Sunday, November 30, 2014

Darkroom Thanksgiving

Can't stop blowing my own horn about this one:
Preview my book!

Or take a look at the Black and white darkroom montage images done 16 yrs ago that are the foundation for the booK:

You've no doubt heard of or seen 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'? (watched it on TV, yes? laughed a bit? yes, i did too.)

Well how 'bout a 'Darkroom Thanksgiving'?!
(California style, i snack on Tortilla chips and hot salsa while working.)

I have untraditional holidays. The only family I have is back east, a stepmother and a sister. A few phone calls or emails, and i'm done w/ the holiday routines.
I got a daughter outside Atlanta - late twenties, a lawyer - but since her mother and I were divorced when she was 5 y.o., We exchange emails around Xmas, and that's about it.
So my holidays - 4 days at Thanksgiving and a week or so between Xmas and New year's when the place i work for closes - are 'darkroom'. Or whatever else.
I have the time to stretch out, relax, really get into it, for days, and find a groove. Though I must say, no matter how long it's been ( last time I printed was July 4 weekend) I find the dormant circuits in my brain fire up real fast. Real fast!
So here's the take - a twenty five sheet pack of 11x14" paper, 3 final prints of all 4 images, got a couple of sheets left.
But before that, I should mention a few things:

#1 - I tried a new paper - RC VC matte surface made by Foma in Czechoslovakia - has mucho  film, paper, all the analog stuff. My 'usual' has been Ilford, matte surface fiber (so i can hand color) but they don't make it in RC anymore, and RC is alot easier to dry in a small/studio apt. I like the matte surface, for handcoloring, but this Foma is not the same as Ilford, doesn't seem like it's as 'matte' (that would take oil colors well) as Ilford, but I saved a few exposure time test strips to try it out. If I managed to hand color a big bunch of pearl surface prints a year ago:
I think things will be OK, or at least i will work out the subtleties.

#2 - I take really good care of my negs - they are all in a tight (old fashioned hard shell) suitcase that lets in NO dust. I give any neg a quick clean off w/ an old anti static cloth, that's it.
You know how many dust spots i had to spot on all these prints? Just one, on one print.

#3 - whatever enlarger you buy, put a 'cold light head' on it.
Don't put up w/ condenser enlargers, they focus the light, and show all the dust.
The cold light is a *glowing* light source, it minimizes any dust or scratches.

Go to google, slam this in to the search terms:

'zone VI cold light head'

That's 'zone 6' - roman numerals are 'V'(=5) + 1 -  which equals 6.

You'll be glad you did. I sure as hell am. I bought my enlarger almost 30 years ago. It's the second best thing I ever bought. The first was my first divorce.
(the second one, the wife paid for.)

So here's the prints, in small size, larger sizes later, in future posts):

Have great! holidays, I'll be back next year, plenty to talk about.