A post about further experiments involving paper negatives …

Following on from previous paper neg experiments, here I describe the process I used to get from a film negative to a final print via a paper negative.

The first step was to produce a normal enlarged print (8 by 8 inches) from a 6×6 cm negative. I used a contrast filter of 2.

Grade 2 filter straight print – scanned without any adjustments

I decided that this was too flat, so I split grade printed it in a rough and ready way, knowing that there would be opportunities later in the process for tonal tweaks. My rough and ready split grade is to work out an exposure time for grade 0 and to add grade 4.5 at slightly more than double the grade 0 exposure.

Rough and ready split grade with sky burnt in at grade 0 – scanned without adjustments

I then dried the print with a hair-dryer and shaded more cloud into the sky on the back of the print with a soft pencil. I also spotted out some dust marks. I then contact printed it under glass onto Ilford FBWT paper having worked out an exposure time with test strips.

Paper negative, 3 minute development in multigrade 1+9

After drying the paper negative with a hair dryer, I lightened some areas with pencil on the back. I then contact printed this.

Here is the final image. The final touch was to bleach the crosses and surrounding grass using very dilute bleach (potassium ferri at 1%).

final image – scanned, no further adjustments

I think the sky is a little overdone, but I’m pleased with the overall result – quite gothic, as someone said to me. As an aside, I also like the effect of over printing followed by bleach reduction. I’m beginning to see the advantages to doing this.