Category Archives: technique and style

how do you do that?

sun print

i realized last week the emulsion is sensitive enough to print through the photo paper if reversed.

UNwaxed paper negative

hand coated, printed through paper

 

this was printed in full sun for about 1 hour

Also posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper Tagged , |

a few prints

this first prints were made by a digital overhead transparancy at my local copy shop
originally it was a digital files taken in a snow storm at a local park.  one was taken on jamestown island ( the windmill )
a few weeks ago.  all 3 of them were made using expired photo paper behind the digital negative and left in the sun by a window
for a few days.  i scanned the images and used levels a little bit as i do every scan

overhead transparancy

sun print blue removed

xerox negative

windmill on jamestown

conimicut

xerox machinenegative

i made a nice few images using the new emulsion made the other day

a few photograms

speed test

fast sun print took minutes!

speed test

sunprint

 

and a waxed negative

speed test

suprint made with waxed negative through the back of the paper

Also posted in images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion Tagged , , , , |

chloro bromide emulsion #2

its been a while since i made the emulsion i wrote about here
but that isn’t to say it hasnt been on my mind since a year ago january.  i’ve  been distracted with life and trying to finish off all my film, and making more sun and retina
and cyanotype prints.  but this morning i decided to make some more go-juice.

i dont’ really have a recipe that  belongs to someone else i follow but i mix and match hoping it will work,  this time around here is what i am doing:

 

120cc water
4g iodized salt
12g potassium bromide
1cc of watered down D72 !
20g hard bloom gelatin

( my last batch was knox gelatin, it worked OK for a little while but eventually the gelatin broke down and made a mess )

i heated up the water and added and stirred all the ingredients so they are mixed and dissolved well.  the water i put in a cheap metal pot
and i heated it up on the single burner i use to roast my coffee.  when everything got dissolved and well mixed i took the salted gelatin out of the pot
it’s now sitting on the enlarger table.  i’ll go back down in a little bit and re-heat it to liquid again as i mix the silver nitrate and water together.

next is the silver nitrate i put on an apron, gloves and EYE GOGGLES and measured 32g silver nitrate and 120cc warm water.
and mixed this until it was completely dissolved.

with the safelight on and the salted gelatin warm i stirred like mad and slowly mixed the silver nitrate into the gelatin.
eyesight is nothing to play with, and silver nitrate will blind you without a second thought.  always use eye protection !

anyways i dribbled and mixed the silver nitrate in there and the whole mixture turned white.
i’ll use this as a paper emulsion, so i won’t bother to wash it.  i put the ball jar into a locking air tight container
and then in a black paper bag and stuck it in the refrigerator to set.

i have no clue if it will work or not, i’m looking forward to finding out soon !

in a few days i will coat some paper and expose it and post my results

 

OK it is the next day and i really couldn’t help myself …

the emulsion was put in one of those hinged jars that have a rubber seal, like the stuff you might
have on your counter with coffee beans or sugar or whatever ..  the bell jar was inside that ..  the whole thing in
a black bag photo paper usually comes in when it is in the box ..  i didn’t really trust that the jar i put it in was light proof
so i bagged it when i put it in the little fridge.

the moment of truth ..

i brought the jar to the red room and opened it, and it set ( WHEW ! ) i always worry i didn’t put enough gelatin in there
and it would be a watery mess.  it was emulsion alright

i scooped a little out and warmed / melted it and painted it onto some card stock.

its drying now …  but when its dry i will rip it in half and hide half of it.  i’ll put something on the card and turn the lights on
and make a photogram in some dektol and see if this stuff works.  after that i will put s cut piece in my K1000 and make a test strip to determine
exposure times and iso’s.  and easy way i usually do is f 11, block the lens off and make a series of 1 second exposures. and develop the strip to see what happens.

