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  1. #21
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Ages ago, I met a wonderful printer who had a viewing light on a dimmer, to examine a wet print, and because she only printed with one or two papers, was able to adjust the lux for whatever she was printing. Besides that, if she knew where a print was going to be placed, would visit the site and measure the viewing light. She examined her dry prints at THAT level. It was very simple to accommodate both techniques. When I started using a Thomas safelight, it was easy to adjust the safe light light to the be close to the wet viewing light. Of course a few papers didn't like that, most did, and sometimes a the restrainer needed to be adjusted in the developer.

    Back in the '90s, didn't Howard Bond talk about a wet light on a dimmer ? Can't remember.
    Anyway. Point is, we DON'T have to work in the dark, however we work.

    LOPAKA: Joe Clark, a great guy.
    CALLOW: where's the beer ?
    ERIC: The Ilford trick snuck up on me, I was drinking beer and printing and listening to a really good hockey game. It gradually sunk in what was going on, but it was too late to do anything about it so I just sat down, opened another pop and listened to the rest of the game.
    Everybody, I've got the COOLEST picture of Suzanne working in her studio.....
    But, umm, its d*g*t*l so I can't show ya !
    Matt: hiya ! Salmon running in Iowa ?

  2. #22
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    To return to the original proposition, the reason that the print darkens as it fixes is that there is residual silver chloride (milky white) after development, which scatters light from the safelight and makes the overall tone somewhat lighter; what it is actually doing is veiling the shadows. When this dissolves in the fixer, the true blacks can be seen. Unfortunately, dry-down darkens the highlights, so it takes some doing to be able to accurately predict what the finished print is going to look like. From memory, certain developers like LPD showed the effect less than did Dektol. and the higher-end papers like Medalist and Ektalure showed it more strongly than Kodabromide. (I don't use a wide enough variety of papers today to know how much variation there is with modern stock.)

  3. #23

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    I've noticed a minor change of tone when prints go into the fixer, but it's barely detectable, and it only happens once in a while. It should be noted that I use a stop bath and a slightly acid (pH 6.5) fixer. The tone shift appears as a very slight increase in contrast. If there is a major shift in tone, something strange is happening. One possibility that comes to mind could happen with a water rinse and an alkaline fixer. It all the developer is not removed in the rinse, the print could start developing again in the fixer. The thiosulfate in the fixer could make the problem worse than you might initially believe, accelerating the development and adding fog until the fixing action overcomes the development action. This would be even worse if the the print were overexposed and not fully developed.

  4. #24
    Nicole's Avatar
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    OT : Don, I'm pleased to see you're back!!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell View Post
    Everybody, I've got the COOLEST picture of Suzanne working in her studio.....
    But, umm, its d*g*t*l so I can't show ya !

    Yes, and besides the digital issue, I was having a bad hair day, er... month...

  6. #26
    Nicole's Avatar
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    So let's see... It's a snap with analogue content!

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell View Post
    Does it matter ?

    Yes, if you learned to control print tone by observation.
    Like being able to tune a violin by ear instead of a meter.

    Ilford's MG, a great paper otherwise, rewards time and temperature workers.
    What a great way of putting it. I'm definitely an 'ear' (not that I've tuned violins - but played the piano and guitar in a past life! HATED sight reading ) and 'observation' person. Now I feel better about it.

    p.s. it's a lovely photo of Suzanne, I've seen it. And of her camera (I thought we were allowed to posted the dreaded d's in threads?)
    Last edited by catem; 05-10-2008 at 10:02 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: er..I meant 'sight' reading, not 'site' reading

  8. #28
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nworth View Post
    I've noticed a minor change ,,,
    A couple years ago, when I acquired a LOT of Warmtone,
    I spent some time with the step tablet to see what the paper does.
    My first thought was,
    "Oh Gosh, I hope I don't have to use Boiling Dektol to find black !"

    Well, no. AS SOON as the print hit the
    ALKALINE FIX, Zone II 1/2 plummeted to Zone O.
    It takes about one second. Higher values aren't affected.

    It is very much like a negative clearing, as Graybeard describes.

    ANYBODY USING ACID FIX ?

    LPD, Dektol, 120, 130, all show the same effect.

    AND I never saw this before MG FB Warmtone.

    Anyway, at least we aren't imagining it.

