frustrated!

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Firelance, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. Firelance

    Firelance TPF Noob!

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    Well, today I picked up my photo's that were drying since the night before.

    'Hmmm' I said... And I sat down. 'Damn!'

    I slowly became frustated because of a few things:...

    When I look at my pictures, they're all right, except for the small amount of dust on it. Even a few small white spots break my nerves!!! I do everything to avoid dust and scratches and spots, but it's like they keep comming... Maybe I do something wrong when drying my film, or when I use it in my enlarger... I don't know...

    Second, my type of paper. For the moment I use Ilford RC/PE Pearl, but I don't like the result... It's too plastic, it has this kind of look and feel I don't like. Does anyone know an alternative?

    And I don't have any structure of my photos, sure I store them all in my negative map but I lack some 'series'; it's like every photo is on its own, and sure it can be good... Any idea's for projects? Should I do it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    Dust is a constant bane. Get yourself a good set of spot pens, and you can easily take care of them. What are you using for dust removal now? There are antistatic cloths and liquids or brushes. I am sure people have their own preferred method. I even read once this guy who used the grease from his nose pores. Sounds pretty gross, but whatever works I guess...

    There are lots of kinds of paper, you just need to try a bunch out and see what you like. If you don't like the plastic quality of the RC you are using, then try a fiber based. Try getting a sample pack so you can try different things out. Do you like the sheen of the pearl, or would you prefer a glossy or matte surface?

    I am the same trouble with wanting a project to work on, instead of just random shooting of different stuff. So I can't help with that. :) What sort of things interest you? Do you like people or parks or animals or buildings? It will depend on what you want to do.
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The spot pens really do work well. The key is getting good at knowing which one to select for the perfect match. :D

    I've never used an RC paper; my husband won't touch them. :wink: I really like Ilford's fiber based papers. I've been using the cold tone glossy, something I never thought I'd like, but I love it. I like Agfa Classic 118 matte paper if I'm going to handcolor an image. It has nice tonal range and more "tooth" to it.
     
  4. rangefinder

    rangefinder TPF Noob!

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    Dust will always be a problem. But there are somethings you can do to minimize dust during printing.

    You don't say if dust was on the negatives on the paper during printing. There are anti-static brushes, best kind are the double brush. You pull the negative through the center of the upper and lower brush before putting the negative in the carrier. Another option is canned air. I think this works better. When using canned air don't hold the nossle or tube too close to the negative and spray a bit away from the negative before spraying the negative. Sometime moisture forms and that first spray can zap your negative.

    You can also gently spray the paper after putting it in the easel to get dust off the paper.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Dust will always be a problem :angry1:

    I have a Black & Decker Dust Devil (small vacuum cleaner) that I keep for use only in my darkroom. The advice above is good. Other than that all you can do is learn to spot. :wink:

    If you don't like the plastic look of RC, try fiber. There are also some high quality "art paper" style fiber papers available from companies like Bergger.

    For projects think about how you can use photography in relation to other interests you have.
     
  6. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    I've only used fiber paper once (well in one sitting, about 4 prints from it) and they really curl up when they dry. Does all fiber based do that or are some worse than others? Do you need a dry mount to get them flat or what else works really good? I air dried them, maybe a different kind of drier?
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    All FB I've used curls, some more than others. Also if you use a wash aid such as hypo clear you can reduce the wash time, and less soaking seems to result in less curl.

    I lay prints out on a screen, and although they do curl some, most prints 8x10 and larger aren't curled so bad. I have a dry mount press, but I've also noticed that if I stack the prints together, and apply weight (like a book), that within a week or so they are actually fairly flat (not as flat as RC though) without using the press.

    Sometimes I hang my 16x20 prints with clothes pins, and using a clothes pin in each lower corner as weights; it seems to work okay.

    I have heard of folks using art tape to secure FB prints to sheets of glass or fiber board until dry. They say they dry super flat and this reduces dry down. I haven't tried it yet. It doesn't seem real practical for a night when you are cranking out 8x10s (I can't imagine having that much glass/board hanging around), but it probably works well for a few larger prints.

    I'm pretty sure you can also get a chemical flattener, although I don't know much about that either.
     
  8. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes they curl. It can make them awkward to store. When totally dry I've flattened them between pages in a book in my jammed bookcase. :wink: This pressure usually does the trick.

    Besides, ultimately it doesn't really matter. When framed, or even just matted on acid free foamcore, they flatten out perfectly well. I wouldn't stick to RC papers just because of this one idio-idio-idiosyncrasy of beautiful fiber paper. :p
     
  9. Firelance

    Firelance TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the useful info!

    Wel I've used fiber paper once, in school, by accident. I had to dry it with this kind of tape on a wooden plate; it dries prefectly!

    Wel, about the paper... Is there a lot of difference in the RC/PE papers? Like I said, I use Ilford Pearl, I thought about Satin and Glossy, but Satin has too few contrast to my liking, and glossy seems even more plastic and has this very cheap look... Is there a lot of difference between different brands; Ilford, Agfa, Kodak, ...?

    About the fiber paper: I used it once and I must admit that I like it! (as far as I can remember) Even Glossy Fiber has this kind of beautiful matte look. And Fiber Matte seems to look like drawing paper texture, as my teacher told me last school year.

    Well, I'm interested in FB paper, only I fear for the cost of it when comparing it to the cost of RC/PE paper, and also, the times of developing, fixing and rinse!! A few minutes more developping and fixing, that's ok... But one half an hour of rinse? That's a lot! Sure I can just let it rinse after I printed the photo's, but isn't it a problem for the test strip? I heard the black of FB paper is alot different when dry...

    Thanks
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Well, assuming that you don't need the test strips to be archival, then you can just rinse them quickly.

    FB paper does "dry down", and how much can depend on paper brand and technique so you just have to practice until you get a feel. I'd say start out by reducing print exposure time by about 10%, and see how that looks when dry. You may need to reduce exposure time by more or less.
     
  11. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Watching my prints dry down too dark was a constant source of frustration for me. My husband has hammered into me that what looks like the perfect print while wet should immediately be knocked back 10%, and go from there.

    But...but.....do you know how hard that is???? :LOL:

    Just when I started to develop some resolve, class ended. :? I managed to snag some good exposures but was just getting the hang of it.

    Frustration is part of the learning curve; don't let it get in the way!!! :D
     
  12. BernieSC

    BernieSC TPF Noob!

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    As far as paper type. If you want to get rid of the resin coated look. Ilfore use to make a matte finish paper I don't they still make it though. Or a matted fiber base paper which is harder to work with, long long wash times. Or you might try getting some McDonalds matter spray. That works very well it is a totally matte finish UV protector that does give you simular look as a matte fiber base paper.
     

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