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Thread: Paper choice

  1. #11
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Carol

    What PAPER developer are you using ? There are several choices, and while most are exactly the same, there are a few that are quite different, and can help you a great deal.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  2. #12

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    Farmers reducer is a bleach - the pot ferri referenced by Bob F. Potassium ferricyanide (I would be surprised if I spelled that right) - I think you can order it from Photographer's Formulary, which has a sponsor's link at the top of my screen right now. Actually you use the pot ferri on a print either with some fixer mixed in or with fixer still not washed out the print, and it is the chemical reaction of the 2 that is a bleach. Kodak makes a farmer's reducer kit in an envelope that you mix in 2 bottles - 1 with the pot ferri and one with fixer. You mix a little from each and you have bleach that is good for 10 to 15 minutes. If you bleach too much though the area will get a brownish stain so it will only go so far without being obvious.

  3. #13

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    Someone referred to a split grade print. A simple way to see if this will work at all is to try the lowest grade filter first, finding the least exposure that will give you some sky/clouds. Then make a print at that exposure. If the darker areas are too light (good news), expose a print exposed that way (with the low contrast filter), change the filter to the highest grade while the paper is still on the easel, then do a test strip onto the print and make the test strips (in the dark areas) with a verrry short exp interval. At some point you will have black somewhere and can evaluate whether some balance of exposing the two grades will get you something.
    Sometimes the best solution is to re-shoot, if you can, and develop for much lower contrast (shorter time, or something like a Pyro option).

  4. #14
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    DF Cardwell - I have only ever used Kodak Polymax paper developer as I use Tmax film and film developer and I wanted to keep everything the same while I was learning. As I am going to have to buy other papers now maybe I should try a different paper developer as well.

    ContaxGman - Thank you for the explanation. I'm not sure how good I'd be at selective bleaching but it is another tool which may yet be useful.

    George Collier - Unfortunately even with the low grade filter my darks were getting too dark. I will try stopping the enlarger down so I've got more time to dodge the shadows. Lucky no one can see me doing that because I do a big panic and wave frantically about. Still everyone's got to learn somehow don't they.

    Thanks all for the valuable help. I am looking forward to having another go using all your suggestions. I thoroughly enjoy my time in the darkroom no matter how frustrating it can be.

  5. #15

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    It is important to refix the print after bleaching since the potassium ferricyanide returns the reduced silver back into something resembling its original state before development, ie. it is light sensitive again. Re-fixing then removes the now light sensitive silver halides. Because of this, I don't see much point in mixing the bleach with fixer. Simply put the process is bleach, rinse, re-fix, and wash. Another important thing to remember is to not mix up the bleach too strong. Weak is better in this case. Once you've overdone the bleaching process you can't go back, so work slowly and carefully.

    The classic two bath sulfide sepia toner works in the same way. The first bath is nothing more than a strong potassium ferricyanide bleach. The longer you leave the print in the bleach, the more faint the original image becomes. This rehalogenates the developed silver and makes the emulsion ready for the next redevelopment step. This redevelopment changes then rehalogenated silver into a very stable silver sulfide with the familiar yellow-brown color. Refixing is not necessary in this case because all the remaining silver halides in the paper have been developed. In a case where you are simply bleaching back the dark areas, you need to remove all the rehalogenated silver with fixer . Any remaining silver halides will darken over time and ruin the print.

  6. #16
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    fschifano - Thank you for the info. The more I learn about the process, the more interesting it becomes.
    Last edited by Carol; 09-22-2005 at 10:36 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling????

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