Friday, 22 June 2018

Rocks in the sea

Just off the seaside town of Portrush lie a group of rocks in the sea (just visible on the horizon in the print below).  The Skerries.  A bit of research the other year indicates the name is derived from an old Norse work, meaning 'rock' or 'rock in the sea'.  Appropriate enough, it would appear.

Portrush, HP5 on the Hasselblad, Foma paper, lith

It was part of the lith printing session the other day - the usual 9.5"x12" Foma paper and some oldish Easylith developer.  I haven't played around that much with different lith formulae but when my solutions of Moersch Easylith are finished I've got some Fotospeed to try.  Usually I mix 20ml of solution A with 20ml of B and about a litre of water but you can vary the concentration of both A and B to have softer/harder tones or lower/higher contrast. 

This print ended up being particularly colourful, as you can see - appropriate enough as it was taken in the early evening in warm summer sunlight.  I'm thinking it might be worth dunking the print into some weak ferrycyanide bleach to lift the highlights a bit - but on the other hand I might just leave it alone.  Sometimes I find it pays to leave a print lying around for a while and eventually it either grows on me or I decide to do something different with it (before putting it on the wall, in a box or throwing it in the bin).

The one useful thing I do nowadays is put the negative number on the back of every print so it's easy enough to find it should I ever want to print it again. 


  1. Skerries is derived from the old norse expression for sure. Over here we would call them "skjær" these days. The sound of the two words are similar enough that we both would understand what the other was talking about.
    Quite a colorful print for sure! I have been playing a bit around with some old papers giving a very red tone in lith. To ease off the color some, I tried to dunk it into some rather mild (1+9 or thereabout) selenium toner. If not careful it might end up with ash grey tones, it seems. Or maybe more like a coal pencil drawing. Nice sometimes, but it always depends what you're after, of course.

    1. Ah yes, the ash gray happened to me too...although somewhere before the gray set in I did get a lovely shade of pink (on Foma paper). I was quite excited for about 10 seconds...then the pink vanished and the gray appeared. Next time I might try to snatch it early and see if the pink stays - all good fun, eh?!

      Those Norse got around a bit - that much we do know! I'm always interested in the derivation of local placenames...usually it's an Anglicised version of Gaelic in these parts, but occasionally something unexpected turns up (like the Skerries).