As you may have noted, it has been rather quiet on the blog for some months. This has multiple reasons, most of them related to time and unfortunate scheduling. All lead me to shooting less, and thus also printing less. Now the holiday season is near and I will have some spare time in the coming weeks, I hope to shoot a few rolls and do some dark room magic.
In photography related news: I have sold off most of my studio equipment and replaced it by a new Sekonic L-758D light meter and a starter set of LEE filters. After moving from a student dorm with adjacent storage hall (read: 80 m x 20 m x 6 m hall) and lots of space for studio photography to a nice downtown apartment with my girlfriend, my studio kit saw less and less use. Combined with some upcoming business trips in Europe and the US and an upcoming holiday to Vietnam, this tempted me to refocus my photography from portraiture to landscapes. Unfortunately, the last few free days I had the weather was horrible, but I am hopeful to find the right conditions in terms of time and weather conditions soon. If I really enjoy shooting landscapes as I think I will, I might make the transition to large format 4 x 5 eventually. This means I would also need a new enlarger and a new darkroom to put it in, as it will likely be too large for the space I use now. In addition to this reorientation of my photography, I also purchased an Olympus XA, point-and-shoot coupled rangefinder camera for 35 mm film. Although the camera was nice and I took it with me every day, I eventually had to return it to the seller. It had some light leaks and the back popped open prematurely a few times. At the price I paid for it, it was not worth a CLA.
In blog related news: I have plenty of inspiration for the coming months for printing and development related articles. So what can you expect? In random order:
- Revisit of the dry-down effect. The last time I looked at paper dry-down, I considered resin coated Ilford Multigrade paper with a pearl finish and found next to no dry-down of the print. According to Ilford technical support, this is the most favorable choice of paper in terms of darkening of the print during drying. There is not supposed to be any, and I indeed found none. Fiber based paper, however supposedly does suffer from it. Therefore, I will be repeating the test for Ilford Multigrade FB Classic.
- Ilford Delta 3200 test. Until now, 90% of my photos were shot on Kodak Tri-X 400. Although this is probably the most versatile and most forgiving black and white film on the market today, I occasionally find myself wanting a higher sensitivity then ISO320-400. I plan on comparing results of the Delta 3200 developed in Ilford DD-X and ADOX Adonal (Rodinal) or Kodak D76 to see what I like better and get an initial sense of direction for proper use of this film.
- Book reviews. I like reading and have a few nice and instructional books on film development and printing techniques. For all those starting out and looking for a good instruction manual, I will be giving my two cents (and more) on the ones I own. What do I like, what not, and why.
- Printing film pushed to ISO12800. In August 2015, Emulsive published an article on pushing Kodak Tri-X to ISO12800. The published results were encouraging, but were the result of scanned negatives instead of scanned wet prints. Push processing film tends to make printing harder, and I would like to find out for myself how far I can get in an all-wet-process.
- Prints. When developing film and making prints I keep notes on what I do and the results I find. For selected prints I will reveal these notes and discuss my process in going from negative to print. I invite you to comment, give tips and ask questions!
- Builds. Being an engineer I always have (crazy) ideas for new devices and machines. I am currently working on some plans for some darkroom equipment and doing the initial design work. If the numbers and budgets work out, you can expect to see the builds here.
As you can see, I plan on publishing quite some articles in the coming months so please be patient and stay tuned!