Darkroom Water Conservation

Apt Question from FaceBook reader Harry Green.   “Any suggestions on how to be water conscious these days in Southern California. Our water prices are high, and I fret to think of those days I left water on for 8 hours, while printing for 8 hours. How to survive ? I used to wash DW

Selective Masking for Printing Challenging Negatives

Get Total Consistency from Print to Print Over the years I’ve evolved a technique I have come to refer to as Selective Masking. I use the term “selective” because it is a physical, hands-on method of tonal control in analog printing, rather that the photometric “unsharp masking”. In its basic form, it’s not techno-anything; it

Film Negatives from Digital Files

Making Film Negatives from Digital Files. Last year I had a wonderful assignment photographing gnarly, twisted zinfandel vines for Ravenswood Winery in California’s Sonoma and Napa Valleys.  As the project took shape, it was decided that because some of the vineyards had a lot of irrigation tubing and other unsightly distractions, the final output would

Notes on the new Adox MCC 110 FB paper

When I “test” a new paper, or one I haven’t tried in a long time, the first thing I like to do is see how it “feels” compared to a paper I’m used to.

When I got my first sample of the Adox paper, I had just finished producing a batch of Ansel Adams’ Moon and Half Dome prints for The Ansel Adams Gallery. Since the negative (made on 120 Adox R17 12/28/1960) was still in my Omega D5500 enlarger, I had a perfect opportunity to see exactly how the paper would perform with a high quality image I had printed many many times.

The first result: an absolutely lovely image. It required no change in the “no filter” setting I usually use with this negative on Ilford Multigrade FB – so “normal” contrast seemed to be right on. It had a beautiful gradation of tonality from blacks to clean whites. It seemed a bit faster than the Ilford, but for the Adox test I was using a higher concentration of Dektol than I had used for the production printing.

New Darkroom Timer

CompnTempscreen_sWorkshop alum and Stanford scientist, Curt Palm, has created a new darkroom timer that significantly “one-ups” the popular Zone VI Compensating Developing Timer.

CompnTemp ® is software rather than hardware and is available for both Windows and Mac computers. I set up a small shelf in my darkroom for my Mac Powerbook and all I have to do to get going is plug in the accessory USB temperature probe and cover the screen with red plastic.

What sets CompnTemp apart from ANY other timer is that is completely user-programmable. if you want your target temperature to be 73 degrees instead of 68 that’s fine. If you want it to count UP instead of DOWN, that’s fine, too.

You can save profiles so you can toggle from one group of settings for prints to another set of preferences for film. It even lets you customize the compensation curves.  It also gives you a continuous read-out of the ACTUAL temperature.

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