Today in the darkroom I set out to produce the best image that I could in two hours….
This is the image as printed on Ilford MGWT glossy at grade 2. Fairly flat but with some potential. The picture was taken with a pinhole camera using FP4 film and developed in Rodinal 1:50. The picture lacks mood and the eye wanders across it aimlessly.
I decided to use split grade printing. My base exposure was as set out below. I judged the highlight detail on grade 0 test strips and the degree of blackness using grade 5 test strips. For my base exposure I burned in an area of mud using a hand held grade 5 filter during the grade 0 exposure to produce a a path for the eye to follow to the back of the image.
The next step was to add highlight detail to the boat and to include more shadow detail in the grass verges:
The sky to the horizon was darkened, initially with a grade 2 exposure. Then I burned a semi-circle with both grade 5 and grade 0 exposures. The boat was dodged during the grade 2 exposure.
To focus the eye into the image I then burned the sides of the image with grade 5.
After fixing in plain hypo and washing, I toned the picture with selenium and thiocarbamide then fixed again as the toning was only partial.
No doubt the process has been inefficient. But I’m quite pleased with the final result.