PRINTING AND PAPERS
my friend mike likes to explore the subtleties and also extremes of tone in a print. ‘I think of tonality as having an emotional effect and frequently use extreme movements of tonality-, he describes. ‘I might create the print very dark or very pale, as an example. I have a fairly precise idea of the way I want a print to look once i go into the darkroom. It’s about exploring how the negative could be printed in different ways. ‘
mike uses largely selenium to tone his prints, or even gold toner for the paler prints, which can be known for its archival properties. ‘When several photographic papers were on the market, I used a wide range -mainly due to the different ways the papers responded to toners, ‘ he provides. ‘My standard papers were Agfa Record Rapid and also Agfa Portnga Rapid. Both replied well to selenium toner and also both would “split-tone” reliably, with Portriga paper particularly yielding the rich brown/purple coloration.
‘When I started exploring high-key prints I used Seagull, a paper with a cooler tone, that we felt suited the more subtle tonal scale I often gold-toned the actual prints to accentuate cold tones. A paper I used by a small number of pictures was Kodak Ektalure. made fa the portrait trade and only obtainable in grade 2, normal. It was an unusual papers for split-toning, giving a subtle brown on higher midtones. To allow for working among grades or to nuance tonality, I used Beers formula print developer, which I mixed from raw chemicals. I still make and also use this developer today.
‘None of those papers is available right now, but there are numerous of other papers available on the market that give perfectly satisfactory results. 1 have used Foma, llford and Adox papers, and now use variable-contrast papers — llford Warmtone or Adox MCC 110 — with respect to the feel I want in the print. I generally print with a single filtration system, although occasionally I use split-filter techniques.
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