Now that Spring is around the corner, the weather in Florida has finally cooled down to, what we would normally think of as, winter. We didn’t really notice much of the cool down as we spent most of our week in the darkroom trying to catch up.
We still have a way to go. Unlike with digital where you can shoot hundreds of frames, upload them to your computer, rework them in an editing program and post away, our images take hours to produce. After three to four hours of darkroom work we might end up with three prints. We were also using a new paper developer for the first time, Moersch ECO 4812. The negative is first put into the enlarger and focused. Depending on the contrast, Marks will run several test strips (smaller strips of photographic paper) to determine the right f stop for exposure (we use an f stop timer). Once we have that done, we will go to the 8×10 sheet of photographic paper and print the entire image (hopefully we get it right the first time). Now we have the silver gelatin print, but no toning has been done. We wash the prints for 20 minutes between each major process. The prints are dried before we do any toning. We have found that most prints once dried will take on a slightly different tone anyway and that helps us decided what end result we want to achieve.
You’ve heard us mention split toning. That’s simply using two different types of toner to achieve a warmer effect. We determine what effect we want for each print. With a two step process it obviously increases the time before we have a finished product. Then we have to wait for those prints to dry before we can flatten them under weights as silver gelatin prints tend to curl up at the edges making it impossible to scan them. After about 8 hours they’re ready to scan.
Today’s post of one of mine that was taken deep in Bulow Woods along a small creek. The sunlight was just peeking through the trees illuminating a beautiful sunspot on the edge of the creek.
I loved the way the tree grew at an angle out of the side of the creek. The lighter grass on the right hand side provided some lovely framing. Trying to capture this image was challenging. The ground was muddy and soft and I was on my knees behind the tripod hoping I wouldn’t topple over into the mud. The aim was to keep the camera out of the mud (I’m washable).
If you look at the tree behind the creek (the one with the swollen trunk) you’ll notice a darker mark along the base. This dark mark is the water line, as this entire area can be under water whenever we have a lot of rain.
This image was taken using the Mamiya 645 Pro TL, 80 mm Mamiya 1:2.8 Sekor Lens, Ilford HP5 @ 200 developed in D76 @ 1:1. Printed on Arista EDU Ultra VCFB in Moersch ECO 4812 . Scanned from the silver gelatin print.
This image was given a single toning with Selenium which deepened the shadows and left the highlighted portions untouched. Technical information can be found on my Flickr page:-
Have a great day everyone.