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  1. #1
    DrPablo's Avatar
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    Non-contact alt processes

    I shoot almost exclusively 4x5, and it will be a while before I get a larger format.

    I'm intrigued by many of the alt processes, but many of them require contact printing and UV light sources. A 4x5 CP is too small to make many of these processes worthwhile.

    So what alternative processes could I try starting from a 4x5 neg (or an enlarged print of whatever size)? Bromoil looks interesting to me. But I'm all ears for other ideas.

    Thanks,
    Paul
    Paul

  2. #2

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    A 4x5 CP is too small to make many of these processes worthwhile. I used to think like that. Not any more. Actually there is something very special about them, but, don't listen to me, only you know what works for you.

    I guess you could shoot tmax and use the reversal chemistry to make a positive and then use that one to make an enlarged negative and voila, any process is possible then.

  3. #3
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Don't discount 4x5 as a format for alt process. They are really little diamonds, for instance the sharpness of a well executed 4x5 inch silver gelatin contact print is mesmerizing, and the small size means you get to learn for less, when you head to alt process. I recommend starting with cyanotype (cheap and easy) and then move on to what floats your boat. I have seen truly beautiful pt/pd contact prints that didn't need to be any bigger.

    (Of course any foray into contact printing leads first to an 8x10, and then over the cliff )

  4. #4

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    For 4X5 try liquid emulsions. Check out Martin Reed & Sarah Jones book Silver Gelatin:a users guide to liquid emulsions for some ideas. I've watered down the commercial liquid emulsions for an almost B&W watercolor effect.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPablo View Post
    I shoot almost exclusively 4x5, and it will be a while before I get a larger format.

    I'm intrigued by many of the alt processes, but many of them require contact printing and UV light sources. A 4x5 CP is too small to make many of these processes worthwhile.

    So what alternative processes could I try starting from a 4x5 neg (or an enlarged print of whatever size)? Bromoil looks interesting to me. But I'm all ears for other ideas.

    Thanks,
    Paul
    Bromoil would be the most interesting for me. It does not require a lot of equipment and it is a very hands on process. Carbro is another alt process that you might consider, in some ways similar in concept to bromoil, but more complicated to work.

    However, you really should consider learning to make enlarged negatives. At this point in time I would recommend that you work digitally (see http://www.hybridphoto.com/forums/) but there are still viable ways to make good enlarged negatives with wet processing methods.

    Sandy King

  6. #6

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    small prints

    This is a total mistake to think that the smaller (4x5) prints do not work for contact priniting. I've done may 4x5 contacts in my lifetime and yes they are truly jewels. Many moons ago when I did a Zone VI workshop in Vt. we were shown some 2 1/4x21/4 contacts that were equally impressive. Don't go by what the gallereies are currently showing and by what's in vogue at the moment. Besides as the above posters have mentioned you can get your feet wet in the meantime. I actually started out with a 5x7 camera(a great compromise and not that expensive!!) and ONLY did contact printing for many a year. Funny because I only care to do contact priniting now...
    Best, Peter

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    4x5" and even smaller alt-process prints can be really beautiful. I often carry a small album of 4x5" and one 6x6cm albumen prints in my bag when I'm out shooting to use when people ask me what I'm doing with that funny camera.

    It's not that hard to make enlarged negs on ortho film when you want to print larger. There are a couple of threads on this topic.

    As I do more albumen printing, I've been thinking of sending some of my smaller format film to DR5 for reversal processing, so I can make enlarged negs without going through the interpositive step. Some people use reversal processing to make the interneg from an original neg, but starting from a positive has the attraction of being self-proofing like color transparencies.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #8
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    ...but starting from a positive has the attraction of being self-proofing like color transparencies.
    I have often thought about making a larger format negative on ordinairy monochrome film from a colour transparency. Has anyone done this?

    Steve.

  9. #9

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    4x5 contacts can be real gems in and of themselves. Plus its wayyyy less expensive to learn on 4 x 5! Easier to coat too...

    Alternative suggestions above are great - making larger digital negs.

    Bromoil sounds like a really neat process.

    You could sell your 4 x 5 and purchase an 8 x 10 with a reducing back? Best of both worlds?

  10. #10

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    Echoeing David Goldfarb's response, I have alot of B&W slides from Agfa Scala; & have made some 8X10 negatives from them. Very easy process. Works very well with higher contrast film such as J&C Pro 100 (& it was cheap too ;-) Have done Kallitypes from the resulting negs.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

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