Printing Up a Storm, Darkroom Updates, and More!

 Quite a few things have been going on here since last week's little instructional video made its debut.

First and foremost, the weather outside has been frightful, compressing available shooting time to half-day spurts of creativity. I'm half way into my first and last box of Tri-X 8x10, and so far it has done as expected. Were it not 2x pricier than Ilford HP5+, and a special-order-only product, I may have switched back to Kodak stock for 100% of shooting. Unfortunately, though, that is not the case. Five more barbershop shots on this Tri-X and it's back to HP5+. I'll miss the bit more speed of TXP (pyrocat hd gives slight loss of speed), but definitely not the price!

Second on my plate is the upcoming Midwest Large Format Asylum Portfolio Review. A funny name for a funny group of large format shooters, but they're all really great guys. I met a large chunk of them last summer at Photostock 2011, and from the looks of things, I may not only be the youngest guy attending this meetup, but I may also be shooting the smallest camera! To add even more pressure to uneasy feeling of showing a bunch of seasoned LF veterans my portfolio, I promised these gentlemen an all-carbon-print portfolio, and darnnit' that's what I'm gonna' give 'em!

While we're still on the topic of carbon printing, I received in the mail a brand new, custom made coating rod from R.D. Specialties out of New York. They're great folks to deal with, and through a little help of the Carbon Transfer Group, started by Sandy King, I was able to find all the information I needed to get just the right size formed rod to coat my own carbon tissues. Fourteen have already successfully coated, five already printed, and with a good twenty* more coated and done by Friday of next week. (* hopeful estimate). For folks out there still scratching their heads about carbon transfer printing, below you'll see an embedded YouTube video that will fully demonstrate the insane amount of time that goes into a simple contact print. Trust me, once you see one in person, it's worth it!




Fourth and finally is some even more funky, out of left field news. I just got in the mail today 100 sheets of Agfa Green Sensitive X-Ray film! That's right, the same kind of film we all got to view our first broken bones on can be used in view cameras to make negatives for contact printing! Since the film is a little more quirky than modern panchromatic (most of our visible spectrum) emulsions, it gives a more early 1900's look, with it's biggest advantage being sheer economy. You're not going to believe it until you see it, so click HERE. Your eyes don't deceive you, this film only costs $0.28/sheet in 8x10!! With my most commonly shot films coming in ~$4/sheet in B&W and ~$12/sheet in color, it's easy to see why giving X-Ray film a try was the next logical step in shooting more 8x10 film. Expect regular updates in this area, I plan on exploring every inch of this wallet-friendly film!

Well that's it, I'm off to the darkroom to carbon print for hours and hours and hours. If I get too bored, don't be surprised if you see YouTube video show up (below) on the carbon print process

Have a great weekend and long live film!