 

OK …

well i realized the watered down 1cc ( if that ) of liquid i added at the end was dektol, not hypo
i hate amber bottles !

i did my first 2 tests and coated some more paper.

the photogram i made i counted to 6 with the room light on and it made a killer photogram.
i handheld a slip inside a camera f2 $ 15 seconds and it looks to be about right.

they are still washing and more paper is drying so i can’t really say for sure what everything is.
i know if in the camera ends up being too tedious i make enough photograms and sun prints it won’t be an issue using this home brew emulsion

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a few hand tinted images

first ..   i probably have said this or explained my “terminology”
if i add colors by hand with paints &c i call the images hand painted, but if i
add the colors in photoshop i call them hand tinted.  these negatives
were made last fall, even before that sometime, but only processed recently.
i have had a real backlog of film to process, and luckily i have some D72 and Sumatranol C
all mixed up so it is pretty painless.

i’ve posted a few images from this group already ( last entry ) but here are a few more…

rocks and grass

4×5 negative, delmar camera, dektol+d72 and colors added in PS

the cove

4×5 negative, delmar camera, dektol+d72 and colors added in PS

fake mountains

4×5 negative, delmar camera, dektol+d72 and colors added in PS

the cove

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quebec sun prints

a few summers ago i went to quebec
i have wanted to make prints from the digital files, and the other day
i finally got a chance to do it.

the images are from a contact sheet made via photoshop, and inverted
and saved as a PDF file.  i brought it to my local copworld
and they made me a handful of overhead transparency images.

i grabbed one and a sheet of expired photo paper put them both into a contact frame and
put them out in the sun.  i’ve come to the conclusion the longer the image stays in the sun
the less it will fade when i scan it.  after a day or 2 in the sun i peeled the photo paper from the xerox negative
and scanned it.  the image is dark purplish brown on the paper, and i barely adjust the levels to bring it to “normal”

my scanner glass is dusty and scratchy so most of my time is spent removing that …

a couple i hand tinted in photoshop the others are as-is.

 

copper tone added in photoshop

statue in quebec
hand and bowl

xerox negative sun print

cannons at fortification colored in photoshop

slack

graffiti

sun print

old buildings cobble streets

Also posted in alternative process photography, photographs Tagged , , , , , |

difference between lenses and images

there are all sorts of lenses.  some are meant to be sharp and corrected and some are not.  the ones that are not are usually soft focus lenses, which were made in the 1800s and into the 1900s some as pictorial lenses ( they diffused the image so if the user wanted to photograph romantic scenes, panterly scenes &c the softness would add to the quality ) some were sold as portrait lenses because they were fast, and with slow processes ( daguerreotype, wet plates, early dry plate &c  ) you wanted as fast an exposure as possible.  you’ve probably seen old photographs of people, and their eyes look kind of ghoul-like,  its because they blinked during a long exposure, not because they were dead or possessed by evil spirits.  there are a lot of old lens designs some of the oldest used in cameras were the wollaston meniscus lens and the achromatic doublet / french landscape lens, also called the acromatic meniscus lens.

you can check out an wiki article on it here  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_photographic_lens_design

if you have an old box camera, a falling plate camera and other fun stuff, you might have removed the lens from it.  you probably saw there was a “choke” that looked like a barrel with a hole cut into it infront of the lens that acted like a fstop.  that lens might be an achromatic meniscus lens or a wollaston meniscus lens.  if you ever tried to put it on another camera or your enlarger without the choke, you will have noticed that it is really hard to focus.  daguerre and others noticed the same thing so they put the same sort of fstop in front.  it brought things in focus.

over the years i have played around with modern lenses and made soft images with them.  the modern lenses might have been a modern G or D nikon lens or an older tessar, or zukio or pentax lens, or something i took off another camera and put on a 4×5 camera as a taking lens. i have a variety of images, some made with soft focus lenses ( veritar, and maybe verito and meniscus lenses ) as well as these other modern lenses but i won’t tell you which one is which.  if you can tell, that is great, i am sure if i was shown these images, in print form printed by a lab or in the dark by me i wouldn’t be able to tell which was which, and to be honest the only reason i know is because i remember taking them.

