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Thread: The Look

  1. #1

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    The Look

    Hi Ya'll, I'm back again.
    As I am just beginning my paper negative journey am finding more interesting things to wonder about (that's kinda' the fun part).
    My actual photo journey is some 40 to 45 years with a 10 year hiatus caused by retirement etc .Finding APUG and in-camera paper negatives has lured me back.
    Enough of that I digress,here's my current quandary: Trying not to digress again, What I'm looking for is prints that exhibit tone and density close to the old graded Kodabromide papers. In the late 50's (before Kodak reduced the silver content and multigrade paper came along) prints had a deeper black and cooler tone than is now available. Compared to the available paper the tone was almost blue black not warm beige. I never got into toning (except sepia when called for),am wondering if some type toner is what I should be looking toward.
    Guess now that I'm older more contrast and deep blacks appeal to me, more like some of the old William Henry Jackson photos.
    I've found that scanning the negatives shot on old outdated paper,processed in dilute developer results in beige/pink(white) areas and inverting the picture in Photoshop results in a contrasty bluish black looking finished product. It's a little too blue but going in the right direction.But dang! I'd rather do it in the darkroom.
    Any ideas/suggestions?
    Don

  2. #2

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    I think that the change in "the look" of photographic papers had more to do with regulations which required the removal of heavy metals like cadmium and lead from their formulations. The results was a definite change in image quality. Several papers by manufacturers were eliminated because they could no longer be made without these metals.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  3. #3

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    Gerald,
    I suspect you are right about government regulations and probably Kodak etc. didn't mind reducing the silver but continue their current pricing schedule.
    Still I'm wondering if some toner might give a similar look,if not guess eventually I'll have to try carbon printing or some such.......
    Don

  4. #4

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    Have a look at the new Ilford Coldtone, if you haven't already. At least it might form a good starting point for further work? Something from Moersch might help with a final tonal tweak.

    Edit: It's possible that these materials are not available in your market . . .

  5. #5
    Rick A's Avatar
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    You would need to tone the final print or negative to get deeper blue-black, selenium or gold toners possibly.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum



 

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