lighting for paper negative shots
As you can see in my gallery here on APUG, I've been experimenting a lot lately with artificially-lit pinhole paper negative "still-life"-type setups. The lighting is very, very touchy. I have to blast at least 75, preferably 100 or even 200 watts of incandescent (or equivalent) from no more than a couple feet away. And six inches works a lot better. And still, it only lights a very small radius, as far as the paper is concerned.
Now, I've been using an amber LED bulb at ~590nm for a safelight for the last couple months, and have been amazed at how it leaves no imprint on my papers despite being bright enough to work more than comfortably. This got me thinking about the magic of really targeting a wavelength, and a thought occurred to me:
Could I get better results on my artificially-lit paper negatives if I used blue LEDs in a narrow field? 15° arrays are available from the same source I used for my safelight. Theoretically, if all of the power is going into the color that the paper needs as opposed to a full spectrum (white incandescent/halogen) I would get much more effective lighting and shorter exposure times.
Does anyone have any thoughts, or has anyone already tried this?