Very large contact print... Is it possible? Am I just crazy?

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by jcc, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. jcc

    jcc Member

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    So I had this concept for an art piece, to have uncut rolls of film on a light box. Lined up, the strips of film would form one image. Dandy idea. Except, I shot B&W negatives instead of slide, and a conversion effort (from negative to slide) proved to be futile. So I'm left with making a contact sheet to show the work.

    Turns out that 29 rolls of film make for about 42x54" image on a contact print. I had to distribute the print between nine 16x20" sheets. Consequently, The film strips don't always line up correctly and somehow the density on the sheet sometimes varied (image 2).

    1044.jpg 1044-2.jpg

    Is there a trick to contact printing for such a large image?
    What can I do to minimize the film strips from shifting from one sheet to the next?
    Is there a way to scan a 135 film strip, in its entirety, from edge to edge — sprocket marks and all? (ok, this part might be for another forum)
     
  2. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    wow
     
  3. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    exactly!
     
  4. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Are the jpegs the final print or just on a scanner?
    If a final print I double the WOW, If you can make this work its an absolutely incredible piece

    good luck .. You will need some mural paper laying flat, a very large sheet of plexi to hold the film flush and considerable patience and flexibility to lay the film in position and not curl and move around on you.
    I may think this would take you a whole day just with the set up ..
     
  5. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    Wow is right! Would love to hear more about how you did this.
     
  6. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    You could also scan High rez and set up in PS and send it to me to print as one large silver gelatin print.
     
  7. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    I wish I could help but I'll second the "Wow!". That looks amazing.
     
  8. smithdoor

    smithdoor Member

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    Look at printing and screen printing they both use a very large contact prints
    You will fine most are homemade.

    Dave
     
  9. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Impressive, thanks for sharing.
     
  10. JohnRichard

    JohnRichard Member

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    So you already made a contact print using the 16x20 paper.

    If density varies, its either the light source, or the emulsion on the paper.

    What is your light source? All things being equal? No?
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thanks for posting your image, .. this is mindblowing !

    probably not much help but...
    burning / dodging the individual 35mm frames sounds
    like something that might be insane, but a long wire - lollypop and a paper with a hole
    might work, do it in stages with rubylith covering the stuff you have worked on
    and are going to work on and do the varied exposures one at a time
    and THEN layer on the complimentary light that will cover the whole image
    (not sure if that makes sense )
    .... if the exposure of the whole image is 15 seconds but the denser frames need 1-2 seconds less more, and the
    thinner frames need 1-2 seconds less light do all of that 1 at a time .. then do the light they all have in common ( 13-14 seconds )
     
  12. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    I don't know... looks kinda pixelated to me :smile:

    I have to echo the WOW! That is quite impressive.
     
  13. jcc

    jcc Member

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    I finally found a (somewhat decent) scanner that will take the whole 16x20" without creasing it. So I scanned the 9 contact sheets, and digitally pieced them together.
     
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  15. jcc

    jcc Member

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    Light source is a Beseler 45MXT — total exposure was equal for all the prints.
    It took me about 11 solid hours to print the nine contact sheets, so I'm guessing the difference in print density is due to chemistry. I had to remake the developer after a few hours.
     
  16. jcc

    jcc Member

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    "Normal" dodging and burning is fine... But balancing density of all 1044 frames :blink:, I'd probably end up in the looney bin before it's completed!
     
  17. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    It looks like the density problems might be from the film itself? If you look at the second or perhaps 3rd row(it hard for me to see as im on my phone) it is lighter than the rest (maybe one or two more rows near the bottom also exhibit this). Maybe those rows were a bit thicker in density than others. Maybe copy them with a camera frame by frame again, or make some type of holder to do two contact prints.

    As for registration maybe a simple setup of finishing nails evenly spaced on a board about 5.5 or 6 feet apart to latch onto sprocket holes at either end may help you line it up easier. You could slide your papers under and place a large plexi piece over it.

    Very cool and very impressive by the way!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. jcc

    jcc Member

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    You have silver gelatin paper that is 42x54"???
     
  19. jcc

    jcc Member

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    I taped the film onto glass, but the finishing nails might work better. I just have to be more careful as to not damage the film.
     
  20. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    Holy Moly! This is one beauty of the project. Please tell us how did you take all of these shots? Did you shoot sequentially? Then how in the world did you make the model stand such a long time?

    For the contact print, I would get a piece of clear glass (shower door, etc), tape the film to it, put paper on top of it, then 1-2in foam sheet, then plywood and slide everything into a vacuum seal bag like this: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/sto...-reg-bedding-storage-bags-set-of-4/1016738735, seal with a vac, put up against a wall, take a portable flash and flash it at slightly different angles from some distance away. I have never done it though, so take it as a speculation on my part :smile: Please please please show us the final result!

    Another alternative is to forget about evenness across the whole print. Do a bunch of contact prints onto say 8x10 sheets and intentionally vary exposure by some random amount. When there is variation across the print, it will look really cool.

    Eugene.
     
  21. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Sure. It comes on rolls 10 or 30 metres long in widths up to 50".
     
  22. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I have 30 inch by 15 ft if you want.

    If you have a monster budget... I have 50 inch by 15 ft.
    Monster means in the thousands as I would tag up with a sister lab who has a larger exposing unit than mine.

    Both are Silver Gelatin fibre paper.
     
  23. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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  24. jcc

    jcc Member

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    You assume that the featureless human form is a model. ;-) A magician never reveals his secret!

    Though, I will say that the shoot took days. Prior to shooting, it took weeks (maybe a couple of months) of planning and choosing the right set up. I'm not even sure I can do it again if I tried!
     
  25. jcc

    jcc Member

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    I don't know about better, but it'd sure be easier... But where's the fun in that?! :smile:
     
  26. jcc

    jcc Member

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    Ultra large fiber (or fibre) paper. Wow. The cost alone is probably why I've never seen them.