looking to take printing further
before i go any further, i know that prints are subjective and that everyone has different tastes and that if i'm content with my prints i should just shut up and keep printing etc, etc......BUT.....
sometimes the status quo is boring. i'd love to try every paper out there, but i don't have a lot of money or time as i work 12 hour shifts and don't make much money.
so, here's the low-down: i shoot kodak tri-x and plus-x almost exclusively in everything from 35mm to 4x5 (with some tmax in there from time to time). i used to print with kodak paper with great sucess. i'd print with kodak elite fibre prints forever if they still made it. now i kinda just stick with ilford muligrade IV RC deluxe and oriental seagull vc in a satin finish because it's readily available in the store. i ran outta both papers and i'm looking to buy some new stuff. i wouldn't mind getting back into fibre based prints either.
i shoot a lot of "old stuff" like old cars, graffitti on walls and doors, farm equipment, broken down barns and i use a little more contrast than the average joe. i don't do portraits.
any suggestions or starting points would be great. i know the best thing to do is try them all, but like i said before, it's not entirely feasible. that being said, any advice is welcome. thanks in advance....jordan.
For your kind of work, I would recommend trying a graded paper. They tend to have longer straight-line density curves, so the tonal separation is equal over the whole range. One "side-effect" of this is that the prints look contrastier than they really are!
It doesn't really matter which graded paper you pick, but I suggest getting one that is one grade softer than you usually use on VC.
I'm happily printing away on Ilford Galerie G1, and I like really contrasty prints and develop my negs for tonal gradation, not tonal range.
PS: I work 12 hour shifts too, but I make lots of money.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
Originally Posted by Ole
That's interesting. I recently bought 200 sheets of paper on ebay before I realised that it was all grade 1.
I tried it anyway and it had a lot more contrast than I was expecting.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
One thing I do is when printing I get to a point that I like, and then for fun I spend a few more sheets doing something outrageous or different to that balance, It may be diffusions,tissues, high contrast shifts, or density shifts.
next day I look at the dry prints, most times the original print is the one I like but sometimes a true gem emerges and that then is recorded in my noggin as a future trick up my sleeve.
You did not mention toning.
Tim Rudman's book on toning is excellent and should keep you busy with new ideas, although I think fiber based paper would be better. Perhaps you could combine some of the other ideas, such as switching to fiber based paper, using warm toned paper, along with toning.
Also, you might try testing your film paper combinations. Might seem boring but if you feel stagnant with your combination of materials/subjects, getting to know them on a different level can be interesting. I recommend the testing done through The View Camera Store (an APUG sponsor I think). It costs $45 for the film testing but saves massive amounts of time, is very informative, and does not require you to but their software. Learning the BTZS system has helped me alot.
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Jordan, I've recently started to try alternative papers to ones I've had in stock that are no longer available. I am close to being out of Forte PWT, and Agfa MCC. I have had great luck with the Foma papers, and more recently with the Slavich Bromportrait 80 graded paper. Its only available in G2 and G3, but so far I am impressed. The finish is an embossed silk.. much like 70's style paper, but the tonal range and performance is staggering. A very good warmtone paper all around. Then there is the Slavich unibrom 160 which is the coldest tone graded paper currently available today. Available in double or single weights it too should not disappoint. It will be my next emulsion purchase for testing. Bopth of these Slavich papers cost $14.99 for 25 x 8x10 sheets. This is a steal for the quality you get.
Slavich Bromportrait 80 graded paper. Its only available in G2 and G3, but so far I am impressed. The finish is an embossed silk.. much like 70's style paper, but the tonal range and performance is staggering. A very good warmtone paper all around. Then there is the Slavich unibrom 160 which is the coldest tone graded paper currently available today. Available in double or single weights it too should not disappoint. It will be my next emulsion purchase for testing. Bopth of these Slavich papers cost $14.99 for 25 x 8x10 sheets. This is a steal for the quality you get.[/QUOTE]
I agree, Slavich reminds me of Broveria, the single wt is very easy to use, drys flat, fix and wash times are shorter, tones well in gold.
with graded paper what are the concerns when using contrast filters? i shoot in varrying conditions of low contrast and high contrast negatives are the outcome. also are there concerns of what kind of safelight is used with graded papers as they have a broader spectrum band?
also, where can you order these papers? my biggest concern, living in edmonton, alberta is that we have no photography stores that supply paper really. i have a choice between ilford IV in glossy of matt in 8x10....that's it!. any recommendations for that as well?