Adventures in Lith Land
by, 02-01-2009 at 02:40 PM (1159 Views)
So I've been reading Tim Rudman's Book and got some Arista Powder Lith AB and just had to give it a whirl. I read over the "how to" section of Tim's book several times, enough for a general idea to sink in but definitely not complete comprehension.
My first challenge was that I thought I had enough developer to make 1L when I actually had enough to make 1gal of each A and B. The largest container I had was 2L from our pop (soda) bottle collection (dang michigan deposits). So I used the old 1gal equal approx 4L. It's actually 3.78L per gal, but I felt fine cutting this corner. Not having a complete gal bottle I got the hottest water I could out of the tap and mixed a 2L bottle with the full packet until I got the best suspension possible, then split the bottle. It seems to have worked.
Then I pulled up a negative from the book depository in Detroit I had taken on an excursion with Jeff and Eva Bannow. I mixed up the lith developer 1+1:14 like I think the directions on freestyle suggest. This was waaaaay too slow. I exposed a sheet of paper for 1:10 and after 10min only a faint image was visible. I honestly don't have that kind of time on my hands. Ideally my dev times will be around 10min or less. I doubled the developer and after 10:30 the image went way too dark. Finally I got it right at 8:30 in the dev.
Then I tried a negative I took on my snowy Tawas Lighthouse trip. This did not go so well. I had an inkling that exposure controlled contrast and this was a thick low contrast neg. I just tried 5min @F8 and the resulting image was very dark and low contrast after 10:30 in the soup. I then tried shorter and shorter times realizing that less exposure seemed to increase contrast. This print never really came out great. I got it to a point that I thought looked neat but ultimately decided that this might be better on a faster lithing (higher contrast) paper. It was during this printing that the paper seemed to settle into a 8:30-10:30 dev time.
Next up was a picture of a grass roller I took up at Photostock 2008 once again Jeff and Eva were there. Great people to go photographing with by the way. I nailed this one (or so I thought) right out of the gate with a 1:30 @F11 exposure add 8:30 in the lith.
It was getting really late by now. Lith printing is like printing in slow-mo. instead of 30sec exposures and 2min dev times it's more like 1:30 exposures and 10min dev times. I think the results are worth it. I just had to try just one more before collapsing in bed (it was almost 6am!). This time of a bent tree I photographed once again during Photostock 2008 on Mackinac Island. The magic combination of 1:30 @F11, 8:30 in the lith worked like a charm! I only did one, then packed it up. I took careful notes as I can fully see how much diversity is possible in this process. Just trying a different paper will likely change *everything* from optimal dilutions to time in the dev and possibly exposure. I'm just starting to get a feel for how these things interact but the first step in what I'm sure will be a long journey has been taken!