Largest print ever made?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Prime, Sep 23, 2002.

  1. Prime

    Prime Member

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    How large was the largest traditional (non-digital) print ever made, or, failing that, the largest that you've ever seen? Let's exclude billboards, other advertisements, and images made for special applications; traditional prints only.

    Somebody I know said that she once made a print that was something like six feet long. I'm not sure that I've actually seen a print that size, though.
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    There was a guy here in Mexico who made an in camera paper negative that was 7 feet by 5 feet. Sadly the guy recently died.....Never got to see the paper negative but it most have been something awsome!
     
  3. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    The largest I ever saw was an AA Moonrise, on the wall of my first bosses apartment. He's a pretty famous photographer in Manhattan and LA, so I assume it was an origional.
    It was easily 4X6 Feet and very impressive!
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Clyde butcher is making beautiful 4ft x 5 and 6ft prints. and if I remember correctly he may do even larger ones. Interesting method he has worked out to do so. There was an article in B&W magazine earlier in the year with more specific information regarding his darkroom and methods.


    http://www.clydebutcher.com/96fallnl/darkroom.htm
     
  5. steve

    steve Member

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    On one piece of paper or as a photo mural? Largest paper available today is roll paper that comes 48-inches wide by xxx feet long (I forget the number of feet). So, you are limited in one dimension by the 48-inch width.

    What would be interesting to do, is stitch together several (like 3) panoramic format photos & have them output on a LightJet as it has a roll of 48-inch wide paper loaded in it, and should be able to print the entire length of the stitched together photo ....

    Oooooooowww...that shouldn't be too expensive!!

    Look at the big stuff done by Chuck Close. AND, do assemblages like those done by Robert Raushenberg count?
     
  6. bwphoto6x6

    bwphoto6x6 Member

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    I have hanging right behind me a 40x50 silver print by Charles Phillips. He is currently making prints even larger. His work is magnificent. lt sure helps when you start with an 8x10 negative.
     
  7. lexla

    lexla Member

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  8. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    I think that one takes the cake lexla. Would have like to see the video.
     
  9. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Kodak Endura paper was made in 72" width. IDK if it still is, but that was inspired by the Worlds Fair prints that were hung on the sides of a building devoted to such displays. These measured on the order of 20x40 FEET or more and were floodlit. The photos were exposed to so much light, heat and moisture over the summer that they began to fade and were replaced at least twice to my knowledge.

    These were commissioned by the Wordl's Fair NY committee IIRC and inspired Kodak to develop wider paper widths.

    These photos were said at the time to be the largest ever made. They were stitched together optically using a special horizontal enlarger and wall sized vacuum frame. The negatives were UULF. I do not remember the size, but the back of the enlarger was also nearly room size.

    They had a studio camera setup for taking this UULF film. My memory seems to tell me that the film was 20x40 inches or larger.

    PE
     
  11. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    If you are familiar with how a Kodak Cirkut camera works, they make a continuous piece of film as they drive around a lazy susan type platform with a spring wound motor. Kodak made them up to 16 inches so 16 inch by 9 or 10 foot long pictures were possible. However in 1913 in Tonopah Nevada where I live, a fellow named Sheelor came to town and had the foundry (which is still here) make a 22 inch tall Cirkut type camera. We have an image made with this camera in our local museum that is 22" X 12 or 13 feet long. The Tonopah Times Bonanza touted it as the worlds largest photograph in 1913. Sure that pinhole neg they made in a hangar is bigger but did they ever make a print? This one is the real deal. The original camera exists in Alaska. Ron Klein owns it. We plan on bringing it back to Tonopah for a Boomtown History event this August. It will be displayed in the Central Nevada Museum next to the photo it made 96 years ago.
     
  12. Samuel Hotton

    Samuel Hotton Member

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    How about the Mammoth camera, a huge camera custom designed by the Chicago photographer and inventor George R. Lawrence in 1900 in order to photograph a complete train owned by the Chicago & Alton Railway.
    The photographic plate measured 2.44 × 1.37 m (8 × 4 1/2 ft). A single, 2 1/2-minute exposure of the train was made, and three contact prints sent to the Exposition Universelle in Paris, where the picture won the ‘Grand Prize of the World for Photographic Excellence’.
    Sam H.
     
  13. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    PE, if you're talking about the Coloramas, Kodak still has a section about this on their website:

    http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/features/coloramas/colorama.html

    I know the original poster specifically ruled out "images for special occasions", but heck!, these were so interesting! Never saw one in person, but they must have been impressive.

    Per the site, Norman Rockwell designed and directed the Sept '57 shoot, Ansel Adams did 14 of them (6 are shown in the website "gallery"), one of my favorites for scenics, Neil Montanus, and plenty more.
     
  14. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Bill;

    No, this was not the colorama. I was referring to a one-time project for the NY Worlds Fair in the mid to late 60s. I forget the year, but the paper was a special design with a special coating structure. It had an extra UV layer on top and also had some sort of special repellant overcoat to avoid water damage.

