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Thread: paper negatives

  1. #1

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    paper negatives

    why is it you shoot paper negatives again ?

    why is it you shoot paper negatives again ?

    dangit!

    there was supposed to be a poll but my 30year old apple computer i guess
    is having troubles ...

    the poll said "why do you shoot paper negatives"

    convenience?
    fun?
    ease?
    speed?

    or some other reason ...


    me?

    i have a lot of paper and i have limited funds to spend on materials
    so i have learned to make due with the materials that i have.

    lots of different ways to "deal" with a paper negative ...

    traditionally by exposing it at whatever iso it is you expose it at
    and develop and fix it to get a negative, and then maybe to either electrify it (shhh! )
    or make a contact print onto another piece of paper or a cyanotype or whatever ...

    or by a proto-traditional method called a retina print by making a super long exposure
    and either attempting to develop and fix it, or electrifying it ( shhh! ) to get an image that way.

    either way, paper is the way for me ( hand coating with emulsion too ) ...

    what about you?
    Last edited by jnanian; 06-06-2014 at 08:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    Truzi's Avatar
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    Are you referring to when people use the paper as a negative for other processes? I'm not knowledgeable about that.

    For using paper directly in-camera for the final image, and maybe merely contacting it for a positive... why not?
    Because it's fun?

    I've only tried some Harmon Direct Positive paper thus far. I quite enjoyed it.
    Truzi

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truzi View Post
    Are you referring to when people use the paper as a negative for other processes? I'm not knowledgeable about that.

    For using paper directly in-camera for the final image, and maybe merely contacting it for a positive... why not?
    Because it's fun?

    I've only tried some Harmon Direct Positive paper thus far. I quite enjoyed it.
    hi truzi

    sure, using paper instead of film for a negative to be either enlarged, or duplicated by electronic means or xeroxed
    or contact printed onto another light sensitive material.

    i've never enlarged them, but have had success making translucent by using parafin and heat ...
    i put the negative face down on something warm ( i use a cookie sheet with aluminum foil on my electric stove )
    and rub wax onto the back of the print ... and slowly rubbing it into the print with paper towel ... then turning it over
    and doing the same ... by the end of the waxing you can see through it, sort of ... at least much better than before ...

    it's funny, most people think you can only bother with paper negatives for pinhole or large format sorts of things
    but it works just as well in a 35mm camera as it does in a 11x14

    john

    ps. sorry the site dup'd my post and added the above stuff to a different post instead of this oe
    Last edited by jnanian; 06-06-2014 at 10:21 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    Truzi's Avatar
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    Ah, makes more sense now. When I'd replied, your post had not been edited. It only said:
    why is it you shoot paper negatives again ?
    Just that one sentence, lol.

    Count my vote as "fun." Some day I will probably try more advanced paper negative work.
    Truzi

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    john I have just gone and loaded an Isolette (that I broke trying to lube the shutter ) with a bit of test strip I found at the bottom of a box.
    thanks for the nudge!

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    the monster

    I am putting together a 4x5 Crown Graphic camera from spare parts (my FrankenGraphic) and when I am done I intend to shoot paper negatives. The film stuff is too expensive for my tastes and wallet. And, I like the idea of shooting a one-of-a-kind original in the camera.

  7. #7

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    Photo paper will likely be around much longer than film.
    - Bill Lynch

  8. #8
    Joe VanCleave's Avatar
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    I like paper negatives because they're inexpensive, can be handled under safelights, have less issues with dust and scratches than film, can be easily processed by inspection under safelights and scan easier than film.

    For printing, doing contact prints of paper negatives is only adequate, IMO. I'd rather be able to enlarge them, which would entail building an opaque enlarger head.


    ~Joe

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    I love 'em because, amongst other reasons, I have a lot of paper that I got for nothing; I dislike 'em because all that paper is FB and it's a pain in the arse to wash ... but I still love 'em for all the other reasons ... big, beautiful to handle, not what many other people are doing ... lots of reasons. I wish I had lots of RC and then I'd try reversals

  10. #10
    NedL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    ...
    convenience?
    fun?
    ease?
    speed?
    ...
    Those are all true but they are definitely not the main reason why I'm still using paper negatives. Well... okay... if it wasn't fun I wouldn't do it, but if it wasn't fun I wouldn't be doing photography at all.

    A few years ago I found an old Kodak 1A Autographic Jr. in a box in our garage. It was my wife's grandmother's camera. I had a box of photo paper because I'd been making solargraphs. So I thought to myself... I wonder what would happen if I put some photo paper in that camera!? I made a few of what you call retina prints ( using unmentionable d161T@L device )... But then I was very surprised to find out that this was not an original idea but there were people doing this routinely. I found f295.org, and read everything APUG member Joe VanCleave wrote... and a couple days later I had a stack of pre-cut pre-flashed paper in one black envelope, a stack of pre-cut paper in another black envelope for contact printing, and I bought a changing bag.

    I had lovely prints in my hand in no time. They are awesome.

    That was the beginning of a longer journey for me... I started noticing photographs in museums that were very beautiful and very different from my "Ansel Adams"-instilled idea of what a photograph should be. I started to pay more attention to form and texture in prints, and most especially to atmosphere. I started reading more about the history of photography and appreciating what was done with ortho film. It caught my imagination and changed the way I see photography and what I want to get from photography. Since then I've acquired or made several more cameras just for using paper negatives, I got into pinhole photography as another way to use them, and most recently I started discovering more about historic processes of calotypes and salt prints... these take some of the aspects of paper negatives I really like to a new level.

    In case you can't tell, I'm very enthusiastic about using paper negatives and it is a big part of why I enjoy photography as a hobby.

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