Tag Archives: dektol

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

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper, using vintage equipment Also tagged , , , , , , |

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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photo illustration sort of, PS colored photo reconstruction

a while back i made some paper negative from hand made emulsion the negatives were more like a collage of things, images, textures, brush strokes. i decided to scan big and crop small and the image i retrieved from the paper was a sweet photograph of trees and a fencepost, but it always seemed to be missing something whenever i looked at it.  i put it aside for a good 6 months and looked at it a little bit more once i had distance from it

 

railing and trees

railing and trees

 

the other day i spent a handful of hours working on it.

i enlarged the canvas, i added colors ( which was i originally had hoped to do )

anyways, i worked and worked added, and subtracted and came up with this

 

 

cyclone

reworked image

it took hours, and it really still isn’t completely done, but it was fun making something that never really existed.

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion Also tagged , , , |

a few photograms, with hand made emulsion

i love making photograms.  they only take a second, and they are a blast.

 

bulbs

inverted photogram
onion bulbs

 

spoon

hand made inverted photogram

Posted in images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion Also tagged , , |

for some things, thin paper seems best

its been a week or two since i mixed up the emulsion,and started playing with it.  i’ve come to the conclusion that this emulsion works likes thin smooth paper like the butcher paper that i use thick velum paper i sometimes use for bottled emulsion paper negatives and cyanotypes don’t really provide a good negative for me with this emulsion, maybe it is because i don’t use photo grade gelatin, maybe its because i didn’t coat the paper with gelatin first like a sub layer so the emulsion sits too far in the paper, i’m not sure what it is, but the next coating sesison i do, i will coat more thin paper.  i do have some thicker sheets coated, i actually double coated everything to give me better contrast.  i get OK contrast but some of the images just don’t work well.  i have some that worked well, but my success rate is not very high with thick paper.

ive been doing small test sheets, in a 35mm camera to get an idea of iso, and how the images look.  the emulsion is starting to get white and black speckles in it  so i have to use it up before it goes bad, and then i will probably use up my bottled stash and make some more fresh emulsion soon after.

a few photographs from my efforts

 

delmar

tree in the wind, 25 seconds

crop

4×5 thick paper negative

same emulsion long exposure. the emulsion loves sunny windows

same emulsion long exposure. the emulsion loves sunny windows

trees and umbrella crop from a larger negative

trees and umbrella crop from a larger negative

80+ seconds hand held 35mm test frame

80+ seconds hand held
35mm test frame

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a few more paper negatives

as i wait for single coated paper to flatten out so i can coat them a 2nd time  i have a few paper negatives exposed the last few days in a cyclone, and processed yesterday.

i scanned 8 and have worked on a few ..  i added color sometimes, or not they lean off center.

paper negative

paper negative

railing and trees

railing and trees

Posted in alternative process photography, liquid emulsion, using vintage equipment Also tagged , , |

new paper negatives from rockland AG+ emulsion

i’ve been coating thing with rockland emulsion off and on since i was told about it in 1986.  i had never made the investment in a tube of ag+.  i’ve always been on the poorer side of the street when it comes down to buying “stuff”  so i used the regular old non multigrade emulsion and then most recently someone gave me a tube of their extremely expired VC emulsion.  i am fond of making glass negatives and as you probably have read if you poked around this blog i like making ( or trying to make ! ) ferrotypes and glass positives, the ones made with silver gelatin emulsion, not collodion.  the emulsion that comes with the rockland tintype parlor is the ag+.  it was never enough for me in that tiny tube they provide, so i called bob, the guy at rockland and asked him if i could use the other emulsions ( regular, or vc or ? ) to make the tintypes and he said

“sure!  just coat it thicker because it doesn’t have as much silver as the ag+ ”

so that is what i did for a few years, coated things 2x.

now i am out of the other emulsions ( they sort of crapped out on me and turned useless seeing they were so old ) so i cracked open a bottle of the ag+ i bought on a whim IDK 4 or 5 years ago.  i chopped some out of the tube and double boilered it to melt it and i painted some on some butcher paper with a brush like i always do.  i have a puddle pusher but to be honest i never liked using it, so i never did.  the test negative i made came out terrible.  well, it wasn’t THAT bad, but it wasn’t as good as i had hoped.  i looked at the expiration date on the bottle and it wasn’t too out of date so i coated some more with the same bottle.  this time i used the puddle pusher. and boy am i glad i did !

most of the things i coat tend to have brush marks, sometimes it is good and i like that painterly feel, its something extra, a bonus but after i used the puddle pusher i think i might continue to use it and use it often !  the emulsion spread smooth and evenly, no marks, no problems.  i stuck a cut piece of 4×5  ( its actually 4 pieces of a little bigger than 35mm ) into my trusty old pentax K1000 and made an exposure out the window.  mundane scene, shadow, concrete steps, brick walk, plants.  it had contrast and texture and mid-day f16 iso 1 brightness, so i could figure out what the iso was of this now expired emulsion.

1 second hand held  then into the soup.

i have my caffneol in a big tupperware tub and i have a small one to scoop it out for trays, like a ladle …  seeing i don’t use much besides dektol and caffenol i sometimes have a bit of residual caked on coffee in the small tub.  usually it just dissolves with the caffenol i drain out of the big tub,  ..  i didn’t use the big tub this time.  i poured a little dektol into the container and added about 2x that amount of water.  the coffee dissolved nicely as i stired it a little bit.  the negative went in and i agitated it by flipping it, than by swirling the container and rocking it back and forth.  the image slowly appeared as expected in about 30-45 seconds ..  i developed to completion until i hit the 2 minute mark then into a water rinse then hardened fixer then i washed and hunt it to dry.  i didn’t make a contact print of the small paper negative but i scanned and inverted it.  no photoshop but sizing and inverting.  i have to say i was happy with what i saw.

 

stoop

stoop

i have a handful more papers all coated and ready to expose.

 

Posted in liquid emulsion Also tagged , |

last group of cups and plates

i had a mini project with cups and saucers and bowls and plates.  all taken with a large camera on sheet film, processed in coffee and print developer ..  scanned and colors added by me ..  all sort of green and red, some better than others, all just fun  and playing around.

 

the bottom cups and handles were not taken at the same time, and just sort of fit together and noticed after the fact …

green and red cups and plates

hand colored

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film processed in dektol and coffee

my last entry i mentioned i had finished exposing about 36 sheets of film.  it was more than that ..  4 bag-mags filled with a variety of tmx ( 100 ) tmy (400 ) and some mystery film that was bad enough that it never exposed.  maybe 10 sheets were as clear as unexposed film when it came out of the developer.  they were some of the first sheets i processed to test the developers.  i increased the times and added a little more dektol to my mix.  originally it was about 1:8 but i added so it was more like 1:6.

i hadn’t ever processed film in dektol before, only heard about it, and i have to say i was happy with the results.  i have to fine tune my dilutions and times but for the most part everything looked good.

i exposed in a variety of different lighting conditions, room light, weak window light, bright light and i exposed my film well.  sometimes developers need a little encouragement.  i go against convention.

here are 2 from my  39 sheets.

1:6 / 7+ 7mins.

dektol and sumatranol test

1:6, 7+7 mins

dektol test

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around 36 exposures

the last few days i have been using a graflex slr ( series D )  ..  just moments ago i exposed my last 12 exposure  ” bag mag ” full of what might be foma 2oo and tmx 100.  i loaded the film a month or so ago in anticipation of using it up fast.  i researched the notch codes seeing i didn’t recognize them, there are a lot of films that used that code and my best guess is that i loaded was fomapan200.  i found this very strange because i have have only bought fomapan200 film once in my life and the film box is unopened.  …  i am certain there are elves living nearby and they seem very interested in large format photography!  they have borrowed my light meters and cameras, film holders, glass plate holders, even film and dry plates in the past … usually the stuff is lost for about a year and they put things back with film i have never purchased.  so, i’m guessing this 30 sheets of fomapan200 was an exchange for the 30 sheets of tmy ( old 400 ) that went missing about a year ago.  it sounds almost like a modern brothers grimm story ( the shoemaker and the elves ), but that’s a post for a later date.

===

i loaded it in the bag mags ( 4 of them ) and made some controlled exposures to test my new film developer line which is DEKTOL 1:7 ( 4 mins )  then SUMATRA CAFFENOL C ( 5 mins ) then wash and fix normally.  if you read my posts here from time to time you will notice this seems familiar.  i usually do the same thing using ansco 130  ….  while it is sort of a new adventure, i am quite certain it will be just fine and i probably won’t even notice the difference.   i’ll post a few scans after i process the film.

 

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3 paper negatives inverted

again with my paper negative tests

my dektol tests

my dektol + sumatra coffee developer split development tests

 

today i loaded film holders up and exposed the negatives in a more controlled environment.  i used a graflex series D camera so i cold focus and have a better idea of the exposure than a box camera …

well — sort of.

i also took a light meter reading, something i haven’t done in probably 2 years.  i wanted to know the unknowns and make exposures to see what was going on.   the first exposures was the middle one the images were all taken through a window — i pointed the meter out and set to iso 6.  i read about 6 seconds @ f4.  so i focused and stopped down a teeny bit and counted to 8 seconds  the 2nd exposure ( far left ) stopped down a quarter turn and about 20-22 seconds.  the 3rd exposure was a double exposure.  the first one stopped down more than 1/4 turn 20 seconds and then  wide open about 4 seconds.

not sure exactly what my fstops were because the lenshood blocks the numbers, i just know it wasn’ t f3.8 and it  wasn’t f 32 …

the prints were processed a the same exact time.  when the image appeared to come up i switched from dektol to caffenol then back in the dektol for a little boost in contrast i scanned them and inverted them and just barely adjusted the levels. my guess is the exposures and development were pretty much on target and the paper

hasn’t lost much contrast or gained much fog in 15 years since it is old and expired KODAK paper … i wish it didn’t all have kodak professional paper watermarking the back of the paper, or i would contact print the negatives into positive prints, the exposures look good for that too.

graflex paper negatives

dektol sumatranol split

 

even though this looks like 1 image, if you click on it you will see all 3

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what did i mean by paper negative test?

i recently mentioned something about a paper negative test.

i suggested bracketing exposures and judging your negatives …

here, i have uploaded 3 images

 

the first

not photoshopped

cyclone #3 maybe f11

as the caption reads ..  it was taken with a cyclone #3 which i guess is around f11

light meter was set to iso 6 and it suggested  5 seconds

i count fast …  so i counted to 6.

the developer was 2 day old dektol, it is cold in my darkroom but the image appeared at around 20 sconds

so from previous experience, ( making prints in dektol ) i let it develop out fot at least 1 minute.

the negative looks ok.  there is a roundness to it because the lens has a big hot spot,

the edges are light the middle of the negative is dark.

the inversion ( #2 )

straight inversion, of a straight scan

f 11 6 seconds 15 year old polymax rc

the inverted positive looks OK

( kodak paper has writing on the back so i don’t bother contact printing kodak paper negatives )

the center of the image is light, the sides are dark, the background blown out.

this is expected.

today was an overcast day

this was about 145pm

the sky has a lot of blue light but where i was ..  was filtered a little so my meter gave me

a false reading.  for the deck where i was it was OK, the wood, the deck chairs and flower pots

seem to be OK exposed  …  if i was to multiple expose or burn in .. while making the exposure

i would under expose the sky and trees

with a little PS – love

it doesn’t look much different ..

i adjusted the woods a little bit, evened out a little bit the roundness and brightness / contrast

brightness, lightness burning in selective contrast

cyclone might have needed an extra few seconds for the woods
maybe burn in ..

 

next exposure will be tomorrow …

maybe i will try 6 seconds and in camera dodge out the sky

the developer might be a little easier to work with too …

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paper negatives

some people hate paper negatives.

they have trouble with them because they don’t realize how they need to be exposed and treat them like film.  they develop them like regular prints, and think that a “beefy” paper negative will print great like a “beefy negative”. photo paper is not film, it isn’t sensitive to the same light as film and its sensitivity changed.

what does this mean ?

in a simple way of putting it is  film is panchromatic, so it is sensitive to red, green blue light.  think of it as being  sensitive to all light …and unless you are using color film, light is light.  photo paper is sensitive to blue light, and sometimes to green light.  different times of the day, different light conditions (shade, open shade, bright sunlight, cloudy day &c) different amounts of blue light are around, so even though it might seem “bright” it might not be …  this might not make much sense.  but you can do a little experiment.  if you have a “hot light”  the old fashioned ones that use tungsten bulbs make an exposure with that bulb as your light source, and then use a different light source, maybe a CF bulb that has mostly red in it …  and make the same exposure with your paper…  you might notice one negative “better” than the other.  its also the reason at least with multi contrast papers why you can use filters to adjust the contrast of the image … anyways, photo paper might be fast in one light condition and slow in another, AND different manufacturers use different light sensitive emulsions on their paper so they will have different “speeds” too.  you might see speeds listed on the box of paper, they are not the same as film speeds, but only relative to the paper.   as a point of reference, regular photo paper typically has a iso ( asa ) relative to film about 6, sometimes as high as 25 if you plan on shooting paper negatives, its best to do exposure tests .    bracket exposures, like you would for film, and take notes if that is your sort of thing.  years ago there were oodles of papers on the market, and i did paper exposures for maybe 15 different ones these days there aren’t as many so it might be a little easier.