    PE
     
  15. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    Do you still have your Cirkut?
     
  16. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    PE, ahhh... I vaguely recalled some older technical papers on Tone Reproduction where the "World's Fair print" was referenced.

    In fact, one is by Bartleson and Breneman (1967), "Brightness Reproduction...". And they speak of the 1964-65 World's Fair, prints displayed "on the tower of the Eastman Kodak Company's pavillion...".
     
  17. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I was at one of Clyde Butcher shows at Williamsburg, Va. a while back. I can't remember the sizes of the prints but they were pretty big, at least the biggest prints I've seen personally.

    Jeff
     
  18. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Yes, in fact just within the last couple of weeks I've solved most of my previous problems. I got an original Turner Reich lens so the negs are sharp now, and I had a stainless steel 14 inch X 92 inch X 4 inch deep pan made to develop the negs laying flat out. I guess I never had the dexterity to do the scroll thing and not have issues in the sky. With time limited and resources expensive, you don't want to mess around with banding in the sky all the time. So hopefully soon I'll have some good negs to brag over. Tonopah is a really neat place to use one of these.
     
  19. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I have done the scroll thing with 122 size film, but it is nothing compared with the multiple feet from even a smaller Cirkut. Glad you got your banding problems figured out. Will be interested in seeing the results of your efforts. Much of Northern Nevada and Eastern California is a photographer's dream.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes, Jim and Ed wrote an article about it and I believe that many people thought it was a large transparency. It seems that illuminating a print with a high light level can make it appear backlit and as stunning as a transparency.

    We had that demonstrated in a classroom theater at Kodak.

    PE
     
  21. jaimeb82

    jaimeb82 Member

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    When I was 18 I used to work at the HP Printers Factory in Barcelona. There was a room with plotters, printers, scanners and computers for factory workers to experiment and play around after work hours. I know I am talking digital here, but couldn't resist the temptation to share what my biggest print was, don't punish me yet! The plotters had rolls of photo paper and the prints were could get large, I printed prints that are hanging in my mother's house that are 6 foot or so for sure. My mom would give me photos everyday and say " print more!, print more!" I wonder why the fired me next summer?
     
  22. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Although not totally traditional in the sense of using silver paper, that "Liquid Emulsion" coated fabric exposed in a So Cal airplane hangar, using the hangar as a pinhole camera was pretty impressive.
     
  23. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    some group turned an airplane hanger into a large pinhole camera.
     
  24. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    The single biggest prints I have actually done were 6' high by 18' long.

    These were colour prints using Kodak colour EP2 paper followed by RA4 paper when it came out.

    The paper came in 100' rolls, with a few rolls to a container, which looked like a smallish coffin.

    The processor we used was 76" wide, trust me when I say that loading a 20' to 22' roll of 6' wide paper and hopefully getting it straight was interesting.

    Every now and again you could hear the gears that drive the rollers making a funny noise, this meant the paper had tracked sideways and you hoped that the tracking wouldn't get that bad that the machine stopped, or the paper started to jam and then slip and be scratched by all the rollers over the length of the print.

    Pulling a piece (or pieces) of paper that big out of a roller transport machine that big, could sometimes take an hour or more to sort out, plus there was the wasted paper, which wasn't cheap.

    Working in total darkness with another person and using retractable bladed knives to cut paper whilst one person held the pulled out part of the roll, whilst trying not to kink it, was another excercise in gymnastics.

    The end product was, at the maximum, a single colour print on photographic paper, as you would use in your own darkroom that was trimmed down to 6' high by 18' wide. Which for the rest of the world except the Americans and the British, is a print that is 1.82m high by 5.48m wide.

    With B&W paper the biggest we used was rolls of Ilford paper, this was 48" wide by, I seem to remember, 100'. We used a bank of enlargers in our B&W darkroom all equipped with Ilford multigrade heads, which were absolutely fantastic. To be able to change the filtration whilst exposure was happening was a useful tool for doing very fine bridal veils and things like that.

    We sometimes used B&W paper in our mural darkrooms, the biggest we could do were 4' high by 22' long, but this was only with a 4x5" negative, if we used our normal 8x10 negative, then the maximum size was 19' long. The restriction was there because the longer lens required for the larger negative, restricted the enlargement factor.

    Going from memory here, but the only photographic paper over 4' wide in rolls, was manufactured by Kodak, and this was colour negative paper only. Their reversal papers were 4' wide, I seem to remember that Duratrans was only 4' wide as well.

    Nothing I ever saw from Ilford was wider than 4'.

    I do seem to remember that there was one Drupa exhibition in Germany whereby Konica, Agfa, Ilford, Fuji and Kodak or an assortment of manufacturers like that, got together to manufacture the worlds largest single print. I believe the end product was a huge single print, which was literally billboard size.

    This was either in the very late seventies or in the eighties. For those who don't know what Drupa is, it is the worlds largest printing exhibition. Held every four years at Messe Düsseldorf, it made Photokina look like a chook raffle, sort of:D

    Mick.