Henry, who currently lives in the Massachusetts South Shore area

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the APUG Community' started by hgernhardt, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. hgernhardt

    hgernhardt Member

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    So I'm about halfway through my 39th year of life, and can remember the first camera I ever used: I was about six, and it was my father's Nikonos undersea camera. I was using a light meter, setting F-Stop and aperture, guessing at focus or setting a hyperfocal distance, lamenting the lack of a flash unit, and working in black and white.

    Ever since then, black and white has been a favorite medium of mine.

    I've been in and out of the darkroom scene, but recently I unearthed my old collection of older cameras, the youngest of which is a Contax IIIa. The majority of them are medium format. Several of them take roll film sizes that are no longer in commercial production. Enough of them take 120 film that I bit the bullet and purchased cheap B&W film (Holga branded) and some chemistry with which to process it. Lacking a darkroom, I started scanning the negs on a multipurpose printer.

    Needless to say, the resulting images are interesting at best. The negatives look nice, though—especially from the Nettar.

    My budget is tight. Space is lacking. Inamongst the same collection, I have a beseler 23 and associated equipment. I found some Fomaspeed Variant I purchased back in '07 in a prior abortive attempt to set up a darkroom. I've ordered print developer, a mat cutter, and some other odds and ends. Redneck engineering should net me a dark room in which I can set up everything but washing. A nearby sink can provide that.

    I've been bitten by a bug, it seems. I want to develop prints in coffee. I want to build a 4x5 monorail camera. I want to slather a four foot square canvas with photographic print emulsion, print a nifty image, then embellish it with transparent paints. I want to investigate cyanotype and Van Dyke printing using a UV LED source in an enlarger. I want to construct negative carriers that let me print everything on the medium format negative, including the edges and frame borders.

    All more than I can afford right now (except, perhaps, the coffee and a bit of mat board). Most more than I'll be able to do in the six months I have before I must move again.

    And for what?

    For the mystery of silver halide. For the ethereal, magical moments of watching a latent image come to the fore in the processing tray. For the richness of the red light. For the smell of hypo. For water dripping from the corners of hanging paper. For the beauty of old technology.

    For the joy it brings.

    [​IMG]
    Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall by hgernhardt, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Morning Shadow by hgernhardt, on Flickr
     
  2. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Henry... hello and welcome to APUG from the western end of the Bay State.
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Welcome, Henry!

    You will find that it is very difficult to push any significant amount of UV light thru an enlarger. You might find enlarging negs the way to go with that, and then contact printing them under a UV light source. But don't let me stop you from trying -- you just might be able to do it! And there is a very fast-speed in-camera cyanotype process out there (Cyanotype rex, by Terry King) that might work with such an enlarger.

    I have filed out a Omega D5 negative holder to include the rebate -- but not the edge itself -- you might look at glass negative carriers (w/ anti-newton ring glass).

    And I have seen large canvases covered with liquid light!

    Welcome, again! And have fun!

    Vaughn
     
  4. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Henry- Where there's a will, there's a way. And, you seem to have the will... You have quite a disparate list of "wants". I'd recommend setting up your enlarger, and start making prints on RC paper. Get the basics down before heading off in a bunch of directions. jnanian is our resident Cafenol guru. He even sells a kit for it. I've been doing a similar thing to the emulsion on canvas, but I'm using heavily textured watercolor paper for them. I use paint and pencil on them. It's easy to make negative carriers out of mat board.
    Whatever you do, have fun... (I'd also recommend subscribing. There are a lot of people doing some of the things you're interested in posting great stuff. I think you'd find it highly inspirational, at the cost of a few rolls of film.)
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hey henry !

    i have cousins in brocton, cohasset, hull, scituate .. nice place you live !

    welcome aboard !
    john
     
  6. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    Welcome to APUG Henry and good luck with your quest!
     
  7. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Great intro Henry! In fact, it was a little eerie -- it appears we're the same age, and like you, I'm interested in a multitude of different processes, but I lack the time (and sometimes, viable location) to see them through. I also move around (the world) a lot, which makes darkroom work problematic, but I have finally got one set up to do (most) of what I want to do. Looking forward to seeing your work here on APUG!
     
  8. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Subscriber

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    Hey there, Henry!
    Welcome to APUG. I hope you'll watch the New England regional threads for one of our local gatherings and join us sometime. Brockton is where my daughter lived until a couple of years ago, and I have fond memories of a few meals at a Brazilian restaurant there. I, too, have been doing some "redneck engineering" to create a darkroom after having an institutional one available to me for the last 25 years and I find that while it takes a bit more creative thinking, you can make almost anything work if you want it to. Keep shooting.
     
  9. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Welcome home Henry. You're going to fit right in here!
     
  10. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Great intro and welcome to APUG! Hope you'll be able to join us at our next N.E. gathering, we have a great group.
     
  11. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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  12. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Hello Henry and welcome to APUG. Like your photos.

    Jeff
     
  13. hgernhardt

    hgernhardt Member

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    Thanks for the Warm Welcome!

    Folks—

    Many thanks for the warm welcome you've given me, and for the information.

    Rachelle: I'd like to know how you've handled the moves. I've a sneaking suspicion that I won't be spending much longer than twelve to eighteen months in any one location for the next decade or so. I'm also fairly certain that creative interpretation and repurposing of space may be necessary in order to engage in darkroom endeavors.

    Whiteymorange, Suzanne: I'll keep an eye on the New England regional threads—I look forward to such a gathering.

    Jeff: Thanks for the compliment! I'll hopefully find out within the next week how they turn out photographically enlarged. I kinda like the distressed look I got from the scan, but I'd rather not have the posterization. I look forward to seeing what I get from a scan of a photographic print.

    Vaughn, Eddie: Thanks for the tips. RC paper is what I have; should it turn out to be unusable due to age, I'll be looking for an inexpensive RC multigrade to replace it. Funny thing is that my first foray into tray process printing was with Kodabromide F3, fiber base. I miss that paper. It had a great look to it even when you didn't ferrotype the image surface.

    Again, thanks folks! I look forward to future interactions here.
     
  14. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    Hi Henry, welcome from Australia.
    While I don't have to move any time soon (I hope), I'm in a rental property and feel obliged to hide my "darkroom" every six months for the ritual house intrusion...um, I mean "inspection". So, my darkroom is simply my laundry. The window is blacked out with garbage bags pulled down over the flyscreen which gets taken out and put in the cupboard when necessary. Since the laundry light was just a bare light bulb to begin with, I simply put the collar from a Paterson safelight up around it and swapped out the standard bulb for the 15 watt and slipped the red cover over it. I don' think the real estate agent has ever looked up to even notice the switch. The enlarger sits on a set of drawers with the trays, chemicals, etc. stashed underneath between the washing machine and the wall. All in all, I have about a metre by two metres of space to work in and it's doable.
    Oh, and aside from some 8x10 paper for proof sheets, ALL of my paper is at least twenty years old.

    As someone mentioned earlier, where there's a will, there's a way. Have a blast exploring all of your ideas and, once again, welcome!
     
  15. amac212

    amac212 Member

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    I usually lurk about reading posts and enjoying from afar, rarely commenting. But I must say; You sir are more than a photographer, but a storyteller, a poet and a most enthusiastic shepherd of and evangelist for old school photography.

    What a delightful read!!
     
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG!