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Printer Attic Posts

Book review of K.I. Jacobson’s ‘Developing – The negative technique’

As it says on the about page of this blog, I am an engineer and scientist and rather technically inclined when it comes to my photography. Especially when it comes to my analog photography, and photo chemistry is a large part of that indeed. On advice of a member of the dutch ‘Analog Only’ facebook group, I purchased ‘Developing, the negative technique’ by K.I. Jacobson and R.E. Jacobson (ISBN 0 240 44770 0). Specifically, I got the eighteenth revised edition that was printed in 1976. I ordered it from a secondhand dealer via Amazon.de for €3,86 including shipping. A real steal if…

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The (al)chemist: formulary and chemistry books

For those that keep track of this blog somewhat regularly will not be surprised when I tell you that I am technically inclined. I have an interest in the chemistry of analog photography and recently purchased a few books on the topic. While I am reading them one by one, I am also writing reviews so you know which ones to get yourself. In this post, I will maintain a list of resources for you to consult and I provide mini-reviews of each. You will find links to the full reviews in the descriptions. This post will be a rolling release,…

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Method: Correcting perspective in the darkroom

Rule number 1 of using wide angle lenses is to keep the film plane parallel to the subject. This rule, however, is more often than not promptly broken, as it is impossible to get the composition you want without tilting the lens up or down. With the lack of tilt- and shift movements on the camera, we have to make a compromise here between the composition and accepting that lines, which used to be nicely parallel, are now all of a sudden converging. Without breaking the bank, the digital photographer just has to dive into his or her favorite photo…

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Book review of Tim Rudman’s “The Photographer’s Master Printing Course”

When I wrote my previous post, I decided it was time to get back out there and shoot more film. Unfortunately, the weather has been terrible since, with lots of rain or very dull, featureless, grey skies. Not being outdoors shooting or in the darkroom printing photos, leaves time to read though, and I have been going through Tim Rudman’s book titled “The Photographer’s Master Printing Course” (ISBN 1-85732-407-2) which can be had second hand for roughly 15 euro online. The review below concerns the 1995 reprint of the 1994 edition of the book. A revised version was published in…

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Method: storage of photographic film

Say, you just bought 10 rolls of film and plan to shoot them in the coming year. Or you have multiple printing papers that you use, some of which you use seldom. How do you store these properly and how do you keep them from developing undesired artifacts, such as a change in sensitivity (speed), contrast, color balance and fog level? Browsing the online photography fora will bring you a plethora of opinions and experiences with regard to the proper storage of unexposed photographic material. Some people claim that film that had been stored in a freezer for 28 years…

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Self portrait: burning in the highlights

In this first installment of the Print Improvement section of this blog, I return to a print I made in April this year. My girlfriend and I were at Scheveningen beach, when I asked her to take this portrait of me. The original print is shown in Figure 1, and was printed for the midtones to get skintones that looked okay to me. Although I was not unsatisfied with the original print, I felt there was more to it than I got out of it in that session. A second look at the contact sheet (see Figure 2), shows that there is quite some…

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Update: Why was it so quiet and what is coming up?

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.…

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Camera review: Fuji GS645s

Introduction A few weeks ago, I pulled the trigger and sold my Samyang 85mm f/1.4 AE lens and Nikon F80 to clear some space (and money) for a new camera. I ended up buying a Fuji GS645s via Bellamy Hunt, a.k.a. JapanCameraHunter (JCH)! About my experiences doing business with JCH, I will tell you it was a pleasant experience. Via his website you can send him a request for a camera that you are looking for and for what budget. Over e-mail we discussed the options and came to a deal. From my initial inquiry to the moment of delivery required no more than…

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Watching paint dry: the dry-down effect visualized

On page 44 of “The Photographer’s Master Printing Course” (ISBN 1-85732-407-2, 1995), Tim Rudman gives his readers some important advice that experienced printers often give to novices; to quote him: “Whether exposing for test strips or work prints, always base exposure calculations on dry prints. This is because prints, especially on fibre-based paper, darken as they dry – the so-called ‘dry down’ effect.” This is a piece of advice many inexperienced printers, including myself, more often than not choose to casually ignore. As Tim explains, the effect is considered to be most pronounced in fibre-based papers, which I currently do not use…

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Method: Testing old paper

Two weeks ago I was given an old box of Agfa Brovira-Speed BN312PE, grade 3 paper. It has been sitting in a cupboard on an attic for at least 15 years under less than ideal conditions. To determine if the paper is still of any use, I tested it for fogging and checked how it responded to anti-fogging measures. In this Method Section, I will briefly explain how I went about testing this paper and my conclusions. If you have any tips or tricks, drop me a line! I’d be happy to hear! How to test for fogging? A fog test…

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