What a great feeling! First prints!
Well, I am beyond excited right now!
I just finished producing my first analog prints in 30 some years, and it went fabulously!
My only prior experience with this was in the college newspaper darkroom way back. It was all meatball work: Everything was pre-timed for us. All we wanted was to get an image that was good enough to screen onto a plate and we called it good.
So tonight's effort was my first time ever trying to get something that was actually of acceptable quality, and while the results are far from where I want them to be, I got something, and that's a start.
And I only blew one sheet...my first...based on mis-understanding the operation of my timer and setting 20 seconds instead of 2. The result was pure black. Heh.
Second effort gave me a decent set of test exposures. Based on that I settled on 6.5 seconds and fired off my first would-be keeper. No dodging or burning. Just a straight shot. And it came out!
Decided to get aggressive with the next one, so I upped the contrast filter, and even tried a little dodging. The result is probably best described as "clumsy", but none the less it is invigorating seeing the differences in the output based on those adjustments.
I'll take them into the office tomorrow and scan them in.
A huge THANK YOU to all the folks here who offered advice and counsel along the way, and particular THANKS to Simon from Ilford, who was kind enough to send their book to me. You have all been a tremendous help!
This is what it's all about. You control the process, you control the creativity, you control the output.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
Congrats! You'll quickly find that printing is just like any other Art form - there's always something to learn and the challenge is to create prints that reflect your vision. One of the truest adages in photography by Ansel Adams - The Negative is the score, but the Print is the performance.
Congratulations! It is pure magic to see the image emerge from the white paper.
Congratulations! I can't wait to give printing a shot one day too.
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Pleased it went well...
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited
And so, the addiction begins...
BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"
Ok, here we go.
Second one: I went from the #2 to the #3 filter, and cut out a little mask to try some dodging. I like the way the sky came out, but the "halo" around the girl is pretty sketchy...
As Rick said, "the addiction begins"...
I'm surprised at how fuzzy/oof it looks. Not sure if its the negative or the enlargement (or something in the processing?), although given the focal length and the aperture, I have a hard time thinking the negative is out of focus. Gonna need to sort that out for sure.
I really should have used a reflector to toss some light up into her face/head. If this were digital, I'd save it by carefully masking her out in PS and doing some selective exposure control. I don't think I can get the needed level of precision with this process.
I truly love the way the sky/clouds came out in the second print. These were taken with my RB67, 50mm lens with a red filter.
I used some of the fixer I've been using to develop film. Didn't really mean to. I had forgotten that I mixed up my entire bottle of fixer a few weeks ago. Is that a no-no (using the same fixer for prints and for film)? I realize the concentration was wrong (1/4 for film, 1/9 for prints?)
Great photos and a nice camera also.
You could use the same fixer.