Archive ”film”

Caught in the Act

Caught in the Act

November 9, 2013


January 15, 2013
Also taken this spring: gold-toned kallitype on arches HP 140#. Shot with a Mamiya 7, HP5+, developed in Xtol.

And this is gold toner #2 at the end of its life. Initially, toning happens very quickly - perhaps 3 minutes for the first shot I posted. This shot toned for 15 minutes and, as you can see, took on a more sepia characteristic. This is the same 250mL of toner as the previous two, and I believe this was the fourth reuse of that toner. All three of these are 11x14.

I have actually pushed this toner farther. Beyond this point, it can take a half an hour to tone a print, and I suspect it isn't as archival any longer.

Boy’s Room

July 17, 2012
Taken this spring; Philadelphia, looking north from the Chestnut St. bridge. Gold toned kallitype on Arches HP 140#. Shot with a Widelux FV and Delta 3200, developed with Perceptol.

This gold toning is about the third reuse of 250mL of gold toner #2, toned with the same batch of toner as yesterday's print. Development was identical between the two. The color has shifted slightly warmer and is still very effective at both preserving the print (replacing silver with gold) and changing its color.


July 16, 2012
From the 2012 St. Patty's parade in Jim Thorpe.
Taken with a Widelux F5, on Kodak 400GC.
Recommendation: look at this one large. For some reason my image scaling program isn't scaling this one well; it's quite pixelated at its "small" size.


April 8, 2012
From a photo walk through Durham Township a few weeks ago, this shot of the interior of the Durham Mill was taken with a Widelux F-V: a 35mm panoramic camera. Portra 800.
The extreme distortion at the edges is due to my mis-loading the film, an effect that I've since decided I like, and I keep reproducing. I'd really like to print this one on glass... perhaps after I've finished all of my other prints? Hmm.

Vague Recollection

January 30, 2012
Originally shot on Delta 3200 in a Diacord G; developed in Microphen. This is a palladium-toned kallitype. I'm reasonably happy that it came out (yay, my chemistry survived the flooding) but not so thrilled with the density; this is my first kallitype on Fabriano Artistico HP 300 and I'm not sure if the paper or my technique lead to this thinner-than-usual print. I'm hoping to preshrink some FabArt and try a double-hit kallitype on it.Regardless: as you might gather from the title, this is Joe of Abacus: a Chinese restaurant in Lansdale, PA. I think it's the best Chinese food available in the greater Philadelphia area. I've been eating at his establishment since about 1986. Joe reports they're in the middle of selling the business, and it clearly pains him greatly. If I understood rightly, he's getting ready to move back to China to take care of his father.Joe reminds me of my great uncle, who was also named Joe: they share a terrible sense of humor and are of the same temperament.


October 13, 2011
Shot with my Diacord G, Acros 100, DD-X.
And after replacing a dead hot water heater (probably a casualty of the flooding), I'm just about ready to re-open my dim room! It seems like forever since it was dry enough to use, and the humidity is finally down to 55%. I'm planning on some kallitypes in the next couple of days. Here's hoping things to according to plan...


October 11, 2011
Shot on Delta 3200 in a Mamiya 7, developed in Perceptol. Printed on Arches Aquarelle hot pressed 140# as a kallitype and toned with palladium.

From his fifth birthday, our good friend Nate.
Note that this is Nate building with Legos. Not to be confused with Nate's other roles as truck driver, rock star, superhero, trampoline artist, and so on.

Nate the Builder

May 21, 2011
I promised this one a few days back and then was distracted by kallitype fun. Perhaps I should have just printed this and killed two birds with one stone!
Markus here was shot on my Mamiya 7, Acros 100, developed in caffenol-C for about 15 minutes at about 75 degrees. Both he and I lived to tell the tale.
Markus and Johanna both were very interested in Caffenol or I wouldn't have picked it up right now. I admit that I've had a passing interest in it myself, and had washing powder sitting around just for caffenol use when the time was right... it just took someone asking about it for me to throw stuff together in a vat and see how well it worked as a developer! :)
Looking forward: this being Mother's Day weekend, I'll be lucky to get one print in. And what I'd like to be printing is very, very experimental - involving very very dilute hydrofluoric acid, sheets of glass, and possibly milk products. I'm afraid that may have to wait.

Coffee Coffee Coff…

May 6, 2011
Mamiya 7, HP5, Microphen, EI around 35000.
Yes, another 50-ish minute developing effort - then printed as a gold-toned kallitype. The print picked up more density during the toning than I expected. In the untoned print (a beautiful warm chocolate-brown) her legs had very little definition and very high contrast. About 8.5 minutes in a gold chloride toning solution just before fixing and the warm browns all turned in to cold grays, with more density and reduced contrast.
This print marks two milestones for me. First, it's my first toned kallitype. The entire process went smoothly but I've grown fond of the deep browns and I'm not so thrilled with the tin-like cold color. I don't think it suits this subject well. Second, this is my first print that's too big to scan. The image is about 10.5 inches square, printed on 11x14 Stonehenge.
Before anyone asks: yes, this is technically a crop of the original negative. I took this vertically: at the bottom there was dark stage, faded to black. At the top: no light, faded to black. It wanted to be square!

