Film photography and darkroom practices

Category: The film process (Page 1 of 3)

Paper Negatives: Investigation 1

I am enthralled by the pictures that Andrew Sanderson makes with paper negatives.

My last visit to his darkroom was spent wholly on paper negatives. So I am now experimenting with what I learnt, and where better to begin than at the beginning …

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Standardising on film/developer

film developer combinations
What film/developer?

The general advice on choosing a film/developer combination is to select just one (or two) and to stick to this until you have learned its subtleties. The snag is that I enjoy experimenting, so I find sticking to this advice difficult. However, aside from some specialist techniques like infrared or pinhole, I seem to have settled on a few combinations that I favour …

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Split grade printing – again

I have written a few posts on split-grade printing before (here and here) but I thought that I would revisit it again in more detail. The reason for this is that I am having some problems with it, so a post like this forces me to re-evaluate what I am doing, starting with the basics and trying to understand where I am going wrong.

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Pinhole and Pyrocat HD

Pinhole photography inevitably requires long exposures. So one of the features of many pinhole images is the high contrast caused by the long exposures. I am investigating the use of Pyro developers with their compensating behaviour to reduce the overall contrast, particularly in the skies. I also want to incorporate some edge effects. Pinhole images are usually quite soft and this is not always something that I want. In the images below, the mud flats are better with some edge acutance.

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My first Bromoil experience

Bromoil was made for us neo-pictorialists. The long attention to a single image perhaps stretching to several days; the impressionistic rendering of a scene; the knowledge that what you do is connected to the many pioneers of photography such as Alfonso Louis Poitevan, John Pouncey and G. H. Rawlins to mention only a few; these reasons are sufficient to want to keep this old photographic process alive.

But it’s not easy … Continuing the spirit of this web-site, I share my mistakes.

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