Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The Rescuer

I thought I would share some more before and after prints on the Pot Ferri story.  Here's an old one you might remember, of Roosevelt Street somewhere west of old Chicago Town, near where the brother lives:

It's not the best of negatives, to be honest.  It's very low in contrast and one that is ripe for some intensifying which might be next on my list of 'things to try'.  Anyway, I came across a test print I had made and was keeping for, well, not quite sure for what but I was glad I did 'cos I dunked it into the weak Pot Ferri solution and this is what happened:

Ignoring the stain at the top which was already present (and the fact that the crop is slightly different&wonky to boot), there is, as you can see, quite a change.  Yes it's over-cooked but that's OK 'cos I'm learning, see.

Just to note that both the above prints were on RC paper.  Next up we have one of Missy which you might have seen recently.  Here's the 'before':

And here's the 'after':

A bit more subtle change on this one but even so I'm slightly unsure about the result.  Yes the second print is brighter and the scan may look better when viewed on a computer monitor, but I think I prefer the original print.  It's a close call but the original has a little more warmth about it and perhaps a little more mystery (it was on Warmtone fibre paper, just for the record).  The after print has lost a little magic, I think.

The moral of the story? Use sparingly. Less probably is more.  Early days but I'm getting the impression that dunking a whole print in Pot Ferri is really only for rescuing the odd print that is almost beyond help.  From what I read it's more commonly used to dab on certain areas of the print that need a little encouragement - using a small brush or cotton tab.


  1. At least as represented on my screen here in Indiana USA, both images are improved by Pot Ferri. The sky in the Chicago print really pops now, and Missy's face is much more three-dimensional.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Jim. As we know, prints in one's hand are different animals to digitally viewed scans.

  2. First one: Great improvement in the highlights for sure, and a print made for the treatment obviously. I love how the clouds came out, and the whites in the buildings and them road signs. That lovely white line in the road also suddenly really added to the overall feeling. Absolutely great!
    Second one: Very much in doubt to be absolutely honest. I did not like how the background came forward (excluding the heart, maybe), but I really like the one third of a stop or so lifting of the highlights in Missy's face here. I'm really voting for another test print with some partial bleaching just to see brilliance happen in front of my eyes again :))

    1. The second one is a close call for sure, Roy. And yup, I'd like to try some local bleaching on it. Mind you, the couple of test prints I did try were disasters so I need a bit more practice before trying to say anything sensible about the process :)