Baby's first steps.
This is both my first working 4x5 negative, and my first exploration into alternative printing. Since I have nobody else with whom to share, or hopefully receive advice..
My first negative (FP4+) was shot at 200, and followed the recommended times. However, it came out much too dense with tray processing. However, I later thought, the developer could be much more active due to being warmed up by my hands. So this negative, which I shot at 125, receieved 9 minutes instead of the recommended 11, which seemed to work (at least in bringing the overall density down). Any advice on more time-tested methods of compensating for this?
The cyanotype process seemed to work pretty much as expected. I played with the chemicals a little (learned some things, like how to keep the sensitized paper from becoming contaminated!), and printed a few in the sun, learning how to judge exposure, and change contrast. I printed on Kid's Crane, with Formulary's traditional. I cut the paper with a knife, to get "nice" edges, and roughed the paper slightly in spots. Fairly pleased with the result, could, of course, be better.
Any general tips and tricks? What to watch for, look for?
I'm very excited about all of it. Much joy...
Congratulations!! Can not really offer much advice, never tried cyanotypes, but can tell you...it gets to be a lot more fun. You may have negatives that don't want to print, or a change in paper or something that may make you want to stop.....BUT DON'T...you have made the hardest step...from here on it gets fun.
Just keep going, maybe pick up a VanDyke kit...Oh and most important thing I did find for alt process, get some GOOD Paper to coat...it will make your life much easier.
Good Luck and have fun.