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Thread: XXL enlargement

  1. #11
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gattu marrudu View Post
    I really would like to go watercolor+liquid emulsion. That would make a sturdy, custom sized support with a beautiful look. I am only afraid of the gelatin cooling while spreading, and the lower contrast (I might need quite a bit of that because of light spilling).
    Has anybody experience with those sizes?
    What about "hangar" size?

    The world’s largest pinhole photograph

    [GVIDEO]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8711483461517692046[/GVIDEO]

    Marco
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    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  2. #12

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    Interesting - although I am definitely not in a contest for the largest picture (I'm not American, eheh... although I took these pictures in Chicago). I think each work has its optimal size, and 2m is the right one for this project - if I ever get to show you those pictures one day you will understand why.
    SoFiET
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  3. #13
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Well, actually, I am in Europe too, and wasn't involved in this project. But I have done a bit of liquid emulsion work. Fun, but at times also a bit frustrating, due to the fragility of the emulsion layer.

    Grazie per l'invito, ho studiato la lingua italiano da 2005, ascolto la Radio Rai quasi tutti i giorni. Forse visiter˛ Sardinia un giorno. Il tuo sito web Ŕ interessante. Vedo che hai stampato molto in formati grandi. Sfortunato, non sono in grado di fare simile nel mio stanzo scuro...
    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  4. #14
    Marco B's Avatar
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    By the way, in my experience, cooling of the gelatin should not be an issue with coating. Just make sure you keep the stock gelatin liquid by storing the container of molten emulsion in a bath of hot (e.g. 60 C) water. It will keep the emulsion at high enough temperature for you to work with.

    Of course, with such big sizes you want to work on, the use of a very wide brush (at least 10 cm) is recommendable, to coat the paper quick enough. I personally prefer soft synthetic brushes over stiff hog hair brushes, gives a much more smooth result. To get an even coat, I would recommend at least two (thinner) layers, maybe three thin ones, and than quickly finish it off by sweeping the brush very softly (without added emulsion) over the whole coated section to remove any bubbles.

    Try finishing the coating process in maybe 10 minutes or so. Before attempting big sizes, try optimizing your coating technique with smaller sizes. It will help take the stress out of the coating process with big prints if you feel more comfortable with it.

    By the way, I don't completely understand your remark about "contrast" issues with liquid emulsion. The image can be very good, just look below at one of mine, done with Black Magic VC (Variable Contrast) emulsion, subsequently sepia toned. Although the emulsion only goes up to grade 4 if I remember well, it is good enough for most purposes:

    Last edited by Marco B; 06-24-2010 at 04:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  5. #15
    Marco B's Avatar
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    By the way, love the concept of your Fotospazzatura garbage camera's!
    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  6. #16

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    Grazie dei consigli! Vieni pure a visitare la Sardegna!
    As far as contrast, I noticed that, even masking most of my darkroom with red or black, the larger I went the more I had to push the contrast. A print that looked fine on grade 3 in a 30x40cm format, would still be almost too flat at full magenta filter on a 120cm width. That is why I was thinking about using Adox MCC which claims to rach a true 5.5 grade. Too bad the height of 106cm is too restrictive.
    That is also why I prefer using cold light, so I can use additive (blue) filters without reducing the light strength too much.
    I can see brush strokes in your liquid emulsion image pretty clearly. Did you leave them on purpose or is it something you can't avoid?
    gm
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  7. #17
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gattu marrudu View Post
    As far as contrast, I noticed that, even masking most of my darkroom with red or black, the larger I went the more I had to push the contrast. A print that looked fine on grade 3 in a 30x40cm format, would still be almost too flat at full magenta filter on a 120cm width.
    To be honest, I have never printed that big. Actually, just today, I made my biggest print ever, a 4x5 neg on 50x60 cm paper. I haven't noticed any of the effect you describe, but that doesn't mean it is not happening. I would be interested to hear what other readers of this thread have to say about your contrast issues related to enlargement size...

    Quote Originally Posted by gattu marrudu View Post
    I can see brush strokes in your liquid emulsion image pretty clearly. Did you leave them on purpose or is it something you can't avoid?
    Using a brush to coat, means brush strokes. Some people may be able to do it better than I did, but in my opinion, it is part of the "game", and enhances the hand made nature of the print.

