Getting into contact printing

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by B-3, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. B-3

    B-3 Member

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    Can anyone recommend a good book, or article, or series of articles, to someone who is interested in getting into contact printing?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Hi Bruce :smile:

    What type of paper are you thinking of using? Have you visited michaelandpaula.com? There is a wealth of information there about contact printing with AZO.
     
  3. B-3

    B-3 Member

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    No - I hadn't picked a particular paper. I'm guessing that's the primary (sole?) determinant of exposure time - given one particular light source? I was hoping to find a very basic tutorial as a starting off point.

    Thanks for the link - Michael A. Smith - love his work - really brilliant stuff (though I've never seen an actual print - only magazine reproductions - and they're still awesome).
     
  4. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I don't know of a good book on contact printing. I'd ditto the Michael A. Smith suggestion. He also has the Azo forum on his site with a lot of information, and here on APUG there is this contact printing forum.

    Mostly, it's knowing what a good print looks like. If you know how to make a good enlarged print, you'll quickly figure out what a good contact print is supposed to look like. It's much the same process.
    juan
     
  5. colivet

    colivet Member

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    I saw reproductions on B&W magazine and I have also seen their scans on their website, but the day I saw their prints in person I could not believe it. They were off the scale, I mean way beyond what I could have imagined was a good print.
    It was a great feeling and a lesson at the same time.
     
  6. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Even better than a book: take their workshop. Then after a while you'll be making prints as good as theirs.
     
  7. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Music to my ears! I`m attending the september 23-25 workshop :smile:

    Amund
     
  8. B-3

    B-3 Member

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    Attending a workshop sounds like a great idea, but I was thinking that a book and learn-as-you-go experimentation would be somewhat easier to slip into the family budget. :smile:

    Meanwhile, kid's on the way, so I say "Some day, Some day..."

    Is there an emoticon for singing?
     
  9. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    What kind of contact printing are you interested in? Azo or one of the many alternate processes out there? You never really said.
     
  10. B-3

    B-3 Member

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    I really just wanted to experiment, try different things, see what appealed... I'm building a darkroom and plan on doing enlargements, but was also interested in trying to make contact prints as a final, presentable product - so I was wondering if I needed to set things up in any particular way in order to at least have the option. Of course, this may all be a back-ended way for me to try LF cameras, so perhaps I have put the cart before the horse.
     
  11. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Why not start with something easy? Cyanotypes are great fun, and can even be made to look very nice. Van Dyke next, or salt prints? These are all printing-out processes, which is a great way to learn. There's a very good book about "alternative processes" called "Spirits of Salt" I think. Buy that, and start playing :smile:
     
  12. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    some good work table space is nice...on the dry side..
     
  13. B-3

    B-3 Member

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    Aye - keep it simple, sherlock.

    Thanks for the tips - especially the cyanotype, Van Dyke, salt ideas. I'll look for that book.

    Thanks all.
     
  14. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Michael doesn't do anything that isn't easy. Producing a fine print on Azo is much easier than with any other process. That's why I would (and in fact, did) choose it to begin with.
     
  15. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Also check a book called "Coming into Focus: A Step-by-Step Guide to Alternative Photographic Printing Processes". It has step by step instructions, and includes formulas, for a large number of alternative printing processes. I found it to be very, very helpful.

    - Randy
     
  16. B-3

    B-3 Member

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    Ooooo - good lead, that. Thank you Randy! Got it on order.
     
  17. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Bruce, one nice thing about azo paper is that it is so simple to work with. All you need is a film to work with, an ordinary light bulb (see Edward Weston's setup for simplicity in the extreme) some developer and fixer. The really nice thing about azo is the speed, it is very slow. A normal light bulb is necessary for printing because of its speed (or lack therof). Print exposures can range from a few seconds to a few minutes. Not possible with regular photographic papers, they're too fast to do this with and would be black after a second in this light. No enlarger or fancy equipment, azo is fun. tim
     
  18. B-3

    B-3 Member

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    This is sounding very very interesting. OK - you've set the hook - reel me in!
     
  19. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Well, we all know where to buy Azo, don't we?
     
  20. B-3

    B-3 Member

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    The Azo Store
    Azo Is Us
    Mr. Azo
    Azo World
    Azo City
    Azo Warehouse
    Everything Azo

    :smile: Sorry - I'm just being silly now.
     
  21. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Smith/Chamlee Photography
     
  22. TheDigitalMonster

    TheDigitalMonster Member

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    Thank you for posting this Bruce! :smile:
    Beat me to it!
    :tongue: (Though I'm new to printing in general) :tongue:
     
  23. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    I gotta' agree with this completely. AZO is very forgiving paper, tolerates bright working conditions and can be printed with the simplest setup and least amount of equipment. The long exposure times mean that you can dodge and burn with ease (no time pressure)

    cheers
     
  24. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    Azo and don't forget the Amidol