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Showing posts from May, 2015

A Small Darkroom Upgrade

I recently purchased a couple of Photon Beard easels. They had a reputation of being quite good. The reason for this is that my only easel to this point was an LPL 8x10 easel that I got for a good price. After a little paint and refurbishment it was good as new and has served me well. For larger prints I decided to economize. I bought a magnetic white board and a roll of magnetic strips. I hang the whiteboard from my cabinets and then tilt my enlarger sideways to project the image. It fits 12x16 paper in landscape or portrait position and could handle 16x20 in portrait as it is presently hung.

The setup was serviceable but not simple over the past couple of years. Holding up the paper and trying to pin it down with magnets can be frustrating under safe-light conditions. It is made more difficult when heavy FB paper is used if it has a pronounced curl as the magnets are not strong enough. Furthermore the margins are inconsistent. As I say passable; but the frustration got the better of…

What to do with Old Photographic Paper That isn't Useful for Prints

I have spent some time experimenting with old photographic papers. It is a strange preoccupation of mine many of whom would think of as a waste of time. Certainly the results are not as good in many cases as new fresh paper for conventional prints. There have been some exceptions for me though and I look forward to further exploiting some of the things I have seen on some old papers.

I recently wrote of my disappointment in a box of unopened Panalure paper. And while an initial disappointment it did turn out to be a good Lumen paper with a nice lavender color before fixing and a retention of some nice salmon color after selenium toning and fixing. Examples can be seen below.




I also experimented with using developer and fixer like paint or ink. While I wouldn't say these are art they represent ways to use paper for non-photographic uses. There is a rich history of these techniques such as photograms, chemigrams, and other non-camera techniques. For the following I used old Eco-4812…

Panalure and Kodachrome for Black and White Prints

Hmm interesting title. Some time back I outlined in a post (here) my attempts to develop an old roll of Kodachrome using black and white processing. While I got a few very interesting images when manipulated in Photoshop all attempts at making prints that measured up fell short. This was due to the orthochromatic nature of the paper and the fact that much of the negative was either yellow or orange which the paper is blind to. I concluded that I needed to find some panchromatic paper.

Research revealed that Ilford makes panchromatic paper called Digital Silver for use with laser-based digital printing systems. It is unfortunately only available in 100ft (or longer) roll. Not exactly amateur friendly. However I recently learned that there were at one time other panchromatic papers made. They were aimed primarily at those that would want to make black and white prints from color negatives and render shades of red as something more than white. Unfortunately this stuff hasn't been mad…