A Day In The Darkroom & A Solarized ViolinTuesday, April 09, 2013
But before I make up my mind on those giclées (art speak for well printed inkjet prints on good and thick paper) I am working on a series of 8x10 prints (three of each). Today I locked my enlarger at a precise height to print my 6x7 format negatives. Perhaps tomorrow I will work on the 35mm format.
To save money I am exhausting my existing, and extremely old paper stock. In particular I found an unopened box of 100 sheets of Agfa-Gevaert Brovira BS 119 paper. It is extremely old, at least 15 years old. As expected the paper has lost some of its contrast zip and it is less sensitive to the light of my enlarger. I will have to be careful what negatives I pick to print.
A negative of Bronwen Marsden holding her old violin seemed to be a good place to start. I managed printing, after wasting a couple of sheets, three good ones which I then selenium-toned to increase the black and to make the photograph archival. The blue version is simply the above image reversed in Photoshop.
In years past I would smoke a pipe in my darkroom, which always had poor ventilation. I would have a stereo playing music of my liking, in particular my fave from my very beginning of printing in the early 60s, Stan Getz’s Focus.
I have long abandoned the pipe and I prefer to concentrate without music. The day was still a pleasant one and the smells of the chemicals a reassurance that my world is still around. There are those who say that selenium toner is a carcinogen. I have used it since the 70s. My guess is that at my age of 70 I need not worry that selenium will kill me. It will have to be something else.