Full bloom – DAS carbon starting to come together

I’ll probably jinx it by saying this, but…I have a feeling my DAS carbon printing workflow is really starting to get somewhere. Maybe I should take a moment to reflect on some of the key lessons learned. Perhaps even muse a little on what’s next, too…

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Extend your d… – Chromium intensifier for silver gelatin negatives

Despite the relative silence on my blog, I have been printing regularly lately, with carbon transfer absorbing most of my lab hours. My printing currently revolves entirely around silver gelatin negatives. Given the relatively inflexible contrast that carbon transfer allows, this means I’ve had to be a little creative sometimes in making my negatives work for the printing process. One of the tricks I use a lot is chromium intensifier. Slightly nasty – but very, very effective.

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Brilliant ID – In praise of ID62 all-purpose developer

I stopped buying B&W developers years ago. It’s not that I didn’t like what I could buy. It’s just that I liked to experiment – and still do. And the flexibility of mixing your own ‘soups’ comes in handy in that case. One of the formulas I’ve come to rely on is this general-purpose developer of Ilford pedigree, ID-62. I think it’s just great.

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To a crisp – An extreme example of edge effects

I’ve been doing target practice and trying out some new-to-me and/or repaired cameras lately with my last few remaining rolls of 35mm Fomapan 100. Since this was all experimental stuff anyway, I went kind of experimental on the development, too, with reduced agitation schemes. And sometimes, this yields kind of funny results. Here’s some for your amusement.

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Solid as a rock – Fixing an old AC stabilizer

Sometimes, a piece if equipment finds its way to me for repairs. This time, it was an old Devere voltage stabilizer, apparently used in conjunction with a 5108 enlarger. Very nice piece of kit. With one problem – it didn’t work. But I think we got ‘er fixed up again.

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The flipside – A closer look at printing color negatives

In previous blogs, I’ve focused on how color paper responds to a light source. When it comes to printing photos, this leaves out a rather relevant bit – the negative. In this blog, I’m going to explore the interactions between light source, negative and color paper. Hopefully, this will give some more insight into which LEDs work best for color printing (although I have a pretty good idea already…)

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Twister fries – More RA4 curves, now with a dichroic head

The other day I set up a Durst M305 color enlarger that I temporarily have with me – just to verify it works. Since I had it out anyway, I figured I could make some step wedges with it. I’ve been doing this with LED light sources recently as well. I couldn’t resist the temptation to see what one might get from a dichroic head. It’s still a bit of the gold standard for darkroom color printing, after all.

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Unsafe lights – The iffy business of RA4 safelights

Opinions vary on the issue of safelights for RA4 printing. One person says they’re fine, within rather tight boundaries. Others advise against any lighting and recommend working in the dark. I belong to the latter category, and I believe that I have good reasons, too (of course).

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Sloppy slopes – Green and blue LEDs for variable contrast black and white

Recently, I wrote about a new RGB LED head for color printing and reported on some step wedge tests I had been doing. The other day I was printing some black & white negatives with this new head, and I ran into some looooong print exposures. This led me to do some additional testing, which yields some interesting (I think) insights.

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Opposites attract – Salted paper and cyanotype curves

I was doing a quick classic cyanotype print to verify a paper (Schut Laurier) indeed works on this process. I knew it did as I’ve used it before in this capacity, but I just wanted to make sure before recommended it. This also create the opportunity to plot the response curve, and since I had a salted paper print on my desk as well, a comparison is easy enough to make!

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