This is a great thread.
I've posted this in the gallery before, but thought I'd start my contribution here with something which represents a significant visual departure from the negative scan.
This photograph was taken in the Drakensberg, South Africa. It was shot on Ilford FP4 and developed in Rodinal. The negative is of good density and shows detail throughout the scale. While the scan is very flat I was drawn to the light at the bottom of the frame, and particularly interested in pulling out contrast in this area. Because the mountain occupied such a large part of the image, I wanted a paper which would give very rich midtones.
A quick test strip revealed the neg would print very nicely on grade 3 Fortezo in Ilford Warmtone developer. I gave a base exposure of 60 seconds, holding back the sunlit are for 10. 10 seconds was added to to the bottom left, again, to force attention on the sunlit area. A further 5 seconds was added to everyinthing above the trees, 15 seconds to the distant mountains and everything above, and a final further 15 added to the sky and very furthest mountains.
2 minutes in the developer was enough to reveal all the shadow detail I needed, while a waterbath for a further minute helped push a little detail into the lower trees.
This version was arrived at on the second or third attempt, so unusually quickly for me! To intensify the contrast and because I love the look in general, I lightly bleached the print back and toned with Sepia. A quick wash later and I gave it a few seconds in Selenium - just enough for a colour shift and to make the midtones go chocolate-like.
On several reprints I didn't quite dodge the trees enough, so some selective bleaching has been required - but on the whole this is a step I prefer to avoid, and on this version, I don't think it was required.
This was an 8x10 inch print on 9.5x12 inch paper. It originated from a 645 negative, which I routinely crop to 8x10, 8x8 or 5x10 proportions.
Thanks for looking,
Multiple interpretations of a negative
This photograph was taken at Sturgeon Bay during Photostock 2009 . The sunset that evening was gorgeous, and as the light slowly faded I noticed the shimmering surface of the water spreading in concentric rings around rocks poking above the surface.
Negative: 120 Ilford Delta 100 developed in Pyrocat
Paper: Ilford MGIV developed in Ansco 130
The top portion of the negative was cropped to rectangular proportions, which I thought emphasized the expanding ripples.
I worked on a series of prints using different techniques to get the feeling I had in mind.
Local manipulation of tones was achieved using a dye-dodging mask on translucent material that was then sandwiched with the negative during enlargement. Dye (Marshall's spotting dyes) was applied to the mask using a spotting brush. I added density to some of the ripples on the water, and to the rock to bring them out in relation to shadow areas of the water.
Print 1: Base exposure made with a VC 2.5 filter. Top portion burned in ~1/2 stop. Edges burned in ~1/6 stop.
Print 2: 1/2 of base exposure made with a VC 3.5 filter, 1/2 with a diffusion sheet laid on top of paper. Same burning sequence as above
Print 3: Overprinted. 1/3 of base exposure made with VC 2.5 filter, 2/3 with a diffusion sheet. Same burning sequence as above. After the normal development/fix/wash sequence, the print was bleached back.
All the prints were then subsequently toned in thiocarbamide.
Hi dlin. I saw this in the gallery and your note with it referring to this thread, so thought I'd come here first to make sure I wasn't noting something you had already done.
For me, and this is purely my own preference, this works better when more of the neg is cropped out from the top removing all the sunset reflections. It makes it slightly more abstract and feels more balanced.
Other than that it was well seen and a great shot.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
Very interesting with the diffusion, Daniel. A year ago or so I was playing around with parchment paper, but found that I had to continuously move the paper around, or the texture inherent in the paper would become apparent in the print. What are you using for diffusion material? Snake oil is OK...
It's a stunning print, my friend. I really like what you're doing.
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"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Thanks, Thomas. For diffusion I've been using a sheet of Yupo laid on top of the enlarging paper during part of the exposure. Yupo is a synthetic paper that is completely homogenous, so you don't have to worry about texture. You can move the Yupo sheet relative to the paper to get different degrees of diffusion, but if you move it too far, it basically adds overall fog. There are many different methods to achieve diffusion: soft focus filters, nylon stocking, mesh screens...etc.
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I have enjoyed this thread and wanted to contribute.
I received a box of AGFA MCC 111 at John Powers' recent APUG gathering (thanks Matt!) and decided to put it to use on an old neg last night. I developed the paper in PF130 for 2 minutes and selenium toned it at 1:50 for 3 minutes. The print has a light brown tone with just a hint of magenta. It is a rather dark interpretation though reminiscent of the actual sunrise light.
I contact printed the 8x10 neg (Tri-X in Pyrocat HD) using a Bostick Sullivan 9x11 frame and a dichro enlarger as the light source. The method was split grade printing.
I laid down a test sheet using YELLOW 150. I chose a highlight exposure of 10 seconds and added strips of MAGENTA 170. I then made a straight print using using 10 seconds of Y150 and 25 seconds of M170.
I altered this a bit and ended up with the following:
1. Y150 base for 8 seconds during which I DODGED the bottom mud cracks using a medium sized rectangular dodging tool, moving it from left to right and back across the print maybe 3 times over the 8 seconds.
2. Y150 BURN for 6 seconds on the sky area and allowing some light to hit the dunes at the top of the frame.
3. Y150 BURN for 4 seconds on the top left corner, including the sky, mountains and dunes.
4. M170 base for 20 seconds.
5. M170 burn of 10 seconds on the top third of the print.
The result is a somewhat subtle print based around low values. The scan looks reasonably close on my calibrated monitor and terrible on my non-calibrated monitor....
Stumbled on this thread and enjoyed it thoroughly. Bumping the past to be educated.
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“I drank what?” - Socrates
This thread has been quiet for some time, which is a shame because I've enjoyed seeing and learning how others work up a print from the negative. I hope others will continue to contribute.
Here is a recent image from McCormicks's Creek State Park in Indiana. The creek above the main falls is shallow, and was dotted with freshly fallen leaves.
Negative: TMY developed in Pyrocat HD
Print: Ilford MGIV toned in selenium and thiocarbamide
The tones in the leaves unfortunately melded with the background more than I had anticipated. I played with the negative scan in photoshop quite a bit to explore variations in tonal representation and decided to go with a very hard contrast for the print.
- The main exposure was made with a grade 5 filter on VC paper
- A supplemental exposure, also at grade 5, was made with a sheet of Yupo (frosted paper) laying over the paper for a slight diffusion
- Additional burn exposures were done with a softer grade filter (1) through the Yupo on the corners and edges.
After the processing steps, the print was toned in selenium to solidify the shadows.
After a thorough wash, the print was subsequently bleached and toned in thiocarbamide.
All the best,
Do you bracket the print exposures to get the desired tone after thiocarbamide or can you count on a certain density/contrast change during toning that is consistant or predictable?
I've worked with this paper enough to have a pretty good idea how the tones will behave with the subsequent toning steps. I use selenium first to reinforce the shadow tones, and to protect them during the subsequent bleach/thiocarbamide step. With MGIV, the highlights don't change very much during the bleach/tone stage, whereas with MGWT I have noticed a lightening of the highlights, so I do have to adjust the exposure to print them down a bit further.