I decided to print a little larger than usual - I've a bunch of 11"x14" Ilford Warmtone fibre paper lying about that I got from a professional who was selling all his darkroom stuff a while back. It's the matt, or semi-matt finish and at first use it seems a bit dull and lifeless compared to the warmtone gloss RC paper that I would be more familiar with. Too big to scan, so I took one of the prints outside to catch some early morning light and captured it on me phone-thing:
|Rita Ray, of The Darts, c1978|
It may be that this is as good as it gets with this paper, but since I was under the impression that it had a bit more punch in the darkroom it might well have suffered from the dry-down effect that is common when using fibre paper. My next move is to do a few test prints to see if things can be improved. From what I read, the general idea is to reduce the amount of time under the enlarger (around 12% seems to be the magic figure bandied around) which should mean the lighter tones, once dry, keep some of their sparkle. The blacks can be returned to their deepest black though a little selenium toning, if required.
Rest assured I shall keep y'all updated on my findings...