Mochales – Guadalajara
Voigtlander Bessa-I 6×9, 105/3.5 Color-Skopar, Kodak T400CN
#4 of 6. Printed in Ilfospeed RC 3, about 2/3 crop from original negative.
Well, the Catalan ‘Diada’ is over, and I find myself back here after some more days spent in the countryside and another darkroom session.
This time I decided to keep to what I knew was the ‘right’ way. And to be honest, one should ignore the advice of those who went before you at one’s peril.
I decided to stay simple, that is, work with ONE negative until I could come out with what was (for me) the best possible print. In the case of this specific negative this meant going through a test strip followed by six different ‘good’ prints, of which number 4 ended being the ‘perfect’ one after they all acquired their ‘real’ appearance by letting them dry overnight. This left me with what I wanted in first place (the print) plus 5 more which will be traveling soon 😉 not to mention the priceless darkroom lesson.
And, to sum up, what I said to myself after that:
Know the negative well enough so that you don’t mount it reversed on the enlarger !
Focusing is critical, have in mind the paper adds some thickness, and I need a proper focusing loupe 😉
The method of carefully evaluating test strips and prints really works.
Each new print can be seen as a new interpretation of the picture.
Once you come with the ‘perfect’ exposure workflow, it will work again if you repeat the same steps. So be sure to TAKE NOTE of what you did and all the involved settings and variables !
Dirty negs are a PITA in the darkroom (as you can see on the image above), and commercial processing isn’t always the best to end with clean ones.
Try to master the negative you’re working on before going for the next one, trying to work with too many of them on the same session can be frustrating (and I speak of experience).
Amazingly, the darkroom can teach you things you can use when going back to Photoshop !
And finally, going into the darkroom can change the way you take pictures, making you expose each negative so that they give as much play as possible when you print them.
Categorized: _blackandwhite | _valledelmesa | _darkroom