 

 

hurt finger

last one

3 of 4

2 of 4

first of 4

jim’s gift

soft , east france

off of route 1a southern ri

soft image of power lines

spft image in a parking lot

soft image from print

Also posted in Misc. Tagged , , , |

electric midnight blue

working on a new project i am going to call electric midnight blue it uses a varient of the sunprints i have been making these images were all made today in overcast sun in about 1-2 hours next group will be cyanotypes, and thinking of making them really big down the road ..  for now they will be small

 

sun prints polymax rc

electric midnight providence

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contact sheets

aside from sending rolls of 110 or 127vp to the local drug store or fotomat, or mail away to yorks i processed my own black and white film.  when i was in high school i learned about developing film, and putting the developed, procesed black and white negatives into those plastic sleeves.  for the better part of 10 years i put a sheet of photo paper under the developed film and exposed it in a bright light for  a few seconds, and then into the developer and fix and wash like a lot of people, contact sheets were my go-to way of viewing negatives after they were shot, processed and ready to print.

i’d look at the sheets, and circle or “X” the views to print or not to print, and keep track of things.  in some cases the contact sheet is all i have left after i had a flood and a bunch of my best negatives turned to clear film / emulsion soup.  as time wen ton for some reason, maybe it was becasue $$ was scarce and i wanted to save my paper for prints, or because so many of my exposures were all over the place that a contact sheet would only show part of the story, or maybe i just got lazy, and stopped making contact prints.  i got good at looking at the negative and seeing the print reversed.  i saw the contrast and somehow decided it was good enough.

i miss making contact sheets, but unfortunately 27 years worth of procesed film to make contact sheets of ,or 4×5 or bigger negatives to make contact sheets of is a daunting task and i would rather not bother.  back in the late 90s i bought a umax1200 scanner and it was fantastic.  it did everyting i needed, and i think i still have it in a box.  it was nice becasue i could scann all size film upto 5×7.  and i started scanning film instead of making contact sheets and it worked out as a good compromise.

i use a couple of nikon digital slr’s as well as film, they aren’t new but a d100 and d200,  they do what i need them to do, and i like that.  when i make a  bunch of exposures i still make contact sheets of them believe it or not,  sometimes they are postiiveprooof sheets, and sometimes they are negatives.  today i wandered around the streets or providence ri, and have plans for digital negatives.  i worked on the frames and turned them into contact sheets to bring to the xerox shop.  im not a machine gunner, i don’t click and look except once in a while to make sure the meter was working.   the camera is set to 1 frame at a time and i take my time as if i am using a film camera.  if i had a film camera i would have shot just as many views and sat on the curb or stone wall to unload and load the camera and maybe i would have runout of film.  i’ll be heading out to staples tomorrow to see what is what.  my local copy shop charges 10x what staples charges for regular copies, so whilei want to support my local shop im not that rich.  i’ll be getting paper as well as OHP film to see if there is a difference and making cyanotypes soon.

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

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TMY retina image

as i have been making long exposures again

here is another one on kodak tmax 400 film

this is a very long exposure, reversed negative tweeked levels and color removed and then tint added in photoshop

 

retina

multi hour retina image
reversed tinted with photoshop

Also posted in alternative process photography, film development technique, Misc. Tagged , , |

cyclone negative cyanotype

a couple of days ago i was making some more cyanotypes i loaded up some contact frames with waxed negatives to see if i could get a better print than i did with my old coated paper some of those prints just didnt’ work out ..  and at the same time i found an old hand coated paper negative made with the cyclone #3 a while ago, that was just sitting on the tabletop.  i had cleaned up quite a bit a week or 2 ago:  i swept the floor;  i organized;  i put things away;  i stacked things;  i found things i hadn’t seen in a while.  the paper negative was a rediscovery, even though it wasn’t really lost.  it seems like it was coated on xerox paper, it is thin and durable.  not sure what emulsion is on it, maybe foma?  maybe my home-brew, not sure.  it has a nice contrast and look and i stuck it in the contact frame.  the waxed negatives took a ton of time before to expose, so i was banking on a day or 2 in the sun for all 3 of the cyanotypes.  it was a lot more diffuclt in late october because the sun is low, and it moves across the sky differently than before, so i had to really follow the sun around with the print frames. i did OK i suppose, but i was more in open shade than i was in the sun, and that is OK too.  the print is made from the same classic formula i coated the others with.  and after 2 days in the sun i washed it in water and added a little hydrogen peroxide to finish the development, and eventually i painted some areas of the print with dilute washing soda to give a yellowish hue to some areas. anyhow, its the kitchen table and window and chairs. not sure if i am going to add my own colors or leave it, the blue tones of cyanotypes are starting to grow on me.