developer  …

you should develop your paper negatives the same way you develop your prints ” to completion”  …  don’t pull the print out of the developer when “it looks right”  because you won’t get a good print, just like you won’t get a good negative.  contrast comes out first then the mid tones afterwards.  a beefy negative or a thin one … i guess it all depends on what the negative will be used for.  will you make a contact print with it ?  will you scan and invert it ?  will you make a sun print with it? if you plan on contact printing your paper negatives thin ones sometimes work best, too dense it is hard for the light to pass through and you will get a thin positive print.  if you plan on scanning and inverting, a dense negative might suite your needs ..  i guess it depends on how good your photoshop skills are.

sun prints are a bit different.  it takes a long time for the sun’s light to pass through the photo paper.  i have waxed the negative with paraffin and made it somewhat translucent and light passed through a bit easier.  i can’t help you there, you have to experiment to see what works best for your situation.

 

 

why do i like paper negatives ?

photo paper is cheap compared to film, and it is instant compared to film.  i find exposing paper negatives whether they are negatives i coated by hand with liquid or home made emulsion or in a box to be more fun … there is a sense of the unknown sometimes … with film, you pretty much know what you are going to get  … also, i would rather make a long exposure than an instant one …  while instantaneous fraction of a second exposures have their place portraits of fidgety kids, maybe pet photography, large groups where everyone seems to be moving, sports, science / nature photography there is a thing about long exposures that almost makes a scene or person come to life  …  but that is another entry for another time.

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dektol paper negatives

i am a little rusty at making paper negatives with anything but ansco 130 with the 130 i used to leave a tray out till it turned black and was still active  and use it as a 2nd bath along with a tray of fresh developer.  since  dektol doesn’t have glycin in it it doesn’t have the same long lifespan as ansco130 so when it turns black i spike it with a capful of stock solution.  i haven’t nailed the right exposures with the paper, or the right split yet but it is fun putzing around trying to start over again using a new developer with past experiences i learned from another.  sometimes they can be just transfered (i did this with 1 developer it should and does do the same thing with another) and sometimes it is just totally different … (i did this with 1 developer, and my contrast with the new developer is too much) luckily i have shelves full of paper and a few packets of dektol so i don’t think i won’t learn the the technique with the new developer.

 

yesterday i burned a few paper negatives and processed them in fresh dektol maybe 1:1.5

i split processed the paper in a tray of sumatranol –

harsh outside light soft inside light

split D + sumC

 

cyclone

toning down the dektol, used caffenol c as a 2nd bath

 

cyclone + 10-15 year old polymax rc

split dektol and caffenol

 

 

 

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it looks like i am off the good – stuff

after 15 years, or actually more like almost 18 or 20 years … i am not using ansco 130 developer to process my prints, paper negatives, film or work as an additive in my caffenol c developer.  for nearly 2 decades i have used this lovely glycin based developer, at first mistakenly thinking it was GAF UNIVERSAL and then making it my developer of choice.  would buy 8 gallons at once, mix them and use them as i needed for a year …  then 6 when i stopped printing as much, and then 4 when i started processing everything in caffenol ( or sumatranol ) …  well, last year it looks like i bought 4 gallons, and i just ran out, over a year later. …  the developer lasts about a year as a stock solution and it was no longer clear, but brown.  rather than shell out the big bucks and buy 2 gallons at a time for 25$ plus shipping, i decided to do something really old-school.  i mixed up a gallon of dektol. dektol, D72, the developer made famous by  kodak …  and it seems to be working fine.  i have split processed prints with it and i have added some into my caffenol c  ( instead of caffenol 130 i think i am going to call it Dcaffenol )  …  and i have developed out some paper negatives that look nice too.  not bad for 6$ plus maybe 1$ for gas.

i’m also using it to reformulate a reversal developer, so stay tuned !

 

 

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