I am definitely jazzed about today’s quick photo outing. I decided late in the day to load the 5×7 film holders with some Harman Direct Positive Paper and head up to the lake to make a few photos using the new paper positive material (it is cut to fit the 5×7 film holders). So into the bathroom with the box of paper and the film holders plus a red LED light (the HDPP is not sensitive to red light so you can use a dim darkroom light to see what your doing) to load the holders, in a few minutes I had the 4 holders (8 shots, one per side) ready and was loading the camera and the rest of my paraphernalia (there is a lot of that to do Large Format photography), tripods and other shtuff . . . plus a couple of digital cameras for those just in case shots (I am an avid or should I say rabid Nature/bird photographer). Anyway off I go in search of some vistas to photograph and maybe a tree or rock or whatever strikes me at the moment.
Found a spot along the Kings River, actually overlooking it . . . so out comes the tripod, 5×7 wooden view camera (it is sporting a Fujinon 240mm lens today) and once that is positioned and leveled I go back and get my meter, focusing loupe and dark cloth . . . I had already pre-focused the camera during setup, now I would compose the shot on the ground glass (the image is upside down btw). After a bit of positioning the image left and right, I now decided how much sky I wanted (you almost never place the horizon in the middle of the frame), I finally settled on a composition and locked all the adjustments down so as not to knock one out and screw up my focus/comp . . . so I metered the scene, Hmm . . . not so bad, 2 seconds at f/22 (this is in the normal range for most large format photography) although I am still a bit skeptical about the reading as my ISO setting on the meter is set at its lowest (ISO 3.4) to accommodate the Harman Positive paper. OK, I set up the lens and fire it a few times to work the shutter and make sure it sounds right (the shutter only goes down to 1 second so I set it to Bulb as I will manually time the shot) . . . So I go back to the car and get a film holder, go back to the camera and gently slide the film holder in between the focusing screen and camera body without moving anything. Before I pull the dark slide from the holder I double check the lens (it is closed, cocked and ready with the proper settings), now I pull the dark slide and scan the scene once more, the light seems to be the same as when I metered, I scan once more and then press and hold the cable release as I began to count off . . . one thousand and one, one thousand and two . . . and close the shutter on the end of two . . . at which point I place the dark slide back into the film holder. The count method works pretty well and is fairly accurate . . . and at those slow shutter times trust me you have a small bit of fudge factor as most imaging material is forgiving. What did I get for my effort?
Sorry if the shot above looks a bit soft, it is still wet from the wash and your seeing a bit of sheen from the water still on it’s surface. But let me tell you, I am really impressed at the detail the image carries . . . I processed it in Caffenol (ergo the tint, but I like it).
Here is the second shot of the afternoon
here is a 100% crop of the digital copy
Here is the main ingredients for the Caffenol Developer I am using. Works for paper & film !
I make up enough for about 500ml in my 5×7 tray as well as the stop and fix which are all mixed for 500ml in their respective trays. This amount is good for at least (4) four 5×7 paper positives (or paper negatives) then I toss it and start with all fresh chemicals for each tray. I am so jazzed waiting for the latent image to come into being . . . it is just like the first time in the darkroom, I don’t think the thrill will ever be gone. On a side note, I had 4 cameras with me today and of the 4 cameras all but one was using a fuji lens 🙂
Well there you have it, I may have made only two shots but I sure had fun . . . LOL, it took longer to post this then shoot, develop and admire those photos, whew I’m tired . . . Get off yer duff and get out and make a photo . . .