has anyone ever exposed in developer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BetterSense, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    What would happen if you placed the tray of developer on your enlarger, secured a piece of paper in it somehow, and made your exposure with the paper under the developer? This would seem like the ultimate in developing by inspection. Thoughts? I suppose the liquid degrades the image somehow.
     
  2. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    10 Mar 2009

    BetterSense:

    Interesting idea! I have to try this and find out what the results are like.:smile:

    Here are my thoughts...
    1. I would think that the depth of developer will effect how much the projected image is degraded, and attenuated.
    2. Generally wet paper will be less sensitive to light than dry paper.

    Keep us posted as to you results when you do this experiment.

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    BetterSense:

    1) an interesting idea. If you try it, please report on your results;
    2) be very careful with the tray on your enlarger baseboard - spilled developer could cause all sorts of problems, including stains on your prints, and warping of the baseboard itself.

    Matt
     
  4. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    I would think its a matter of timing. Slide the paper into the developer and zap it with the enlarger. Then swish a bit more. -- I see no issue rather than the length of time in developer before the zap, and the amount of light reflected from the surface of the developer--- may be dependent on depth and such.
     
  5. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I tried it long ago with stabilization paper. That is paper that has developing agent incorporated in the emulsion and only needs an alkaline bath for development. When I ran out of that paper, just for fun, I soaked some ordinary paper in developer, squeegied it off and exposed it. I thought I could exposed it until the image coming up under the light merged with the negative projected image. I never tried it again.

    If you want to try, I would suggest that approach rather than a tray of developer. Any appreciable depth of liquid between the lens and paper would be likely to cause deformations due to movement, temperature differences, the phase of the Moon, etc.
     
  6. trexx

    trexx Member

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    I have exposed paper under water and under developer, mostly to get the effect of the wave action in distorting the image. When submerged the focusing can be difficult to get right. I used a flat bottom 8x10 tray that the paper would self center. I have not done POP, but I think that the highlights and shadows and respond the same as POP producing different contrast then normally expected.

    TR
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I tried it and it went too fast for my enlarger (I think you will want a very small aperture), but anyway you get funny ripples and such. Alas all I saw was that something interesting was happening and then it just blacked up on me! I haven't explored further yet. I concluded that the optimal exposure would be with the enlarger stopped down so much that the total exposure was roughly as long as the dev time of the paper in the particular developer. So for example, a ~1.5 min normal development of rc paper would require an exposure of roughly that duration, which means a really small aperture, I dunno, f/128 or something. (I say RC because fiber really changes quite a lot under water and "comes up" much slower so it may not be the best choice)

    Solarizing under water is another option to consider. So you do most of the development as usual, in the dark, then with a bit left to go, you make waves in the developer and switch on the lights and voila. Maybe if you solarize long enough then you will see the wave patterns.

    A related idea that I thought about but didn't try was to expose contact prints under water, the idea being that the water would seal the neg to the paper. But if the paper has incorporated developer then I guess you'll run into trouble.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i used to do that from time to time,
    but never with the whole tray
    just with the print wet and i re-exposed
    it and burned /dodged the image like that ..

    good to see you are having fun :smile:

    -john
     
  9. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I think there was a technique like this for some sort of solarization-like effect: soak the paper in developer, squeegee, expose in enlarger till the image forms, stop bath then fix. The ultimate in stand development for paper.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I think you are referring to the Sabattier effect.

    You expose normally and then begin development normally. At some point during the development, you flash the print to light evenly and you get both a positive and a weak negative image, sometimes with halos around objects.

    You then stop and fix normally.

    There are several color examples in my gallery.

    PE
     
  11. PVia

    PVia Member

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    There are some examples of floral photograms done this way in Tim Rudmans World of Lith Printing book....

    They're very beautiful and ethereal...
     
  12. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    ("Solarise" here refers to what's more strictly called the "Sabat(t)ier effect", as PE pointed out. I'll continue to abuse the former term in this post, as there's really no verb form of the latter.)

    I would think that the wave patterns would tend to average out over a long exposure, so that it would work better with a quick flash.

    I've done some solarising of film (though not paper), always in the developer, and haven't seen anything that looked like wave effects. I suspect that since the light isn't focussed, small variations in how much extra exposure different parts of the image get aren't very visible. Think about how light looks underwater---you can see vague patterns on the bottom of the pool from the movement on the surface, but they move fast, don't have sharp edges, and aren't obviously correlated with how the waves on the surface itself look. I'm just handwaving, but I wouldn't expect patterns like that to be very visible through the general fog produced along with the effect proper.

    Now, if you did a normal exposure of film or paper, then solarised it with an enlarger projecting a *different* image while it was in the developer...

    -NT
     
  13. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    Exposing in developer


    Actually this is a technique that was known as auto masking. And used with negatives that had a very dense highlight area The paper was soaked in developer carefully squeegee and .placed on the easel and the enlarger light turned on. The shadows developed quickly and exhausted the developer allowing the highlights to continue to be exposed until a tone was obtained. It was then placed in a stop bath and normal processing continued. Some times the print was taken off the easel and put back in a tray of developer to darken the shadows more. I have done it and you can get some interesting results, although they tend to look a little flat. I think graded paper of a higher contrast would actually be better for the technique I only used VC .and it was along time ago.
     
  14. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    David Vestal discusses this technique, which he picked up from Lloyd Varden, in one of his books. I have tried it. It works well on FB paper, which can absorb the developer.

    Say you have a neg that needs all kinds of print controls, but the needed dogding and burning are going to be a bear, and you are not in the mood to make an (unsharp) contrast reduction mask. Or there is not enough contrast in the original neg to handle the effect of a contrast reduction mask. Focus on the baseboard, or better yet, on a piece of scrap paper on a piece of glass [placed on the baseboard, so the baseboard will stay dry. Tape the galss in place, and use masking tape to guide where the wet paper will need to be positioned.

    Soak the unexposed print in developer. Squeegee from the back (I use a ferrotype plate for a smooth surface to squeegee against). Then lay the damp print on the glass, per the masking tape marks. Make your exposure. I use a smallish aperure, and enough exposure (known from earlier test strips) to get detail in the densest part of the neg that you want detail to show up in the print. Use whatever VC filter you think will work best with the overall tone of the photograph, if you are working with VC FB paper.

    The picture kind of fades out before your eyes, as it is exposed, because the developing agent causes the thin areas of the neg to blacken first, and the denser ares of the neg are darker on the print to start with. The developer exhausts in the thinest areas, so the effect is like 'self masking'. I go straight to the stop bath after exposure.