, their 8x10 enlargers used to be in a separate darkroom, where newbies weren't allowed... that's a BIG plus.
     
  9. lee

    lee Member

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    Yeah, Bird is a great photographer. He is a fourth generation photographer. He is the guy I talked to when I inquired about the 8x10 enlargers. No way would I let anyone handle my negs but me.

    """BTW, their 8x10 enlargers used to be in a separate darkroom, where newbies weren't allowed... that's a BIG plus."""

    That was the way it was when I was over there to see the darkroom.

    Contact Bird Williams IV thru Collin County CC.

    lee\c
     
  10. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    You may be able to talk to this Bird into letting you use the darkroom on a fee basis. Schools are always looking for extra money. There's nothing stopping you from just enrolling in a class so you might want to call or email and ask if they would rent time with the 8x10 enlarger--specify your want to use it to make 16x20 contact sheets that are no longer available in the area.

    --Having dealt with a couple of "high end" labs the darkroom monkeys that do a lot of the non-custom work are usually upper-level students in local photography programs. I just saw no difference from taking the negs to the lab where the same student would do the work as to the CCCC darkrooms. Nothing stopping you from getting upper-level A students, but I do agree that I would try to do it myself if at all possible.
     
  11. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Well, I spent a decade or so working at a University (U of North Texas) and one of the things they're very sensitive about is people using their facilitites for for-profit ventures. Lots of very good reason not to do it.

    I got a note back from Eric Neilsen, and the largest he's equipped for is 4x5 negatives, but he does have a couple of other contacts that might prove fruitful. I'll work those contacts and see if anything comes of it. If so, I'll post to this thread.
    (a friend of Eric's in Wichita Falls as well as Phil at Expert imaging.)

    In the meantime, if someone knows of any likely directions to point me for this, I'm still all ears.

    cheers,

    -KwM-
     
  12. sgrowell

    sgrowell Member

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    Hi Kevin,

    Mark
    2029 E Levee St, Dallas, TX 75207
    Phone: (214) 747-0888

    Steve