Wednesday, 30 July 2014


  I have had both good and bad fortune lately.  I thought things were really looking up when i found this stash of photo paper ridiculously cheap (i won't tell you how much i got it for because you will hate me forever and never read this blog again).  I saw an advert that someone was getting rid of some darkroom gear so i message them to see if they had any paper.  They said they had a few odds and ends so i took a punt and we arranged a price.  When the package arrived my head nearly exploded!  Inside was an almost full pack of 8x10 Fotospeed Lith paper, a pack of Oriental Seagull, a few packs of Ilford MGIV RC VC, a pack of Kentmere Fineprint VC, some Ilford MG FB WT in 9.5x12 and 12x16, a pretty full pack of Kentmere Art Document, Some Foma papers in 12x16 and a full pack of 16x20 and some Fotospeed Fotolinen which i haven't been able to find much out about yet.  And on top of that they sent me some unused Moersch Easylith!  What an absolutely fantastic bundle to get in the post!

   Naturally i got into the darkroom as soon as i could and that is when misfortune struck.  I decided to do some lith and try out some of these new papers.  I have used Fotospeed Lith and Art Document before but i tried some again (after all, everyone loves 9.5x12, right), and i also tried some of the seagull as i believe it is great for lith.  Unfortunately none of the prints turned out particularly well.  I think i chose the wrong negatives and they came out looking dull.  But, on the bright side at least i learned how the papers act in lith so i can know what results to expect next time.

   The Nab shot is from my recent trip to the east coat, and the one of the boulder is from an old negative i dug out - i am thinking both of these probably deserve a bit of time trying to get a good fine print out of.  I have struggled with the nab shot in the past but i put that down to being in a 'funny mood'.  Perhaps another session in the darkroom will reveal if i can make anything of it.  The boulder shot has great detail in the sky so i may try and make a moody print out of it with lots of lovely cloud contrast.  As for the castle shot, i found that on a recent walk with the dog and it would make a great print except for the face that the development messed up.  I'm not sure if you can make it out but there are loads of white dots all over the print.  For some reason i rated Ilford Pan F+ at 25iso and in Rodinal that doesn't work out too well.  Looks like i will have to return there with some FP4+ and re-shoot.

  I haven't really done much else lately.  I have been toying with doing some zone system testing to determine the best ISO and development times for my setup.  It is something i should have done ages ago but, as you should know by now, i am somewhat lazy and it feels like i'm wasting film (even though i know i'm not).  No doubt i will write a tutorial all about it (if it is successful).  I really do need to get better at getting work done and getting this blog updated more regularly.

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