Sunday, June 15, 2008

Here are some pictures I worked on this weekend from a new roll of film I developed. Pictures taken on my lunch hour in the last two weeks. Some are from the waterfront fun center, and these I've been taking of a building being constructed across the street from where I work. I shoot the pictures for now from a parking garage across the street that gives me a nice perspective. I took these pictures using Agfa 100 film, 35mm, and using a 24mm f 2.8 nikkor and an 85mm f 1.8, two of my favorite lenses. I was thinking yesterday it would be interesting to shoot some pictures from inside the fence but I'd have to get permission from the construction company. Perhaps if I showed them some of the pictures and offered to give them prints they'd consider it. This could be an interesting little project to work on in my spare time since I am close to the site every day. The top picture is an example of a test print made with different contrast filters to help select which I like. The first thing I do when making a print is to carefully clean the negative with cotton and an anti-stat solution. I make an initial print using a Kodak Projection Print Scale that helps me with establishing a base for exposure. I'll then run a test print using that exposure as the mid point and deviating 10% under and over that exposure. I'll use a contrast filter of about 1.5 to 2. When I've evaluated what I like as the exposure I'll run another test print with lower and higher contrast filters on either side of the 1.5 or 2 filter. I determine development time by watching the print as it develops and looking at how much time passes before I begin to see the first evidence of development usually within 45 sec. to one minute. I'll take that time and multiply it by 4 and continue developing for that length of time. If for example it takes 1 minute before I see the first evidence of development I will continue to develop the print for another 4 minutes to get a total development time for the print of 5 minutes. Using this method I can take in to account different paper/developer combinations as well as temperature which can slow down or speed up development times. I will deviate a bit when making the final print on exposure times, lens apeture, and contrast filters and always write any data on the back of the print before I develop so I can evaluate the prints later. It's also a good idea to take a test print out of the wash and go outside the darkroom and view it for about 15 minutes in good natural light as it dries a bit and your eyes adjust but I don't always have the time for that. When a print is dry you really begin to notice all the flaws and if I like the picture I'll continue to refine the print in future printing sessions. A printing session for me can last around 4-6 hours where I'll make 10-12 prints usually from 2-3 sometimes 4 negatives. I rarely print more then 20% of the 36 exposures because initially I'll only see a half-dozen images I like. I say initially because tastes change over time and certain pictures can become more significant with time.


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