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  1. #1

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    Fay Godwin "Soup"

    Hi
    A bit new around here. I was wondering if some one could explain this to me possibly.
    I've been looking at the work of Fay Godwin a bit recently and have found this text on how she developed her MF negatives:

    At that time, Fay was using a lot of Agfapan APX 100 developed in regular Tetenal Ultrafin diluted 1:30. She would always air on caution with her exposures and expose for the shadows, and hence the dilute developer mix so highlights would not get too blown out. APX film was given a presoak for a few minutes and the blue colored water that resulted would be poured into the pre-measured ultrafin. The whole soup would turn pink! Then pour it back in and agitate for the first minute then two rotations of the tank every 30 seconds for 12 minutes.

    The bit I don't understand is what's happening with the blue presoak and turning pink. Could someone explain it to me?

    I have recently started developing film a bit more and I have purchased some Fomapan 100 and Ultrafin. As a starting point I thought I might try this approach but I'd like to understand it a bit better.

  2. #2

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    I can't explain specifically why it would turn pink. If it does, I guess there is some sort of reaction between the dyes coming out of the film and once of the compounds in the developer. Hard to say and I don't know what's in that developer.

    More importantly, however, other than the good advice to avoid underexposure of the film, the rest of that paragraph is hocus pocus.

  3. #3

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    err..or

    It's err, not air and it's hocus focus.

  4. #4
    Barry S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JammyB View Post
    Hi
    ...The bit I don't understand is what's happening with the blue presoak and turning pink. Could someone explain it to me?

    I have recently started developing film a bit more and I have purchased some Fomapan 100 and Ultrafin. As a starting point I thought I might try this approach but I'd like to understand it a bit better.
    The pre-soak doesn't contain much beyond water and anti-halation dye. I don't see why it would be of any use in development, and i've never found a pre-soak to be any help with anything but short developing times.

    Quote Originally Posted by snapguy View Post
    It's err, not air and it's hocus focus.
    The OP printed a quote--are you correcting the original writer? If there's any suggestion it would be "..air [sic]..", not that it's really necessary. Hocus pocus is correct.

  5. #5

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    I've read about Fay Godwin's technique previously. I think the quote is a broadly correct description, and is dubious.

    Tom

  6. #6
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Soup is a liquid dish, typically savoury and made by boiling meat, fish, or vegetables etc. in stock or water and often very tasty, but has nothing to do with photography.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  7. #7
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    There are a few reasons why a dye can change color when combined with regular film developer:
    • Film developer is alkaline, and many dyes change color with pH.
    • Most film developers contain Sulfite, which is a strong reductone that can bleach some dyes.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapguy View Post
    It's err, not air and it's hocus focus.
    As long as no one from Holland mentions Hocus Pocus by Focus!

    Soup was always the term used to describe an ongoing, replenished deep tank developer. Often a murky brew. At college in the early 80s, one teacher would regale us with stories from the 60s of getting the film 'flown in from the 'drone in Paris', biked from Heathrow to the lab and straight into the soup for the morning proofs.

    Happy days!

  9. #9

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    I used Spursinn HCD for the first time the other day and the instructions asked for a pre-soak with 20'c water to bring the film to the same temp as the developer which made some sense to me. when I pored it out and it was blue I was worried I'd somehow washed the emulsion off (I'm very new to this) but it was fine obviously.
    Is anyone familiar with Tetenal ultrafin? I have a bottle now as I've read good things about it and I found some examples of it used with Fomapan on Google images I liked. But I can't find any info online.
    I guess I'll try roughly what I read here as I've heard the fomapan 100 is fairly similar to the APX 100.

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I spent a few days on a workshop with Fay Godwin at Paul Hill's photographers Place, acting as her guide in the Peak District as she wanted to use her own car on the daily field trips and was not particularly familiar with the area. She discussed her techniques and did not mentioned reusing the pre-soak water, in fact there was no mention of a pre-soak.

    Her early technique was quite hap-hazard and she'd been on a workshop at Paul Hill's herself to learn how to master the control of B&W films and their development and fine printing I can't remember who led that workshop now, she did tell me.

    Most people using APX100 used Rodinal, the combination gave very fine grain on a par with Tmax 100 but at box speed for a full range of tones, in contrast Tmax 100 needed to be used at 50EI (in practice and according to Kodak and Agfa datasheets) to give similar results.

    It should be remembered that in the mid1970's, 1980's onwards the UK workshop movement and art photography at Art Colleges/Polytechnics had strong links with the US and Minor White and Paul Caponigro. Thomas Joshua Cooper had moved from the US to teach at Derby, Peter Goldfield had been assisting Minor White in the US, Peter becoming the private importer of Agfa Photo products after Agfa stopped distribution in the UK (B&W films & papers - Agfa stayed in C41/E6 market and X-ray and other industrial products. Later Agfa realised their mistake and began importing B&W films, papers etc again themselves effectively killing Peter's thriving business, Goldfinger.

    My point though is that the workshops stressed good technique as a creative tool. I have a Fay Godwin print on a wall (in Turkey) and her technique and skills were superb, she knew her craft and used it to its best.

    If you study her work there is a sudden step change in the quality of her work, I think just after Remains of Elmet, the book she did with Ted Hughes (the poet). This was after the workshop she went to.

    Ian

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