An idea I had long time ago was to switch back to black and white film photography.
I started with film photography in the 70th, mostly black and white.
At university I developed film on glass plates in the spectroscopy lab.
Later I met Michel Medinger while at a holiday job at the Laboratoire de Santé (service des eaux directed by Josy Barthel) in Luxembourg . He made me dive into artistic photography.
As a teacher in chemistry I offered courses in black and white photography, joined the local photo group Flash.
With the coming of digital photography, the difficulty to get chemicals and paper and access to a darkroom I moved somehow away from photography.
What brought me back to photography was my activity at the print museum in Grevenmacher where among the printmaking I got in charge of making plates for relief printing. This leaded to photography in combination with printmaking . This again brought me to investigate alternative photography as I didn’t need a darkroom.
The latest and I think the most perverse idea is to shoot on film as I did in the 70th and 80th, but being in lack of a darkroom to digitize the negative and from thereon to proceed on the computer.
This offers several advantages.
It us less tiresome than printing on paper, especially retouching. The darkroom work is simplified by using Gimp and Rawtherapee (or any other software).
I still may print on traditional paper (which s fun).
I can produce digital negatives/positives to continue in alternative processes, in printmaking or on paper.
My digitizing set-up:
Top –> Down
milky milar plate
Mcoplus Pro Series LED video light
For digitizing I use a Lumix DC-FZ82 with exposure bracketing -1 0 +1.
The 3 images are combined in GIMP using G’MIC-Qt filter Layers-Blend [Average All].
Adjustments and inversion are made with GIMP.
The picture at the top is the digital file. Looks more or less OK.
If one compares the two print outs there are a number of differences. Comparing the digital to the paper print there are to noticeable differences which one is able to redress: the contrast for the digital is somehow less than for the classical print. Also the digital shows some tint (printed on home printer with no colour management). Both I think may be adjusted by tweaking a little.
The major difference which can’t be corrected is the difference in sharpness. There is a tremendous lack for the digital print compared to the classic print.
To give a idea I put both under a 10x magnifying glass and one notices the difference.
Whereas for the classic print the borders are clear and sharp they are smeared for the digital print.
Unfortunately missing certain letters (Luxembourg case) I can’t print the page in one go and have to print the missing part in a second run. So I have to fill up with furniture till I reach the end of the text which is already printed, being careful to start at the correct line.
To reach the right line I decided to measure with spaces rather then with a ruler. A 20 point + a 2 point space make up for one line of text plus it’s 2 point lead.
Cyanotype which after development was toned with black tea (Ostfriesentee).
Bleached with borax and than toned with black tea (Ostfriesentee).
Cyanotype bleached in diluted Rodinal solution and afterwards toned with black tea (Ostfriesentee). (–> Black)
Same negative, same paper (Boesner LineArt224 ) and same sensitizer solution (J. M. Eder: Rezepte, Tabellen und Arbeitsvorschriften für Photographie und Reproduktionstechnik, Verlag von Wilhem Knapp, Halle (Saale), 1942, 18.-19. Auflage, p.225).