I remember my first college photo class. The lab had a huge ferrotyping print dryer. If you wanted glossy, you put them face up. Put them face down for matt. Not too many of those machines survived. The smell I remembered was like ironing clothes from the canvas belt that wrapped around that polished chrome drum.
I have a little toaster oven just outside the darkroom and use it for judging drydown effect on fiber
based test strips. It works great as long as the timer is set for only about 20 sec - otherwise, all
prints look the same - charcoal black, once the smoke clears! For color C prints I use a heat gun
at a very low setting, much like a hair dryer. All keeper prints are air dried on fiberglass screens.
In the dark ages, as you call them, my brother would ferrotype dye transfer prints, and wow did they
look nice. I was into Cibachromes and one didn't dare do anything to them - just let em dry on their
own and judged them the next day.
I often blow dry my (glossy) FB prints. I use a darkroom at the photoclub and don't want to leave my prints there to dry. So if I have only produced one or two FB prints that I want to bring home, I pull out the blow dryer. I put the print face up on some paper towel and set the blow dryer to high. The thing I'm using is a cheap 1200W dryer with just a high/off/low setting. I keep moving the dryer constantly over the print at a 30.. 50 cm distance (guess). When the print starts to curl up, I flip it over face down and blow dry the back. The paper now initially flattens and then curls up again. By flipping it over and back during the blow drying I get a print that is dry enough to transport home in the box and is actually flatter then when air dried laying face up on a screen. I haven't seen any detrimental side effects due to the blow drying. No extra dust or paper towel fiber glued into the surface.
Last edited by spijker; 09-28-2012 at 02:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.
At Tim Rudman's workshops we wiped down the prints with paper towels before blow-drying them front and back (as spijker, although I tend to just hold the print in hand). Works great, dries much flatter than air-dried, and is good for checking dry-down and test prints. That being said, I still let my final prints dry the old-fashioned way.
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus