Spent part of this week outside of Phoenix on an business trip. As usual, I spent most of my time in the hotel, but I did sneak out one evening for some shots of the golf course with my Diana and a roll of Ilford Fp4.
Here are the highlights from my past few weeks in the darkroom. Most of these are printed on some expired Kodak Kodabromide paper I got from eBay. One is expired Agfa Brovira 111. Which is which should be obvious 🙂
I recently picked up some expired photo paper from The Resource Exchange–a kind of thrift store for artists here in Philadelphia.
I had never heard of the paper but it had “Bro” in the name which made me think it would be a good lith paper. For $6 I got about 15 sheets of Agfa Brovira BW 119. It looks to be from the 60s or 70s.
A few sheets were fogged, which was to be expected.
I googled it to see if people had any experience with it in lith. Of course, there were about a hundred different opinions. Some people claimed it didn’t lith and others that it just needed a ton of time It turned out really well in lith for me so that’s that. Here are the final prints.
I like the way this Stuffproject is pushing me. Using diopters on the Diana means I am shooting blind. The Diana’s viewfinder–already suspect–is useless. And, focusing is pretty haphazard. I think my focus range is about 7 inches. But the depth of field is small. The happy result of these constraints is that I am taking pictures I never would have without them.
For example, when I started, I thought I would be shooting something like this.
I took this picture with the Graflex 4X5. It’s not a bad picture. A simple full-image of an object with it fairly centered. It’s object as icon. And it’s pretty much what I shoot when I shoot street scenes or buildings.
Now, I am getting pictures like this.
It’s much more evocative, with just a bit of focus at the top of the image and the subject off-center and cropped.
I’ve got this vague idea for a project that involves grainy, up-close images of stuff using the Stellar (Diana clone). Not sure exactly what I’m trying to say with these images. But maybe that will come to me.
I’m my precious post, I realized I would need to get closer for the look I wanted. These shots of one of my Kodak DuaflexIV cameras feel like the right intimacy. I can definitely see some parallels to buildings I’ve shot.
I shot these on Ilford HP5+, pushed (as much as I can in a toy camera) to 1600 and developed in D-76H. There may not be enough grain for me so I might have to go back to the Delta 3200.
I got the macro effect by stacking a +3 and +2 diopter over the lens. This gave me about a 7 inch focus. Tim at filterfind was extremely helpful in figuring out this solution. If you shoot with older cameras and need filters this place is the best! I used a Kodak Series 6 system which fit well on the Diana’s lens. It’s still a bit of a crap shoot with depth of field. I will stop the lens down to help with that.
Idea for a new project: still life portraits of things that are important to me, taken with the Diana on fast film to enhance grain.
Here are some proof of concept shots of some of my cameras on Delta 3200. The first hurdle that needs to be overcome is that the closest the Diana focuses is 4 ft. I am going to rig up a diopter to get closer to 1 ft. The other hurdle is that the viewfinder for the Diana is wildly off, so I’m never quite sure what is in frame. Will have to play around with that one.