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Printer Attic Posts

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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Darkroom economy: printing (cost) effectively?

Those that start working in the dark room to develop their own films and make their own prints soon find out that this is not a cheap hobby to pursue, especially compared to shooting fully digital. Now, some argue that because of the added expense of shooting film they shoot more deliberate, their pictures are better and their keep rate goes up. Although this is probably true to some extent, it does not outweigh the added cost of developing every photo to print. So, how to keep cost down if you prefer shooting film over digital? Here are three ideas I picked…

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Photo chemistry and paper: where to shop in Europe?

I just received some fresh supplies: a new box of Ilford Multigrade RC paper, three packs of Kodak D76, 1 l of Ilford Rapid Fixer and a 500 ml bottle of Adonal (more on this later!).  In this post I discuss four shops where you can source your photochemistry and printing supplies if you are in the Netherlands or Europe. Where to get you supplies? What places have the best deals, the largest inventory or the fastest shipping? Scroll down for more! Het Beeldgebouw http://www.hetbeeldgebouw.nl This company specializes in printing and presentation of photos. Besides their regular services they also feature…

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Method: making truthful reproductions of prints

Disclaimer, 22 december 2015: Only recently I realized that the variations measured are in tens of stops. F5.6 7 on the meter means is F/5.6 + 2/3 stop or F/7.1, rather than close to F/5.7. This make the measured deviations and gradients considerably larger. With proper illumination these gradients can still be eliminated. Making wet prints is at the heart of what I do here, but what would a photography blog be without photos of the prints I make? The first thing that might come to mind is simply putting the print onto a flatbed scanner. A proper photo scanner will…

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Welcome to the Printer Attic!

The title says it all, welcome to the printer attic! I will be taking you along on my personal journey on becoming a better printer in the darkroom. With a background in engineering and science, I take a systematic approach towards photography and my darkroom work.

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