 

classic, and blue

window table and chairs
classic cyanotype H2O2 to develop out faster as i always do, and a little washing soda to bleach and ad color

http://jnanian.imagekind.com/store/Images.aspx/e7b40dbc-7aba-4bf2-ae7f-355201cb53c4/RecentUploads

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the honey jar

there is a bee keeper on the other side of town i like to buy honey from.  i usually drive down his drivewaywhich looks like it isn’t really there from the head of the street, but you just make a left and follow the dirt road.  you arrive and there are honey bees flying around doing their thing.  if i was my younger self i wouldn’t be very happy, i’ve been bitten by bees or yellow jackets and wasps and hornets when i was a kid, and i have a healthy misunderstood fear about honey bees.  they just do their thing, its the other “stuff” that want to sting you.  just yesterday i was talking with an old friend who told me about how he moved a school desk in his back yard and a cyclone of thousands of yellow jackets came out and chased him inside.  he’s the same guy who told me a story years ago, when i mentioned we had yellow jackets flying out of a hole in the ground, he told me about hiking in california or someplace and stopping at an overlook of some sort and he heard the hum of high tension wires / electricity.  he looked around and there were no power lines but he noticed yellow jackets coming out of the ground.  he was standing on a giant hive …  he kind of kept walking and didn’t look back.

anyways, the bee keeper …

i’ve gone there a few times and told friends and family about him.  he goes by the name papa roger in case you want some, or want to buy some bees or bee keeping supplies https://sites.google.com/site/paparogersfarm/contact the first batch of honey i got from him was in a big quart jar, and it was black as tar, and amazing.  the 2nd batches were in smaller jars and the usual amber color.  we’re out now and i have to bring my jars back to papa roger to be re-filled with his local honey.  some say that consuming honey is good if you have allergies to pollen, hay fever &c.  im not sure if it is true, or not, i just like his honey.

this is one of the jars. i made some cyanotypes from it.  i used fresh mixed cyanotype emulsion, the “classic” recipe there are as many recipes for making classic cyanotypes as there are people who make them

the one i used:

50 g. Ferric Ammonium Citrate (8 oz. H2O)

Part B 35 g. Potassium Ferricyanide ( 8oz. H2O)

the blues are deep and dark and beautiful.  the cyanotypes i had been making the last few weeks were made with pre-coated paper from 7+ months ago, i could see the difference immediately the fresh coated, fresh made paper is more sensitive to light, and depending on the batch i used the blue can be more intense.  the contrast is really high so i have decided to use the sun in open shade if i can for at least part of the exposure and direct sun for part of the exposure, it gives a fuller image. anyways here are 3 honey jars

3 jars

hydrogen peroxide added to wash water, then a tiny bit of washing soda.

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making color where there is only black and white

i’ve been toying with tri chromes, or tri chrome-esque photographs for a few years now.  i first learned about trichromes after reading and seeing the photographs made by the russian photographer before world war 1. (http://mentalfloss.com/article/29615/100-year-old-color-photos-pre-revolution-russia )

i knew this process existed, even before i saw those beautiful russian photos when i visited an uncle and he told me you can take 3 black and white negatives, one with a red filter, one with a blue and one with a green and print them on color paper together and make color photographs.  i never did this until a few years ago, and i was hooked.

 

i’ve even thought about buying an big old rickety camera that takes 3 exposures at once, but i’ve settled on an old polaroid camera called a portrait land 600 that takes 6 exposures at once on a sheet of 4×5 film.  its a passport camera and was given to me by my friend whitey, a collector of fun-stuff, and great photographer to boot !   well, this entry isn’t about making trichromes using black and white film, or black and white separation negatives in-camera but something i have been trying to figure out for a couple of years:  how to take a regular black and white photo and turn it into a  color one.  i figured it wasn’t one of those things that was super hard, after all ted turner colorized all those classic movies, but it was something that i couldnt’ figure out until today.

i frequent dpug ( digital photo user group ) and have posted the question there but i always got complicated answers.  i made the mistake of doing the 10 day free trial for afinity photo ( i didn’t get it, long story short, no customer support ! ) and didn’t get it, BUT i did manage to see interesting videos on how to do stuff, and one was a technicolor photo effect.  affinity doesn’t work completely like photoshop, and i have been using PS since the 90s, so i was looking for hints …  it was extremely complicated making layers and nesting cmy adjustment layers.  the guy made it look really easy though.

