Options for analoque without Darkroom
At the risk of being cursed I am reposting this here
My photography has been standing stil for sometime now.
I used to have a B&W darkroom which I was forced to give up just when I got hooked
I did some 35mm colorslides and shot B&W mostly with my MF but also a little 35mm.
Now what ? Should I shoot color(negs) and have the results processed by a prolab ?
I did some colornegs with the P6X7 and they turned out great though a bit expensive
Should I try that other format ? I realy don't feel like it.
Alternative processes ? Something easy and lees equipment demanding than enlarging.
How to keep shooting analog ? Go hybrid ?
I like shooting with my P67 though it needs upgrating on lens and finder and I really like those "big" negs (and slides) it produces.
Not to deliberately be heretical, but, since you've obviously got a computer, why not get a reasonably good (less than US$ 500) scanner, and then experiment. From a good scan you can make digital prints or enlarged negatives which allow lots of alternative processes. You will have many paper options, size options etc. as well. For certain processes, like Bromoil, you don't even necessarily need sharp negs, so an even less expensive scanner will do. The important thing is that you'll still have your intact negatives and/or transparancies should you choose to make enlargements in the future. Good luck.
Thanks for your answer John
The thing with the d......neg was in my mind so its just a case of finding a simple process that doesn't require a lot of space and equipment, Which ? Bromoil ? Isn't that complicated ?
It has its limited applications because of the color, but if you want a SIMPLE alternative process, cyanotype is about the simplest and easiest of them all. After that, although not cheap, Platinum/Palladium is pretty straightforward. VanDyke Brown is also supposed to be pretty simple, but I haven't done any yet. All you need for those processes is a decent dry space, decent wet space (a bathtub will do!), and a UV lightsource (BLB fluorescent tubes work best on a budget, and can be found at good hardware stores or ordered online).
Consider getting the book: "Coming into Focus", edited by John Barnier from Chronicle Books. It is: "A Step-by-Step Guide to Alternative Photographic Printing Processes". Okay, ready? It describes:
Originally Posted by Soeren
Collodian: Wet plate negatives, Ambrotypes, and Tintypes
Printing out paper
Digital Negatives for Alernative Processes
Three-color Gum Prints using digital negatives
Using Step Scales
Whew! It's obviously not going to take the place of a workshop or monograph devoted exclusively to any one of those processes, but it will certainly give you a thorough sense of what you'll be attempting to do with any of them.
N.B. The Monochrome Carbon essay is by Sandy King, a regular contributor here on apug. Perhaps he would entertain a PM if you want further information about the book.
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How about alternative process? Shoot 5x7 or 8x10 to get a decent sized neg; process in a Paterson tank (load and process using a changing bag); then PoP or Argyrotype or whatever other alternative process you fancy.
Or consider a Nova tent darkroom. There's a picture of one in the free 'Our Darkrooms' module in the Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com. Just 42 inches/110cm square. Have you a garage? Put it in the corner...
Bromoils will still require an enlarged print so you will either need a darkroom or a good lab to make the prints for you.
Originally Posted by Soeren
Searching my way to perplexion
Originally Posted by Soeren
Another option, if you're short on space (and maybe time) is POP paper. Because you don't need to go through the coating step you can start right in with contact printing. It's not particularly sensitive to visible light so you can handle it under dim lighting.
I use a 100-watt BLB bulb (I think they're designed for discos - I got mine from a music shop), no reflector but a white umbrella to even out the light. Times are *very* long, but the results are good.
Then you just need a sink to tone, fix, and wash.
A few options in the fairly traditional realm occur to me:
First, you could shoot Kodak BW400CN or Ilford XP2 Super, which are C-41 B&W films. You could then have them processed by any lab that'll process medium format color film. That might not be any old minilab, but it might be easier to get processed than conventional B&W film.
Second, I've seen daylight enlargers on eBay. Basically, they're enclosed enlargers that enable you to expose and process paper in a small space without having a full darkroom. This could be very handy if you simply cannot make a room light-tight.
Third, you can often convert a bathroom (even temporarily) into a darkroom. Put your enlarger on a cart with wheels (so you can move it in and out of the bathroom), put a wooden board over the bathtub and use it for trays, and you've got a working darkroom. Obviously this works best if your bathroom has no windows; if you've got windows, you'll have to block them in some way, and perhaps work only at night.
I use my bathroom, which is windowless, and therefore easily made dark.
Film is loaded there into developing tanks, and actual development happens in the kitchen.
For prints, the enlarger sits on a wheeled microwave cart, which has two lower shelves big enough for bins that hold (most of) the rest of the equipment and chemistry. I just roll it into the bathroom when required. The exposed prints get loaded into Beseler or Unicolour tubes, which are taken out to the kitchen for developing, at the sink.
It's the first time I've ever had a darkroom with a view.
I just tell my wife that it is the latest in decorating accents.