Following on from my last darkroom printing post, En-Faux-Jer, I continue with more darkroom experimenting.
I’ve been printing/darkrooming a lot lately because I’m soon to be moving out of my flat into what feels like oblivion. I can’t seem to find rented accommodation let alone a new house to buy and what this house move will ultimately mean though is no darkroom printing at home for a good few months.
Anyway, lets get on with the show & tell.
After printing from the iPhone last time out I decided to try printing some film, primarily urban photos.
My current printing equipment I doesn’t include a timer so every exposure is made using rough timings based around ƒ8 and multigrade filters from grade 4 to 5.
Above I started with the first test print, top left, which was 8s but it looked a wee bit too dark. Bottom left was 6s but just a tad too light near the back and finally, bottom right was 8s with dodged face.
If I was going to seriously print this I’d need to burn out that bloody sign left of frame, I would’ve cut it out of the frame when I took it if I hadn’t been running to get the photo after the person passed me further down the road. Always think of your backgrounds!
I played around with a few other images …
… until I found this one:
I liked the shadows I got around the girl and the pavement plus the legs on the left. I dropped the speed to ƒ11 and made it for 6 seconds with a wee bit of dodging around the main figure using a grade 4 filter.
I don’t often love my prints but I liked this one; the blacks were good and the tones were decent.
Another experiment, I had a really badly underexposed negative from a street photo meet up a while back and tried to get something from it. It was a total fail so I left the print to burn in a bit with the lights on before fixing it.
Here’s another weird test print, I was testing out making prints from colour film:
I had a bit of an issue with the enlarger which I only figured out a few hours after I gave up with this image. That aside, printing with colour films will need lot of dedicated time to figure out; something I look forward to.
Experimenting with Xray
As I may have blogged about a wee while ago I’ve got nice wee stock of Xray film that was VERY kindly donated to me …
So I wondered if I could print onto a sheet of X-ray and develop it using paper chemistry …
It turns out that that is totally cool. I understood that the film was about ISO100 so I stopped down the lens to ƒ16 and guess exposed it for about 4 seconds …
Yup, that was just fine but obviously I’d ultimately get a positive from a projected negative but the seed was there.
Next it was a case of finding some E6 developed slide film and do the same to make a large film negative …
So I went with this made using Fuji Sensia …
Projected onto the board plus a little safelight-red …
The results looked quite contrasty though …
Now, the main goal from hereon was to create a large sheet of film as a negative to make contact printed pictures.
I struggled to find any decent clear slide photos because I rarely developed that way so I went to the iPhone to make negatives from positives.
From this photo originally made with the GF1 …
… I made this super enlargement. The Xray film is approximately 7″x9″ but this enlargement was way too big for the iPhone because of screen moire.
I reduced it and got this which looks much better:
Next up was one of my favourites from my holiday in Fife …
… and the last of the Enfojer style prints was this one of my daughter just after she drew an upside down plant in a pot on her body with a pen.
I made one other print of a musician friend of mine but I believe I must’ve moved the film or something because it doesn’t look right.
Remember, all those Xray sheets are actually negatives so tonight if I have any spare time I’ll try contact printing them. I don’t know about you but this is ACE FUN! It’s just a shame I’ll have to wrap it all up for a few months until I find somewhere to hang my enlarger.
It’s worth pointing out the limitations of the Enfojer idea but also to point out the advantages. Using the enfojer technique you can print almost anything and that’s magic!