Ha! We do sometimes forget how much fun we're having here, don't we.
I like to make paper negatives in camera with 19th century lenses. Although some of these may be too soft for a few photographers, this is not true of all. The speed of the paper is ideal to use with these shutterless lenses wide open. I am in the mood to make a few salted paper prints for which paper negatives are ideal so I think I will load up and get started.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]
My reasons are all the above.
I can generally process paper at any time with little prep, so paper negatives are very convenient for checking out a new camera, for example.
They are also fun, sort of a way to channel Henry Talbot.
I have at least one roll film camera for which the proper size film is not available, paper makes an easy way to use it.
Aside from X-ray film, paper is probably the least expensive silver material available, so the economy is nice.
A "diptych" I made of a negative and the positive from my brownie box got me in a juried show a couple of years ago.
What's not to like?
Some paper negative selfie experimentation. Arista grade 2 RC, Pre-flashed, 2-second exposure under sky light with a bit of soft fluorescent fill-in (using an old slide viewing table as a soft box). Fujinon 135-5.6 in Speed Graphic.
I made a pinhole camera out of an old suitcase, some packing foam, cardboard, and a whole lotta black spraypaint.
So far I've put 11x14 paper negs through it for $1.70 a sheet, I'd hate to think how much that'd cost in 'real film'. Even more once I try out 12x16s (and I might be able to fit 16x20s in it, or I'll save them for the next camera).
(and besides, there's no benefit of the high resolution you get from film in a pinhole camera that's going to be contact-printed anyway...)
An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
f/64 and be there.
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Joe, I cannot believe the wonderful range of greys you get with your paper negatives. Mine so far have been fairly hard contrast. I have tried preflashing the graded Oriental RC paper just purchased and it does seem to help a little. I have not tried the Arista paper yet but intend to do so in the near future. I'm hoping to standardize my paper negative workflow so as to obtain predictable results. Your post's here and u-tube videos have been an invaluable source and thanks for sharing your experience.
Originally Posted by Joe VanCleave
Thanks for the kind feedback. This image has pretty good tones because a) The main light is daylight filtered through a diffused skylight, and b) The fill lighting is diffused fluorescent.
I believe with even the most contrasty of papers or films, controlled lighting is crucial to getting good tones. The most difficult scenario is, of course, bright daylight scenic photography, where you are faced with glaring highlights and deep shadows. Under these conditions all you can do is use graded paper, pre-flash and/or use a yellow filter, and hope the subject matter doesn't depend completely on having both highlights and shadows with detail.
For example, I've shot many paper negatives in the foothills of the local Sandia Mountains, in bright daylight. What's saved those images is that I was interested in the texture and forms of large, house-sized boulders, where the highlights were important but the shadows between the boulders could go completely black and it wouldn't matter much to the overall photo.
Conversely, shooting a portrait in such conditions means ugly, glaring shadows on the face.
My point is that subject matter and context are important factors in whether high or low contrast is required.
For intrinsically high-contrast media, such as paper negatives, having control of the light, in a makeshift studio fashion as I've done here, is crucial; as is selecting the subject matter that might work well with harsh shadows.
Paper negatives are or can be fantastic... For all the reasons mentioned above, but also because they render rather different than normal film... and for portraits they are so interesting...
Here's a couple of examples of portraits...
I spend few days to find out how this is called. Paper negatives!
i have made few of them and started to google for the name of it.
And only today I accidentally saw it at APUG.
One more time it is reminder to me - look no elsewhere, but APUG!
It is very good alternative for 4x5 film to me.
I like tabletop photography, right beside where my darkroom is and it is less expensive and faster with paper negatives.
thanks for all these replies !
great work up in this thread, thusfar !
if you have a dark roomhandy
paper negatives are almost instant photography - or instant negative photography
there have been articles over the years in the new york times
and other newspapers about people in india and afghanistan who are making id portraits
using paper negatives while their sitter waits.
they both re-exposes the negative in camera as a contact print ( i hope got this right )
sort of like an afghan camera with chemistry inside ... and a bucket of water outside to wash the print
not quite a polaroid, maybe a few extra minutes, but these guys are an inspiration to watch and read about !