Burlesque Nr. 3

May 2, 2011
Acros 100, developed in... coffee.
We've had a couple of house guests this week - Johanna (here) and Markus (tomorrow's post). The two of them have been on a year-long trip around the world and stopped by for a short visit on their way back to Germany. They were also curious about alt-photo processes, and I was more than happy to oblige.
Over their short stay, we made kallitypes and toned cyanotypes. We also developed film in Caffenol-C basically every day: instant coffee, washing soda (sodium carbonate), salt and vitamin C. This shot is Johanna on a hike through Ralph Stover State Park, a scanned negative. I'd love to show you the cyanotype that we bleached with ammonia and toned with the same instant coffee, but that print is now making its way back to Germany with the two travelers!
This was my first experience with caffenol. I have to say that the results are better than I expected; the solution easier to prepare than I thought it would be; and it smells much less bad than people seem to make it out.
There will certainly be more caffenol experiments in my future.
For those that might be interested, here's our formulation:

In one beaker with 250mL warm tap water (~80° F):

dissolve 1 tsp iodized table salt
dissolve 4 Tbsp Arm & Hammer washing soda
dissolve 1/4 tsp crushed vitamin C tablets

In a second beaker with 250mL warm tap water (~80° F):

dissolve 6 Tbsp Folgers instant coffee (*not* decaf)

Mix the two beakers just before use. During agitation, shake it very vigorously; pretend it's a cocktail shaker. We agitated for the first minute, and then 10 seconds after each additional minute, for a total of 17 minutes at an approximate 75°F. Rinse well (three rinses as stop bath, until the bath comes out clear) and then fix normally.

Coffee Coffee Coff…

April 29, 2011
I love it when things just work.
From the Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival: the negative comes from 4 rolls of HP5+, under-exposed at least 3 stops at the Mamiya's metered 3200 (which I find to already under-expose a touch). I optimistically developed the first roll at 6400 in Microphen (finding it very thin), and then the other 3 rolls at an approximate ISO 35000 - 40 minutes, based on the response curve I've calculated from repeated development work with this film and developer. All of this in a hotel bathroom while traveling for a conference, so I re-used the single liter of Microphen for all four rolls. This came from the fourth roll, which developed for a whopping 56 minutes.
This is a kallitype print of a digitally enlarged negative of that shot, using curves I generated from repeated test runs. I'm quite happy with the result; it's actually slightly darker "chocolate brown" than this scan came out.
I'm expecting some gold chloride and palladium salts in the next week at which point the toned kallitypes will begin!

Burlesque Nr. 2

April 22, 2011
This one takes some explaining; it's some of what's been eating up my time for the past few weeks.
This shot started life on HP5+ developed in Xtol. I digitally inverted and enlarged the shot and printed it on Pictorico Ultra Premium OHP before stuffing it in to my vacuum frame (yes, that shot shows me mis-printing a positive I printed first - oops).
Traditionally, Cyanotype has a "part A" (green ferric ammonium citrate) and a "part B" (Potassium Ferricyanide). Usually you mix equal parts together, put it on paper, dry it, and expose it to UV light for a few minutes (outside) to an hour (under a UV light). Results are generally high-contrast and very very blue.
This print was made with an alternative method - reportedly the same one that Sir John Hershel used, which has been generally forgotten. I stumbled across an old thread on some forum or other last week where this was mentioned in passing and decided I had to give it a try: instead of mixing parts A and B, you just coat the paper in part A and then expose it. Afterward you develop it in part B, and then wash it with water. The results are a substantially lower contrast print with excellent tonality.
After initial printing, this was a typical cyanotype blue. I soaked it in coffee for about an hour to give it this final tone. My next print was going to be bleached (in borax or ammonia) and then toned (with coffee or tea) - but I broke my UV lamp instead, so that will have to wait a few days. I'm using a backup UV lamp that's not nearly as bright and am printing 31-step wedges to see just how well this new technique works.
Of course this raised another set of questions for me: Mike Ware created a "New Cyanotype" recipe that is faster and offers a greater tonal range. (I use this too, and have to admit that it seems superior in many ways.) I have to wonder if it's possible to use Ammonium Iron(III) Oxalate mixed with Ammonium Dichromate like the traditional "part A", and then develop in Potassium Ferricyanide (same as the traditional "part B"). I think I'll have to try this out the next time I mix up a new batch!

It’s That Si…

March 28, 2011
Portra 800.
From a couple of weeks ago: Jo-Ann, formerly of Thorazine, rocking it out. The title of the pic is a partial quote from her as she took the stage.

This Is What Mothe…

March 23, 2011
HP5+ in DD-X.
Last in this series of 4 on cell phones in public.

Green Light

March 21, 2011

Blog Posts Feed (RSS)