 

today i watched youtube photoshop tutorials for doing similar things.  one guy just gets rid of the blue layer and adds a green one it was kind of fun.  another guy showed how to make SIMPLE separatoin negatives. so i took what i needed from affinity ( what levels to put the cmy levels ) and the simple separation files and this is what i did … sorry i don’t have charts or graphs &c but it is pretty simple, and i have done it with b/w files and it was fun to turn them into color photos …

 

you open your image file and get your channel / layers dialog box, and click color channels.  there is a little arrow and click it

and use the ” channel splitter ” it will give you 3 identical files labled red green blue  and for each one go to mode and change

them each from grey scale to rgb.  go to hue / saturation  for each file and click “colorize”

for red put the top slider at 180 (cyan ) for blue put the slider to 60 ( yellow ) and for green put it to 300 ( magenta ).

now select the whole image edit>copy  and file new and go into the channel palette and drop each file

into the individual color channels r -g-b and at then … there you go, you have a color photograph

or, sort of a color photograph

 

trichrome technique

centerville mill

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waxed field and photograms

another from a recent slew of waxed negative cyanotypes

waxed and exposed, mottled sky

waxed negative 2 day exposure

one of the last coated papers from the winter/spring when i coated and coated to use up my sensitizer.  the  paper is yellowish from being bleached a little bit, maybe 10 seconds with sodium carbonate, but the reverse side of the paper has a clear image as if the cyanotype embedded itself inside the paper.  i almost scanned THAT side instead of the actual side i exposed on.

 

hair care tools

tools of the trade

broken glass and glass

desaturated cyanotype

 

the absolute last cyanotypes from last winter/spring,

and a few comments …

pre coated paper lasts a long while but gets slower every day it sits in a light safe.  even darkish weirdly colored paper still has some juice left in it and it just takes a little extra time in the sun.  waxed prints bleed through the paper but the image isn’t as clear or nice on the other side.  #10 envelopes make great cyanotype paper.  they are fun to coat and expose on and a great aspect ratio.  when they are washed all the glue that holds them together lets go and it leaves you with wings they can be ignored or included in the final piece.  this time i ignored them but next time i won’t.  cyanotypes are so much fun i almost want to stop using a camera and film and photo paper !  … almost.

as i type this entry i have some more ideas to do with photo paper and hand coated emulsion.  ideas that will give me black paper because the black paper i coated bled black dye all in my chemistry, because i dont’ want to deal with black glass, and while i have exposed and processed and re-coated with liquid emulsion regular photopaper in the past i might have stumbled upon something easy and fun to do that doesnt’ require double dipping in photochemistry.

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straight, untinted, unpainted cyanotypes

been making more cyanotypes lately … and have been using paper that is probably  gettng close to being dead.  it takes a long while to make exposures, and sometimes the color bleads out but that is OK, it is fun cheap and easy to make more sensitizer, something i will be doing probably in the next week or two.  i’m not quite sure what recipe i will use.  maybe i will use the 2x green : 1x ferri, maybe i will do something in between, i’m not quite sure.  here are a few from ongoing series – tools and things nearby.

hatchet

just a hatchet

1 flat, 3 not

hand wrenches some big some smaller

green leaves

before they changed color

 

i made this retina print while i was making the hatchet cyanotype.  they were both the same very long exposure.  i loaded the graflex 3a up with some hand coated paper as a negative ( 2 4×5 sheets ) ..  one didn’t make it, the one i fiddled with i was able to show the “invisible rays of light” usually talked about with the origins of photography

hatchet

photograph of a photograph being made

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emulsive

i thought i posted a link to this but i guess it got away from me.

i was interviewed by emulsive.org a little while ago about film and emulsion and what i am up to. in case you don’t know about emulsive org what i am up to here is the link what’s emulsive.org ?  feel free to go there, its a pretty interesting site

well worth the click !

I am John Nanian and this is why I shoot film

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