don’t start if you’re not in the mood
time invested in making and evaluating the test strips is well invested time
judging a negative at bare eye is a lot more difficult than you guess
skies use to ask for some burning
to clean up the mess takes time !
it’s good to know where the negative focus point actually IS
place your estimated exposure time between the ones in the test strip
dektol in a full closed bottle lasts more than I thought
the emulsion side is somewhat fragile
real film grain can look plain lovely!
big negatives are a god’s send
under the red light, even the best print may look terrible
many household items can be perfect substitutes for darkroom ones
to be continued…
Several entries ago, I was writing about the process of building some negative holders for the homemade enlarger I received from my good friend Dave (Greyhoundman).
Unfortunately, I had to park the whole wet printing idea for a while as I was fighting with the last months of the final project for getting my engineering degree, and later with some more weeks of house work. At some points I was really thinking I got a curse over myself or something.
But as happens with everything, time went by and I finally found myself with some free time and what was more important, with a spare room on the country house which I could transform into a more or less dedicated darkroom. I won’t go into details not to bore the eventual reader, but to sum up I’ll say that my set up ended being very, VERY simple, without even a column for the said enlarger (amazing what one’s mind can come with!).
But it seems that I’ve been lucky to have very good professors (thanks Dave, thanks Tony!), and on my first attempt I was already experiencing the magic that everybody says happens when you first see the image slowly coming out on the paper. From there on, it has only been plain and pure addiction 🙂
So far, in a few sessions, I must say that I’ve already learned a lot of things, and most of them from (of course) my own mistakes and attempt to go for shortcuts without cutting my teeth first. You can find some of them on the top of this post, just below the raw scan from one of my first printed negatives.
That one was a bit hard to print correctly, yes, and still far from what I achieved with the same negative using Photoshop, but oh my, the tones and grain of a REAL print… And that’s only a ‘work’ one 😉
Since I’m a strong believer in experimentation though, I must say that this won’t keep me from also going with the so called hybrid way (shoot-develop-scan-inkprint), but that will be in a while. For now I’m just having too much fun in the wet darkroom, lol.