First Darkroom Prints!

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by JacobT, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. JacobT

    JacobT Member

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    Hello everyone, this is my first time posting (I think, I can't remember posting before!) and first time printing! Just wanted to share my first photographs with you. It was such an exciting process, if it weren't for my busy studies at the moment I'd be right back in my local darkroom but as it is I'll have to wait till next thursday :sad:.

    Anyway, without further ado, here they are in order of creation! (Sorry about the subject matter, I'm an architecture student)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The scans really don't do the prints justice, coming from digital I really was surprised how beautifully they came out. Anyway I think the last one's my favorite, but feel free to pick your own!

    All the best. Jacob

    (P.S I hope I've posted the images right.)
     
  2. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    so what kind of film/developer/camera is it?
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    They show great promise, stunning really, for a first effort. Much better than my first prints. Congrats! Welcome to APUG.
     
  4. JacobT

    JacobT Member

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    Thanks! Yeah I was really pleased with them but it wasn't all me,this is my second week at a black and White photography class. Last week was film processing and contact printing. Anyway I think I got a huge head start just through regularly reading these forums and watching your videos on YouTube!

    As for the technical side, they were all shot on FP4 with an old pentax mg and 24mm 2.8 lens, in fact it's the very first camera my dad used to learn photography decades ago. Developed with ilford chemicals (ilfosol 3 for the film) on kentmere rc 5x7 paper.

    Can't wait to wade through the backlog of negatives I've been shooting for the last few years and see what else I come up with!

    Jacob
     
  5. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    They are printed very well. Nice job. Are you using Variable Contrast filters? I started out without them (bad idea.)
     
  6. lorirfrommontana

    lorirfrommontana Member

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    Good job! I'm hopeing to do my first prints soon also. I hope mine turn out that good!
     
  7. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Jacob,

    Are you taking a photography module related to your architecture course?

    Tom.
     
  8. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Well done for your first go, Jacob. I love the graffiti pieces. Welcome to APUG.
     
  9. jasonhall

    jasonhall Member

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    Not only are your prints rather good (I look forward to doing some one day soon) but your composition and over all eye for this type of photography is also rather good.

    Welcome to a great community

    Jason
     
  10. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Very well done. Give up digital and come join us permanently. :smile:
     
  11. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Bravo, Jacob. Keep those prints forever.
     
  12. Greg Heath

    Greg Heath Subscriber

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    Great Job ! I remember my firsts too. It is very exciting to see an image slowly fade in.. Very fun and very addicting. Congrats.

    Greg
     
  13. JacobT

    JacobT Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the welcomes and comments, I'd no Idea I'd get such a good response!

    tiberiustibz: Yes they were printed with multigrade filters. I was actually rather surprised I'd always assumed when teaching photography they'd start with simpler graded paper but it appears not. The first three were all printed a 2 and the last at 3.

    Tom Kershaw: No actually photography is just an all-consuming hobby of mine, but alot of it does find its way into my uni work. As for the darkroom work, well It's taken me ages to get round to getting on this course and now I'm here I wish I'd started two years ago!

    Thanks again everyone!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2009
  14. Matthew Gorringe

    Matthew Gorringe Member

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    Well done, not only beautiful but fun. They're very good.
     
  15. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Nice job!!! How do you get your first prints here on the forum? You can scan the negatives but how do you get the prints here??
     
  16. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Nice pictures. You show talent.

    The pure white skies tell me you are developing to long or maybe that is introduced in scanning. If the original prints have white skies, cut your development time 10% and keep cutting until until you get some detail in the sky.
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I agree with what has been said so far. I burned my first prints. They were terrible. You are off to a much better start! Good eye, talented composition. Keep up the good work.

    One piece of advise: Never rush into material or equipment changes when things go wrong. Perfect your technique before blaming it on your materials. Use one developer, one paper, one everything and print the 'you know what' out of it to understand how your materials respond to modifications. Then, move on, but realize that all name-brand materials are used by some competent hands to create perfection. Most expert printers have settled for only a couple of papers, developers, etc. Equipment can be bought, skill has to be earned.

    Welcome to the team. Looking forward to your contributions in the future.
     
  18. JacobT

    JacobT Member

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    Hello, and thanks again for the responses so far! A couple of days ago I was back in my local darkroom for Round 2, so I'm going to share some more of my results. This was my last time with professional assistance and a lot more challenging, I was developing a range of very different negatives and so I'll offer a brief description and ask some advice on each one!

    [​IMG]

    This one has a long story behind it, taken in Krakow and processed in my student flat in Scotland it must have gone through at least two airport xray machines in between! This coupled with my inexperience in developing produced an extremely thin negative which had to be printed at filter 5 for 3 seconds at f8. Luckily it looks good and turned out to be my favorite image of the trip. Oh and this one was shot with my Voigtlander R3A and 40mm 1.4.

    [​IMG]

    This one is of a nearby beach but again shows the blank sky some of you commented on earlier. In hindsight I probably used too much contrast but like the other photos there was very little detail in the sky when it was shot. It's probably best to use a split density filter when shooting but can burning achieve convincingly darker skies? (Taken with the same 24mm as the Architectural shots)

    [​IMG]

    Finally this one was taken in very harsh sunlight using my MG with 135 lens, producing a high contrast neg. While printing I found I had to increase the exposure so much to get the detail in the skin but then lost most of the highlights in the out of focus background. Would this be a good candidate for split grade printing? I appreciate this is maybe a bit complex for a beginner but I'd like to know if it's possible.

    Thanks for all the advice everyone!

    Jacob
     
  19. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    This one has a long story behind it, taken in Krakow and processed in my student flat in Scotland it must have gone through at least two airport xray machines in between! This coupled with my inexperience in developing produced an extremely thin negative which had to be printed at filter 5 for 3 seconds at f8. Luckily it looks good and turned out to be my favorite image of the trip. Oh and this one was shot with my Voigtlander R3A and 40mm 1.4.
    *******
    It's a fine image. Needs to be burned down a bit on the left edge.

    [​IMG]

    This one is of a nearby beach but again shows the blank sky some of you commented on earlier. In hindsight I probably used too much contrast but like the other photos there was very little detail in the sky when it was shot. It's probably best to use a split density filter when shooting but can burning achieve convincingly darker skies? (Taken with the same 24mm as the Architectural shots)
    ******
    Darker; but how convincing? If detail is not there, one just get's darker blank.[​IMG]

    Finally this one was taken in very harsh sunlight using my MG with 135 lens, producing a high contrast neg. While printing I found I had to increase the exposure so much to get the detail in the skin but then lost most of the highlights in the out of focus background. Would this be a good candidate for split grade printing? I appreciate this is maybe a bit complex for a beginner but I'd like to know if it's possible.
    ********
    Were it mine, I would file the neg away and print it next year. unless there is a really compelling reason to have the very best print right now, my advice is to spend your time else where. It is not particularly flattering light; and if you get more detail in the shadow under the hat, what shall that do to make it a better portrait?


    Thanks for all the advice everyone!
    *****
    Keep at it. You have a good eye for a photograph. It's a gift.

    Jacob[/QUOTE]