Well here we are the year has flown by and I have been working on my Kodak No2 5×7 wooden folding field camera, repairing & modifying the camera and an 8×10 to 5×7 reducing back to fit the camera as well as reconditioning the wooden film holders (replacing those pesky rotten hinges on the end flaps) to ensure they are light tight. This has all been done leading up to a new adventure for me. I am already familiar with using Large format cameras as I own and shoot several 4×5 cameras. What is different about this adventure is the use of paper negatives and positives in the 5×7 format . . . the negative material for contact printing (that’s the reason for the size choice), and the positive material for the uniqueness it provides (it has much the same properties as tintypes or wet-plate), using a positive paper in camera produces a mirror image and text comes out reversed. The Harmon Direct Positive Paper (HDPP) poses some technical problems (it is Ortho chromatic) it is non-red-sensitive, you can read more about it here just click on the data-PDF . . . . it processes like regular photo-paper using the same chemicals, it is also pretty temperamental when shooting as it is a high contrast material so some light control gymnastics as well additional exposure tweaks will be used to compensate for those idiosyncrasies . . . anyway it will be fun and a challenge as well as producing some one of a kind photos.
Back into the dark I go, had to pick up some old school tools (a wet darkroom) to get this done . . . I will try an LED Red light in the darkroom (results will be posted as to its compatibility). I have not settled on what chemicals I will be using, oh, it can be processed in Caffenol as well (will try it but the Fiber base will stain from it, that may be an interesting effect). Being that this paper is Fiber Based (FB) it takes more water to clear it on the final washing to maintain archival qualities the RC paper . . . bummer.
So there you have it, these past several months have been busy and productive for my but have kept me away from my blog posts as well as not out shooting as much as I would like. I hope both posts and shooting to increase . . . but it is the holiday season . . . Family first, photography second. I search for a balance.
My friend and cohort in crime says . . get of your butt and go make some photos . . . eh!
I just love the little Fuji X100 (original X100), it produces some exquisite B&W photographs and I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn to see in B&W to pick one up. When set up to shoot in B&W mode the rear screen and DVF show you what your going to get directly. It can really improve how you shoot for B&W . . . seems like a cheat way to do it, but then again it saves years of learning the hard way shooting film and then trying to pre-visualize your shot in B&W. I would really have wished this would have been available when I first began shooting but hey embrace technology or get left in the dust . . . I think Ansel Adams would have embraced and enjoyed both digital photography & software methods as well as the fuji X series cameras. Just my take on it, being a purist can limit oneself I think, not there is anything wrong with being a purist, but, when I look at the above photo of my bird and the wonderful ease and minimal technique it took to make it. I am amazed at how far Digital has come in just over a decade . . . as compared to the 150 years of analog based photography . . .
So off I go on my Paper Adventures . . . I still enjoy learning and a challenge, I may be growing old but I am forever young with photography.