A Newbie meets Madam FB and two questions
Sunday night I spent about 4 hours in the darkroom.
I printed a bunch of stuff on my usual cheap arista ultra edu rc vc paper but I was disappointed, mostly because the 6x7 negatives were too hard contrast wise to print well. (At least at my skill level)
Switching to some other evenly lit beach wedding negatives I had scanned but never printed, I printed them on my cheap paper, and they looked great "I thought". Skin tones were nice and highlights and shadows nicely expressed.
At the last minute, before I cleaned up, I tore open my package of Oriental Seagull, Warm tone, FB grade 2. This was my first FB and WARMTONE experience.
I just stuck the paper under the enlarger and printed! Same Nbr 2 filter from the RCVC, same f/stop and time.
WOW!! From the time the print came up in the developer I knew I was onto something. Everything just came alive on the print. Skin tones and the highlights in the white dress looked great! And I really like the weight on the paper, just feels substantial, unlike the plasticy feel of the Arista. And the warm tone! I never knew what I was missing.
After washing it with about 100 gallons of water, I dried and flattened it. The next morning it looked even better. (Before you go at me, I've read (a la "The Print") about archival processing of FB paper but did not really care on this first one)
I know I have a ton of stuff to learn, but at least I have an idea of how much better a well exposed negative can be on better suited paper.
1. Is it practise to print graded paper with a grade two filter? (Grd 2 or no filter, I bet it does not matter)
2. Will selenium toner (which I just got also) strengthen or reduce the print's warmtone-ness. Or is Sepia toner just a stronger warmtone?
Any hints appreciated.
You do not use polycontrast filters with graded papers. All you do is lengthen your exposures. Try it without and you'll see.
Selenium toner behaves differently with different papers, and it may very well behave differently at different dilutions. My favorite warmtone paper was Kodak Ektalure. With a warmtone developer and a little selenium, you could get a wonderful cool chocolate brown color.
Try two things: First, use a warmtone developer and compare the difference to your first print. Second, try the selenium tone. You'll probably like the result. Many warmtone papers can have a slight greenish tinge that the selenium will clean right up.
Grade two paper is considered to be the "norm" however, how you make your negatives and the light source your using really determines what is the norm. For example, i make all my negatives to print on grade 3 paper; and i use graded papers.
selenium toner on a warmtone paper will usually result in a more vivid eggplant shade. However, i have never used oriental warmtone paper, altho i do use their cold tone papers .
why not play around and find out what will happen, as the effects of toning are going to depend on a variety of issues. i.e. tonal range as well as strenth and/or ratio of toner. also, try some sepia then re-tone in selenium. Be sure to wash between the toners.
Peter, understood about the filter. And I did not have the green tinge, but I will check into a warm tone developer and selenium toner.
Ann, I will experiment as you indicate, but since I have the selenium now, I will try that first. You know, baby steps first.
But, I think I like this warm tone, and I want to enhance that.
I will post the print scan that prompted these questions.
Thanks to all.
Last edited by optique; 11-18-2008 at 08:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.