portraits on paper negative

Discussion in 'Portraiture' started by blindpig, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. blindpig

    blindpig Member

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    I'm pretty excited about trying to shoot portraits on paper negative material.Closing in on getting correct exposure and lighting and think just need more practice to improve technique.Here's one of my latest attempts:
    [​IMG]
    It prints on photo paper better than this computer reproduction.
    Would appreciate any suggestions you all might have...
    Don
     
  2. jvo

    jvo Subscriber

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    i used paper negatives for some very specific reasons - a more "pictorial" look, image reversal, or tinting/handcoloring, pinhole, etc. - more a means to an end... so i guess the question is what are you looking to achieve... that would guide my input.

    jvo
     
  3. blindpig

    blindpig Member

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    I've wanted to make wetplate pictures for a while.There's something about the"look" that has to do with color sensitivity and contrast with detail that appeals to me. As I'm retired and on a limited budget I opted for paper negatives as a less costly substitute.While learning to use this material for portraits am amazed in the"creamy" transition from dark to light areas and have come to pursue that"look".Meanwhile have acquired and/or built some lighting equipment allowing me to try and emulate lighting and style of early Hollywood portrait photographers.
    Guess that's my goal for now.
    Don
     
  4. jvo

    jvo Subscriber

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    yup...

    i know the look you're talking about... that's the "pictorial" effect i'm talking about... yes, it is nice... hmm... you've got me thinking!:D

    jvo
     
  5. blindpig

    blindpig Member

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    Guess I'm not making it easy for myself as I'm shooting on 4" X 5" paper and enlarging to 8"x 10" or 11"X 14",which is going alright but I'd like the enlargements to be straight prints without burning or dodging.By manipulating the lighting I'm approaching this goal(but not there yet).The paper negative has the" look" and even a "creamy" tonal effect I think.Good luck with what ever you are"thinking" about...
     
  6. 1920

    1920 Member

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    im interested in this- does anyone have an example they could link or post or the type of early portrait you mean?
     
  7. StephenT

    StephenT Subscriber

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    Which paper?

    I've also started experimenting with paper negatives. Which paper do you use? I have been using Ilford MGIV RC Deluxe, Pearl finish, ASA about 6. Still don't have it "dialed in." Enlarging also to 8x10 using an Omega 45 with a color head, filtration varies. My paper developer is LPD 1:3.

    I'm shooting landscapes and some pinhole.

    I think your portrait shot is excellent, by the way.
     
  8. Claudia Moroni

    Claudia Moroni Member

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    Excuse the boldness, but I didn't realise you could enlarge paper negatives!!! I have only ever made contact prints out of them.

    I have been experimenting with paper negatives using an ancient 8x10 camera because I thought I couldn't enlarge them.

    If I knew it was possible, I'd happily use my 4x5 which is much easier to focus and to work with.

    How do you enlarge them? :blink:

    Personally I have been using Kentmere VC Select RC and I've found that pre flashing the paper helps enormously in taming the contrast.

    Without preflashing (also underexposed, which obviously doesn't help)

    Kat.jpg

    With preflashing

    richard.jpg

    Jay.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2015
  9. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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  10. goros

    goros Subscriber

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    Portraits on paper negatives were, and still are, used by street photographers all over Europe. With "street photographers" I mean those who work in small and not so small towns and villages squares, taking souvenir pictures of whoever was willing to pay a small price. The have a camera that has a small lab inside. Once the paper negative is processed on the spot, it is again photographied to get the positive, also processed on the spot.

    Some links:

    http://www.museoreinasofia.es/coleccion/obra/fotografo-minutero-plaza-oriente-madrid
    http://caballitodelalonja.blogspot.com.es/2009/06/manda-la-foto_06.html?_sm_au_=ifVwjSwtHjqFdWnj
     
  11. StephenT

    StephenT Subscriber

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    Hey Claudia. Place your paper negative in the enlarger, emulsion side down, and expose the paper. You'll have to judge the exposure - when I started, I just made test strips. Once you have the exposure determined, then different images and enlargements can be handled just the way you would enlarge negatives. Just be sure your paper negatives do not contain manufacturer printing on the base side.

    I use variable contrast paper with my color head.

    The reflected light enlargers look very interesting, but I have no room left in the darkroom for a third enlarger!
     
  12. Claudia Moroni

    Claudia Moroni Member

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    Thanks for the link, they look amazing, but unfortunately I work in a shared darkroom, so I cannot build an additional enlarger there :sad:

    So you use a normal enlarger...that's what I'd like to do as well, so I was wondering (please excuse me if it's a silly question) how do you manage to focus the enlarged image with a focus finder? I'd expect the image to be very faint if it's coming through the paper and I don't really know how to get around that.
     
  13. blindpig

    blindpig Member

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    Gosh I haven't checked this thread in a while it seems to be active,good!
    The reflective lamp house can be retrofitted to existing enlargers(If the existing lamp house is removable) and you'd have interchangeable light sources without adding another enlarger to your equipment in your darkroom.
    I think Eric glued his lamp house to the bellows on his enlarger but In most cases I think it could just rest on the existing negative stage already provided by the enlarger, thereby be interchangeable.
    Just a thought.....
    Don
     
  14. PhilippeFrance

    PhilippeFrance Member

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    Claudia, i like the first, very good portrait !