    There is a method though to avoid brush strokes, and that is using a "coating rod". I have never done it, but many people here on APUG should be able to help you out with that. However, I am pretty sure not many will ever have used a coating rod the size you would need to coat at the size you plan to print.

    So all-in-all, the "wide-brush" option is probably the most realistic, although taking on the challenge of creating a super-sized coating rod might be fun too. I am sure there will be a number of APUGer following your endeavours with a lot of interest...

    Quote Originally Posted by gattu marrudu View Post
    Grazie dei consigli! Vieni pure a visitare la Sardegna!
    Certamente ricorder˛ il tuo invito. ╚ un piccolo sogno personale vedere una stanza scura con l'attrezzatura e spazio per stampare "super-sized", come tu fai! Non sono molti che hanno l'opportunitÓ. Sei fortunato!
    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  8. #18
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    You might want to try to send Bob Carnie of Elevator Digital an email. He's probably one of the best printers alive, and he makes some very large projection prints. Of course I can't vouch for him responding, but he's usually more than helpful. He's an advertiser at this forum.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

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  9. #19
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I am blushing Thomas

    I am making 30x40inch murals from Guillume Zilli pinhole 35 as well as 40x50 inch mural from 8x10 with no issues.

    things to consider when making large sharp murals

    Black wall darkroom and surrounding to behind the Enlarger setup
    this is probably arguable by some workers , but I have done enough murals to know that this is a critical element.
    Good optics with glass carriers, with laser aligned walls, no skimping on this-very very very critical
    I use Apo lenses whenever I can .-Critical
    Magnet wall so to hold the paper.- Critical
    Vacumn system though a good idea really needs a huge system to hold fibre and I have never seen the system that could do the job properly therefore good magnets
    two stop down as normal printing- critical
    mask out negative so no flare. Critical
    Dodging and Burning is the same as a small print , just a bit more difficult as you need to work from the side of the enlarger and practice until you get it.
    Full test strips rather than step offs, and one waste sheet for dodge and burn.
    Split contrast is easily done with the larger enlargers and nothing changes in that respect.
    If you are using a good enlarger the basic exposures should be in a realistic time line and is not a issue.

    Fresh chemistry and lots of it
    A normal negative should react basically the same for a 8x10 inch print vs a 40 x50 inch maybe a slight boost in contrast is required.
    I use a 3.5 min dev time, acid stop double fix .
    I use time temp method, since I am using 40 litre chemistry and my darkroom is humidity and temp controlled it is hard to move this chemistry's temp if the ambient is at 70.
    I use hypo clear and the wash is quite a proceedure.
    A hot developer is good beside the dev tray to take care of small isssues. dipping a sponge and putting on the emerging print where needed.
    this is why I like lith printing as it forces you to look at a print in the dev and any hot spots can be treated quite easily

    Hot press the murals and mount to either Acid Free Rag or Diabond

    hope this helps
    Walking into a mural assignment is not taken lightly and all of the above is important and as well a good assistant.
    Do not take on a mural print project unless you have time and willing to finish off the wash process in the single run.

    It should be pointed out that all of the above my opinion only and is what I consider when making prints.. these points are not end all be all, have to happen , but from my perspective to make gallery quality prints that photographers will buy it is essential.

  10. #20

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    That's great. Thanks a lot for the precious advice.
    A few things:
    - How does an apo lens improve the quality? By reducing diffraction?
    - You enlarge up to 12x according to what you write - I will have to enlarge from tiny details up to 100-150x. That would probably make a difference in terms of reprocity, exposure times and related heating issues.
    - I use some home made Ansco 130 developer for printing large format. This is an amazing developer, it lives forever (useful when you make a lot of it), especially when you use it at stock solution for maximum contrast.
    - I also use a sponge from time to time, although using gloves and dipping your hands in the chemicals might be more effective. I discussed the paper processing in another thread though, and probably the best solution is rolling the paper in a half pipe shaped tray.
    - Washing is an issue indeed. How about rolling the paper vertically in a large tube and flooding it like a film reel? Maybe even sealing the bottom end and leaving just a small drain tap so the cehemicals will flow down to the bottom like in an archival washer.

    I know there is a lot to build and experiment. My whole photography career has been about it.
    SoFiET
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