Monday, August 09, 2010

Today I worked on printing 11x14 prints.  I go with a roughly 7x10 image size on an 11x14 sheet of paper.  I can accomodate 5 8x10 trays in my darkroom space but only 3 11x14 so it takes a little more effort to produce 11x14 prints.  My solution is to move the second fixing bath to outside the darkroom near the sinks and the print washer.  When I work this way though I have to get one print through the first fixing bath and out of the darkroom before I can start on the next print.  I like though that I get to use these great vintage 11x14 enamel trays that I found at Hollywood Camera .  For 35mm I use a 50mm el-nikkor lens that makes enlargement to this size easy without having to raise the enlarger head to far above the easel.  Today I worked with Dektol developer and Ilford paper both in warm tone and cold tone.  The 35mm negatives I worked with were from Agfa 25 and 100 ASA so there was very little grain in the enlargements and the prints came out beautiful.  I believe when you start working in sizes beyond 8x10 you can produce a high quality, archival black and white print for much cheaper than if you were working digitally.  A lot more time involved but materials and equipment is much more reasonable.  In my opinion.  A silver gelatin print is much more durable than anything that could be made even with carbon based inks.  These prints will last for hundreds of years something no digital print would be capable of.

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