Wednesday, 31 May 2017

a printer's life

From a while back, this one.  I never really got this one looking the way I wanted on regular paper&developer  - the print never reflected what I could see on the negative.  I can't show you, as all the prints I did went in the round filing basket in the darkroom (you know the one...gets emptied now and again).

Anyway, I was looking through my recent negs the other day and thought I'd try it again, in some lith developer this time and this is what came out (Foma MG131 paper if you're interested in that sort of detail).  For sure it's not perfect, but I felt it was getting there - in the sky at least:

I just had to stop the car at the side of the road when driving back home that day and point the old Square-shooter over the barbed wire fence.  The light over the North Antrim countryside was pretty spectacular at that moment, I must admit.  I had no meter with me and anyway the sun was threatening to go behind one of the many clouds up there at any minute and dull everything down so I guessed the exposure and hoped for the best.  Turned out OK - the neg holds all the information I need, that's clear.  The next step is to go back and print it using regular developer...try to get that sky coming through and see what gives. Naturally I'll let y'all know how it goes...

Oh, nearly forgot - I found a blog the other day which I'm enjoying.  It's by a dude called Laurent Girard who has been darkroom-printing professionally in New York for several decades - with many top photographers.  As might be expected, it's not your usual 'darkroom' blog - he seems to have forgotten to post anything for about a year and I'm not too fussed about the last post he did write.  Hmm...sounds great so far, eh? But his older posts are, well, simply a fascinating insight into the life of a professional printer - a dying breed for sure.  If you like your darkroom printing, or are even interested in the process from afar, I can seriously recommend a printer's life (the link takes you to the first entry in the blog).


  1. I really love this one, Michael. Grainy and rough one, just the way I like them most of the days.
    And oh, the "Printers Life" blog! Glad you pointed me into the direction of that one again, as I know I've seen it before but then it got lost. Now I'll make sure I'll save it for later as well even though he seems to have stopped posting. It might come in handy, as we know...

    1. Cheers Roy thanks for the comment.

      I liked the printer's life blog - now that there are few enough of us still printing it's nice to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about. Perhaps he'll start writing again soon - I hope so.