    PAULA: IS THIS HELPING ??

  9. #29
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    This is exactly what we do here , we have a dimmer with tungsten lights to view our exhibition prints ,, we find out lighting of the shows and look closely that way , Bright room lights are just put on for checking for artifacts and such.
    For every print we usually do a slight variation to give the photographer a choice.

    Regarding viewing prints ..... I do all my dodge and burn judgments in the developer now.. I watch for emergence times of various areas of the print and make a mental note which areas are slow to show themselves and what areas are too horny and come up to fast.

    The room lights are for quick and I mean quick assesment of contrast which in my case is a % of hard and soft light on the print. Once printing I rarely switch the basic soft and hard filters... usually 1 and 5 and base all judgements on time of each.

    Also I do not keep any test strips or prints laying around , they go immediately to the garbage, the only prints that are in the water rinse trays are those that are considered for the client to purchase.

    So in my case , all important details are done before the lights are turned on and for sure I want to consider where the prints are going over looking at the prints in darkroom florescent lighting.

    I like the Thompson lights as well as they can be adjusted for mood and lighting in the darkroom.




    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell View Post
    Ages ago, I met a wonderful printer who had a viewing light on a dimmer, to examine a wet print, and because she only printed with one or two papers, was able to adjust the lux for whatever she was printing. Besides that, if she knew where a print was going to be placed, would visit the site and measure the viewing light. She examined her dry prints at THAT level. It was very simple to accommodate both techniques. When I started using a Thomas safelight, it was easy to adjust the safe light light to the be close to the wet viewing light. Of course a few papers didn't like that, most did, and sometimes a the restrainer needed to be adjusted in the developer.

    Back in the '90s, didn't Howard Bond talk about a wet light on a dimmer ? Can't remember.
    Anyway. Point is, we DON'T have to work in the dark, however we work.

    LOPAKA: Joe Clark, a great guy.
    CALLOW: where's the beer ?
    ERIC: The Ilford trick snuck up on me, I was drinking beer and printing and listening to a really good hockey game. It gradually sunk in what was going on, but it was too late to do anything about it so I just sat down, opened another pop and listened to the rest of the game.
    Everybody, I've got the COOLEST picture of Suzanne working in her studio.....
    But, umm, its d*g*t*l so I can't show ya !
    Matt: hiya ! Salmon running in Iowa ?

  10. #30
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Mr Cardwell

    My hat is off to you,

    I learned the time temp method with test strip and looking in bright light...
    Today 33 years later and a few negatives down the road , I make all my critical decisions in the Developer and under dim light now I trust myself when I think the print is done , without waiting for the full spectrum of light.

    You are the first or second person that I have ever heard in my professional printing career talk about the extreeme simplicity of printing , and I believe you are totally correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell View Post
    The Nail That Stands Up Will Be Hammered Down.

    Perhaps there might be a grudging acceptance that a different point of view is not necessarily grossly inferior.
    (If there has been an official dogma pronouncement, forgive me. I have been away.)

    What one sees in the developer tray might very well be what one sees on the wall.
    It all depends on what you believe, and how you work,
    and how one integrates and manages the variables that make expressive work POSSIBLE.

    With papers like Elite and Portriga, and others before them,
    it was possible to judge highlights and shadows to a nicety,
    and practice Factorial Development as Adams discussed.
    This is not dark magic, but simple craft. See David Vestal.

    If this violates your personal belief system, I apologize.
    Do what works for you. I learned to print over a long period, a long time ago.
    What works for me, works for me.

    Responding to Suzanne's question, I answered honestly.
    Working with Ilford's MGs is different than working with any other papers I have ever worked with.
    There is no choice but to develop to a given time, fix, and turn on the lights.
    It is a lovely paper. It is a pain in the neck.
    I will use it until I run out of it, be thankful I have it,
    and hope that I can lay hands on a sufficient quantity of goodness-knows-what
    that lets me work the way I prefer to work, the way I am capable of working.

    I wonder sometimes how Edward Weston was so massively productive
    without benefit of all the fancy toys we litter the darkroom with today.
    Trusting his eyes, and his judgement. How quaint, how primitive !

    I wonder how a violinist can compensate for a room's humidity
    and changing temperature of his fiddle,
    or the shifting acoustics of a hall,
    and still play with perfect intonation, and great expression.

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