Sunday, 23 January 2011

Darkroom Day

It's a darkroom day today, as was yesterday. I'm trying to catch up on making the contact prints for the backlog of films from last years trip to Hong Kong, Sydney and New Zealand. There were well over 200 to print. Then I can decide which negatives to scan for the web and make prints from.

Just taking a short break as the print washer is full and I'm leaving them washing in warm water for a few minutes. Tap water is a bit too cold to efficiently wash photographic paper at this time of year in the Derbyshire.

I'm using up old Ilford Multigrade Warmtone paper for the contact prints (actual size prints of sheets of negatives in Kenro crystal clear filing pages). I seldom use it now and it's taking up storage space that I need for paper that I do use. For contacts I just need low contrast prints so old paper is fine for this. Having to cut larger sizes down to the 12 x 9.5 inches that I use for this. I have made up 20 x 16 inch dishes each with 5 litres of processing chemicals at 1+4 dilution to make sure I can do as many as I can. I need the images asap.

The films from the recent Colorado trip (seems a long time ago now but just a week since we returned) are being collected on Tuesday by Neil from the Ilford processing lab. He doesn't know yet but they are ready for him to take back with him. I don't like film processing, it's too repetitive for me and would take 2 or 3 days for the 62 rolls I currently have. Ilford Lab use the same developer that I do and a dip and dunk processing machine so negatives cannot be damaged by rollers or other transport system. The quality is excellent too.

Neil is actually coming here with some prints from their digital printing service, made from digital files of my scanned negs that I sent over a while back. Hoping that they will be able to take over making prints for me that are small (postcard size) and larger than the 60 x 50cm (24 x 20 inch) I can do in my darkroom, using their Lightjet system that takes a digital file of an image and prints onto traditional silver gelatine paper. They have a new digital paper that reputedly gives improved results over what are already good prints. We shall see!
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