Friday, 25 May 2018

Still here

Not gone away just yet.  Been getting a print ready for submission to the Northern Ireland Photographic Association's annual exhibition.  NIPA is the overarching organisation of all the photographic clubs in Northern Ireland and the club I joined last year, the Ballymoney Club, is part of it.  Each year NIPA takes an exhibition of selected images on the road up and down the country - I think they get an external judge, or judges, in to do the selection.  Anyway, last year I saw their exhibition when it came to Portstewart and I thought this year I'd try to get something in.  I was aiming for a couple of prints but in the end events overtook me and I've had to settle for this one - here's a phone shot of it, all mounted and everything:

Lifeguard Station, Portstewart Strand

It looks all lith and everything but it's not really.  It's a normal print on Ilford Warmtone although I did bleach it back in cupric sulphate and then dunk it into some fairly warm lith developer.  But it went a bit dark and horrible so I abandoned that and after another wash bleached it again and then toned it in some old sepia.  I was pretty happy with the end result - some dark bits and some light bits and some bits inbetween.

This was a 12"x16" print and truth be told it's the largest I've printed for a very long time.  Everything changes when you wind the enlarger up the column a good bit - times are longer of course and things behave differently to that little 10"x8" print that came out so easily by comparison.

So it's going off to the NIPA selector(s) and we'll see what gives.  Most of the prints in last year's exhibition seemed to be studio portraits.  There are a couple of 'big hitters' in one of the Belfast Clubs and they seem to have a bit of a monopoly on the whole NIPA thing.  Not my thing, really but there you go.


  1. That's quite nice, and whether it wins a spot in the exhibition or not, I hope that it takes a place in someone's wall. Is there a minimum size required for the exhibition?
    - Marcus Peddle

    1. Thank you Marcus! It'll be on my wall if it gets returned from the selection procedure :) All prints had to be mounted 40x50, but the print could be any size up to that. I might have got away with printing a little smaller than 12x16, which is 30x40 and so gives a 4 inch border all around. Well, slightly smaller than 4" - I printed almost to the edge of the paper, just enough of a border to keep the paper flat on the easel. 11"x14" would probably have been OK. This was from a 35mm neg so a little cropping was required - although generally I do like keep to the original negative ratios as much as possible. I'm only learning about the whole mounting process now (needs must, eh?!) so I need to print and mount a few more, including some square format negs to see what looks good and what doesn't.

  2. Here you go! What a difference to the other print of the same neg from your earlier post. I like this one, probably because of the "lithy" appearance of it. It sort of suits the background of the subject, me thinks.