Folios and Lith print…

Digital enlarger

Over the last few weeks I have restarted an ongoing portfolio. This current body of work has spanned well over a decade and the images have been used for book publications as well as exhibitions both here in Australia and internationally. The set below was printed using the Devere Digital Enlarger. The machine ensures consistency throughout this body of work, regardless if the images were shot on film or digital.
Reproduced courtesy T. Wilkinson

The folio

Portfolio printing goes back to the beginnings of photography. Think Anna Atkins  & Fox Talbolt who created one of the earliest photographic books / folios.
I recently embarked on a new photographic journey, the plan was to create a new folio, my  previous being made over twenty years ago.
Working as a  darkroom professional for the last twenty six years left little time for self development. Pun intended. But a constant niggling over the last few years forced me to MAKE the time. A few months ago I began, and a set of test images and prints were created. These were just for me, no commissions and not for profit, but purely for the thrill of making something new, for me.
Below is another of my tests, made using the Lith printing technique, a processed I first learned back in 98-99 thanks to Tim Rudmans iconic book on the process, “The Master Photographer’s Lith Printing Course” 

The Lith print

Although most of the Lith materials are no longer with us, the specialised chemistry is still being produced by Wolfgang Moersch and Foma warmtone papers remain to work beautifully.

 
Next week I’ll be reshooting using Fomapan 5″/4″ films, which will be dev’d in D-23, PMK Pyro and Foma’s Retropan developer. Then to print using Liquid Emulsion and Cyanotype and even possibly onto Salted paper. Fingers well and truly crossed…
Dragonfly printed on Fomatone 131, dev’d in Kodalith. Untoned
Chris Reid, Laguna NSW
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Darkroom Download Vol. 1

Welcome to my first post in many a moon… I find it a challenge to write about my doings in my darkroom, especially via social media etc, but here it goes.

Firstly, “Thank You” to everyone who touched base regarding the darkroom and myself during the fire season. We were very lucky indeed to escape major damage. Without the hard work of RFS and local residents, things may have been a whole lot worse.

Below are a few pics from the just above the darkroom and also from the upper Boree Track / Upper Yengo Creek Road looking West towards Yengo Mountain, about 20 minutes from the the gate.

Since the New Year, printing commissions have been fairly consistant. I recently worked on a series of test prints for Jo Cripps from Salt & Silver studio. On this project, Jo shot a number of different film stocks and hand processed them in various developers. A notable image was on the Foma Retropan 120, beautifully complimented by the tree dappled light. The use of Pyro developer also gave extra punch to some of the other images where the contrast was fairly flat. Jo isn’t shy of experimenting, which is useful for film photographers. For this project, our aim was to create a series of sample prints for the various silver gelatine printing options I can offer. All up, it was 4 days in the darkroom with about 20 odd tests, culled to a presentable 13 finals that made it to the press. These consisted of Lith prints, Liquid Emulsion and Silver gels. Toining options included Gold + Lith, and warm tone paper. Thiocarbamide on the neutral tone 112 and Selenium with the 111 gloss 131 warm tone. Finally a few Liquid Emulsion on watercolour paper. I also used different borders for added variety.

Detailed info is below, if you can be bothered. Otherwise skip to the pics.

Lith Prints: Printed onto Fomatone 132 & 131 warm tone paper. Developed in Kodalith A&B developer for approx. 6 – 8 minutes. Toning: Gold only ( GAF 231)

Liquid Emulsion: Printed onto Canson 230 gms watercolour paper. Double coated over 48 hours. Printed on day 3 and developed in Fomatol P 1:1 for 3 minutes. No toning

Silver Gelatine: Printed onto Fomabrom 112 & 111 neutral tone stock and 131 & 132. Prints were developed in Fomatol P for 3 minutes at 1:2. Toning of neutral tone stock consisted of a bromide bleach till complete, then after washing toned on Thio. #3 formula. Another print was Selenium toned for 3 minutes @ 1:10 dilution. Warm tome paper received Gold toner + Selenium, Gold only and Selenium only.

In other news, a new delivery has arrived from Foma which has replenished most of my stock. Back in town is the Liquid Emulsion and most “out of stock” paper. I still have a few items to stock, so if you would like anything special ordered, such as Graded papers, please drop me an email.

More stuff. Foma has announced that there will be a 5 %  increase to most of the product range, 3% to some other items. With the current exchange rates declining and freight costs increasing, I feel the necessity to adjust the current prices presently listed on the website FOR NEW STOCK ONLY. It has been a while since I have done this mind you, though it’s never easy….

If any readers have news regarding upcoming exhibitions etc, please drop me an email. Being off grid in the bush, I don’t get much photographic news. But I do get WiFi.

Lastly… Over the last few months I have made the effort to create some photographs just for me. Below are a few samples of works in progress. It has been a real learning curve, especially with the capture side of things. I am more a printer, than a photographer. But I hope with more testing I’ll get the images just how I want them.

Chris Reid, Laguna 2325

 

 

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What’s the difference between the Fomapan films?

There are quite a few Fomapan films out there and sometimes it’s tough to choose the right one. To make it a little easier for all the new photographers, we’ve put together a little guide. Here are the ins and outs of the different films, we hope it helps you on your next project!

Fomapan 100

This film is a great all-rounder. Suitable for pretty much any outdoor shooting environment. Stylistically, Fomapan 100 offers a fine grain, producing sharp and ultra clear images. It features a wide exposure latitude which makes this black and white film quite forgiving and excellent for newcomers. Fomapan 100 is heavy on the contrast with beautiful tonality, fantastic for landscape work.

fomapan films fomapan 100
Fomapan 100 | Image Source: Flickr

 

Fomapan 200

The trusty workhorse. Fomapan 200 is a dependable film that is close enough to sharp whilst being close enough to fast. It holds deep blacks and contrasty whites incredibly well, whilst giving images a visible “filmic” grain that isn’t intrusive. Fomapan 200 also responds to double exposure beautifully.

fomapan films fomapan 200
Fomapan 200 | Image Source: Flickr
fomapan films fomapan 200 double exposure
Fomapan 100 | Double Exposure | Image Source: Blanco Negro

 

Fomapan 400

Fomapan 400 responds well to being pushed and pulled. Pull it back to 320 to keep some clarity and shoot a bit faster. Or push it to 640-800 to get an ultra grainy exaggerated film look. This film can sometimes cause debate on how well it scans, but it basically just comes down to personal preference. Either you love grain or you loathe grain, and that will determine whether this film is right for you. With a little bit of experimentation with different developers, this film can look amazing. Dare to experiment with Fomapan 400 and you’ll get some incredible results.

fomapan films fomapan 400
Fomapan 400 | Image Source: Flickr

 

Retropan 320

An ode to the old world, Retropan 320 is truly in a class of its own. This film is so “special” that it even has its own dedicated developer to maximise its full potential. What makes Retropan so different is that it doesn’t have an anti-halination layer. This means that the light exposing the film spreads, giving a beautiful, delicate halo effect if used correctly. Images will have a slightly brown tint that creates a lovely, whimsical glow. This film is not for the faint hearted and well worth sticking with over time. Don’t be too discouraged if your first rolls don’t turn out as planned, as experience will really make this film shine.

fomapan films retropan 320
Retropan 320 | Image Source: Flickr
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