It's good to be back on the island just doing nothing much except some relaxing stuff and a few bits inside the darkroom.
The rather well planned darkroom sessions did however suddenly get a bit disrupted as the damn bulb inside my enlarger went south as I was lining up for a second or third go at a few negs I've got around this place. No big issue though, as I also had a few other plans on my list of stuff to get through. Still it was rather annoying, of course. New bulbs should be on their way as we speak, so I hope to carry on some time quite soon. And by the way, I'm really happy to say that this post contains prints only. No film scans, for once.
OK, these are all just snaps of the actual prints taken with my mobile phone as there's no other way to get this done here on the island. Lack of space and such, you know. Anyway here's more or less what it looks like, a lith print done on old and not very useful Emaks paper. Just have to add that this is after the final treatment (see below). Oh, and yes... the neg was an old one, I know.
So, today has been the day of doing things I've never done before.
That said, I also did a few things I've never done before inside the darkroom as well if we take a few steps back and look at stuff I did a few days ago before that bulb broke.
I did Lith, for the first time as it happen. Not a big deal you might say, but actually it was not that simple either. Didn't do a lot of prints, but maybe 7-8 more or less failures on some 5"x7" paper. The good thing I learned from these couple of short evenings in the dark might well be summed up in just a couple of bullet points:
- Patience is a vertue, and very much needed. Loads of it actually, but probably depending on a few variables anyway.
- My totally useless (for anything else) and quite old batch of Emaks paper suddenly is worth it's weight in gold, or something similar. It has just the look I was after (or at least so it seems, as I still got a very long way to go until I'm hopefully getting a little bit more familiar with the process...) as it seems to contain the right tones and stuff like that.
But back to the stuff I learned today instead.
You see I got some farmers reducer in the form of dry chemicals laying inside the darkroom, and decided to give it a try to see how it sort of worked. Well... it works very well as it happens. Way too well to be more precise. Note to self: be a bit more careful when adding Potassium Ferricyanide into the mixture, as it will more or less ruin your prints if you stumble at this point.
Then, after you've just totally messed up your first print, you may want to double or so the amount of water just for good measure. Still you only need to wash your prints a few seconds into this stuff to get the effect you were probably after. Sometimes maybe more, other times less of course.
Another lith, this time from a bit more recent neg. This had the same treatment done as the one above. Same paper as well.
I also mixed myself a couple of liters of Selenium toner as I got no idea where my last batch went. The thought was to use it to quite lightly tone a few prints I've got laying around this place, and they came out on the rather nice side I must say. No big change on the prints, just as I sort of like them.
The strange thing happened when I decided to also throw two of them quite new lith prints into the same toner. Even though I've just told you the fact that my Emaks paper had just the look I was after that is not the whole truth to it. They were quite red a few of them prints, and I was looking for a colder tone to be honest. I did get the colder tone on one or two of them and it seems it depends a bit on the grade of over exposure you throw onto the paper. More exposure, more reddish results. So I had a couple of quite nice (by my standards anyway) lith prints, but they had a (to me) too strong red tone to them. So I decided to just throw them into the bath of Selenium toner just to see how ugly they could get when the Selenium had added it's own sort of red or violet(ish) tones to them. I would have really liked to see the expression on my own face when nothing like that happened at all, and the prints suddenly turned more or less straight into how I wanted them to look in the beginning. The red tones sort of washed away just to reveal the colder tones and the charcoal grey underneath.
And finally a different version of the print above. This one did not get the Selenium treatment as I sort of liked the way it came out of the developer. Strange thing is that this was the only one looking like this. The other ones came out quite brown/earth red. The pixelated snap lies a bit, but that's just the way it is with them things anyway.
That's it for today, I think. I will let these prints dry and settle in a bit and take a better look at them tomorrow morning. When I get my new enlarger bulb some time tomorrow or Wednesday I will go inside the dark place again to see if I'm able to make a rather large lith print. I need to find out, because I need to make prints to hang on a wall later this summer as you might know. It's going to be a wall full of masterpieces, as you probably understand already...