My son just made his first print

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by ntenny, May 27, 2013.

  1. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Well, it was more collaborative, really. He's just turned five, so his part of the job was to help with important tasks like holding things, counting timer revolutions, and remembering not to turn the lights on. But he got his first chance to help under the safelight and watch the print come up in the soup, and we all know that's the really magical part.

    This quick scan of the print isn't perfect---the real thing is a little darker (really a bit too dark) in the lower right and a little higher in contrast---but I think it sort of conveys the idea. It's certainly not the most exciting photo in the world, but as a parent and a photographer, it was a pretty exciting moment!

    -NT
     

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  2. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Congrats! I can't wait to show printing to my little one (he's only 3). How did he react when the print came up in the developer? That is the really cool part that got most of us hooked, I'd guess.
     
  3. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    He was actually kind of blase as it happened, but he says he had fun and wants to do it again; only "Next time *I* want to do the part where you put it in the chemicals, OK?" So I think we've got him.

    -NT
     
  4. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Outstanding to hear! I had my 6 year old twins in the DR learning the ropes for about an hour this weekend. Such fun times!!!
     
  5. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Yes, well done. It is fun when your children are old enough to help and even do their own thing in the darkroom.
     
  6. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Did he take the photo himself, too?

    You say, "It's not the world's greatest photograph," but remember that there is something special about kids as photographers because they don't have any preconceptions about what a photograph "should" be.

    Looking at kids' photography can be really great if you just forget your own preconceptions and look at it through their eyes.

    Don't worry. They'll learn their own preconceptions soon enough but, for now, just enjoy. :smile:
     
  7. Oxleyroad

    Oxleyroad Subscriber

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    Well done, and I think you have have him and keep at it.

    I too remember being in kindergarten when my father showed me how B&W photos were made. The image appearing in the developer was like magic.

    I have had my son in with me on and off since he was 3. When really young James job was to lift the lid on the flat bed processor for me to drop in the exposed sheets. Then at 4 he came an helped with the Jobo - though his help was not appreciated while processing 7 rolls of E6, he decided it would be better if the colour dev and Blix were added together after the first dev wash. Kissed those films good by. He is happy to shake the prints in the bath as they develop, and show his 4 year old sister how it is to be done :smile:

    Now James (seven next month) with his own P&S 35mm camera wants to process and print his pictures as soon the film is done. Something we have not managed in the same day yet.
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I think you should frame it nicely and hang it in your family room. Who cares it's not technically perfect.... it will be a very valuable personal artifact in decades to come. Your son will be showing his grand children what he did with his dad in something called a "darkroom"... and kids will go wowwww......
     
  9. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    No, but he did grow the corn! All technical issues in this case are my own. I think I overdid the tilt; some of the pepper-tree leaves and part of the garden bed are in focus, but I missed the corn heads in between.

    I'll probably set him up with a 35mm camera on holiday this summer. For the large-format stuff I've got plate cameras that are compact enough for him to help with in a reasonable way; but this is from an 8x10 with a 21" lens, and you have to rack that thing WAY out to focus on anything closer than, like, Neptune. I couldn't reach the front standard from under the darkcloth, and I'm 6'2" with long arms.

    I was a little older than he is now when my dad had a darkroom in the basement, and I remember having a great time in there, being curious about the different chemicals and thinking the safelight and the glow-in-the-dark timers were really fascinating. I think I need to switch back to an acid fixer now, because the smell of rapid fixer is one of my favorite memories of that time, and I don't think anyone is going to form heartwarming happy memories around the ammoniac scent of TF-4!

    -NT
     
  10. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    This is so true. It made me wish I had a switch to turn my own off!
     
  11. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    When he gets older, a K-1000 or some similar camera would be good but he'll need a few more years before he can handle that much gun. For now, a 35mm point-and-shoot would be more appropriate.

    A P&S digicam might be best for him to start out but I still think it important to keep film in the picture. Choice of equipment is secondary as long as he gets a well-rounded experience and good guidance.

    Just let him shoot pictures. That's the most important thing. :smile:
     
  12. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Good stuff ntenny!

    I have a three year old nephew who did his first cyanotype/sun prints last summer and now I've got him into large format.:D He loves the dark cloth, the upside down image, and the cable release.