Fresh Prints

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 🙂

Not sure if this Agfa Brovira 111 is a true lith, but I like the tones

 

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I was very happy with this one

 

That background is crazy

 

Things got dark quick

That’s a knife

I’m pretty sure I’ve owned some type of Swiss Army knife since I was a teenager. I got my current knife sometime in the late 80s or early 90s. So almost 30 years. That means countless boxes opened, a bunch of IKEA furniture assembled, some light switch plates screws tightened, a few bottles of wine uncorked, and dozens of beer bottles uncapped. I don’t think I’ve used the awl tool that much. I know I used the long blade for something I shouldn’t have since the tip is broken off. The toothpick is long gone but the tweezers stuck around.

I was looking at it and thinking it might be time to get a new one. Then I got sentimental. There’s really no point in getting a new one. With all its issues, it still works. With a little luck, I will die owning this knife. Of course then it will probably end up in the trash. I can’t see my kids keeping it around.

I shot these pictures of the knife with an even older Nikon fm2 loaded with Ilford HP5 plus pushed to iso 3200 and developed in HC-110 dilution B

Bro, do you even lith?

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.

 

The Joy of Not Knowing What You Are Doing

I like the way this Stuff project 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.

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This is what I thought I was going to do

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.

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What did I do?

It’s much more evocative, with just a bit of focus at the top of the image and the subject off-center and cropped.

Here are some shots from my latest round.

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Imperial Debonair
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Argus C3
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Kodak Brownie Hawkeye
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Marx and Coffee Cup

Portraits of stuff

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.

Duaflex IV
Agfa Silette Pronto
Canonet QL17 GIII
Ansco Shur Shot