Henry, who currently lives in the Massachusetts South Shore area
So I'm about halfway through my 39th year of life, and can remember the first camera I ever used: I was about six, and it was my father's Nikonos undersea camera. I was using a light meter, setting F-Stop and aperture, guessing at focus or setting a hyperfocal distance, lamenting the lack of a flash unit, and working in black and white.
Ever since then, black and white has been a favorite medium of mine.
I've been in and out of the darkroom scene, but recently I unearthed my old collection of older cameras, the youngest of which is a Contax IIIa. The majority of them are medium format. Several of them take roll film sizes that are no longer in commercial production. Enough of them take 120 film that I bit the bullet and purchased cheap B&W film (Holga branded) and some chemistry with which to process it. Lacking a darkroom, I started scanning the negs on a multipurpose printer.
Needless to say, the resulting images are interesting at best. The negatives look nice, though—especially from the Nettar.
My budget is tight. Space is lacking. Inamongst the same collection, I have a beseler 23 and associated equipment. I found some Fomaspeed Variant I purchased back in '07 in a prior abortive attempt to set up a darkroom. I've ordered print developer, a mat cutter, and some other odds and ends. Redneck engineering should net me a dark room in which I can set up everything but washing. A nearby sink can provide that.
I've been bitten by a bug, it seems. I want to develop prints in coffee. I want to build a 4x5 monorail camera. I want to slather a four foot square canvas with photographic print emulsion, print a nifty image, then embellish it with transparent paints. I want to investigate cyanotype and Van Dyke printing using a UV LED source in an enlarger. I want to construct negative carriers that let me print everything on the medium format negative, including the edges and frame borders.
All more than I can afford right now (except, perhaps, the coffee and a bit of mat board). Most more than I'll be able to do in the six months I have before I must move again.
And for what?
For the mystery of silver halide. For the ethereal, magical moments of watching a latent image come to the fore in the processing tray. For the richness of the red light. For the smell of hypo. For water dripping from the corners of hanging paper. For the beauty of old technology.
For the joy it brings.
Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall by hgernhardt, on Flickr
Morning Shadow by hgernhardt, on Flickr
Henry... hello and welcome to APUG from the western end of the Bay State.
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
You will find that it is very difficult to push any significant amount of UV light thru an enlarger. You might find enlarging negs the way to go with that, and then contact printing them under a UV light source. But don't let me stop you from trying -- you just might be able to do it! And there is a very fast-speed in-camera cyanotype process out there (Cyanotype rex, by Terry King) that might work with such an enlarger.
I have filed out a Omega D5 negative holder to include the rebate -- but not the edge itself -- you might look at glass negative carriers (w/ anti-newton ring glass).
And I have seen large canvases covered with liquid light!
Welcome, again! And have fun!
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can be a good day of exercise.
Henry- Where there's a will, there's a way. And, you seem to have the will... You have quite a disparate list of "wants". I'd recommend setting up your enlarger, and start making prints on RC paper. Get the basics down before heading off in a bunch of directions. jnanian is our resident Cafenol guru. He even sells a kit for it. I've been doing a similar thing to the emulsion on canvas, but I'm using heavily textured watercolor paper for them. I use paint and pencil on them. It's easy to make negative carriers out of mat board.
Originally Posted by hgernhardt
Whatever you do, have fun... (I'd also recommend subscribing. There are a lot of people doing some of the things you're interested in posting great stuff. I think you'd find it highly inspirational, at the cost of a few rolls of film.)
hey henry !
i have cousins in brocton, cohasset, hull, scituate .. nice place you live !
welcome aboard !
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Welcome to APUG Henry and good luck with your quest!
Great intro Henry! In fact, it was a little eerie -- it appears we're the same age, and like you, I'm interested in a multitude of different processes, but I lack the time (and sometimes, viable location) to see them through. I also move around (the world) a lot, which makes darkroom work problematic, but I have finally got one set up to do (most) of what I want to do. Looking forward to seeing your work here on APUG!
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus
Hey there, Henry!
Welcome to APUG. I hope you'll watch the New England regional threads for one of our local gatherings and join us sometime. Brockton is where my daughter lived until a couple of years ago, and I have fond memories of a few meals at a Brazilian restaurant there. I, too, have been doing some "redneck engineering" to create a darkroom after having an institutional one available to me for the last 25 years and I find that while it takes a bit more creative thinking, you can make almost anything work if you want it to. Keep shooting.
Welcome home Henry. You're going to fit right in here!
Great intro and welcome to APUG! Hope you'll be able to join us at our next N.E. gathering, we have a great group.