Hmm, weird title but I mentioned it somewhere before when talking about this particular series. Where would the world be without consistency, right 😉
Anyway, the prints finally received their toning. I used Kodak Selenium 1+4 for about 1 and a half minutes per print. Besides the archival aspect of toning it would be cool to see what the coloration would be like…nothing short of color with the combination of Rollei 131 & toner! I’ll most likely print these again and try some split toning when I receive my Tetenal Gold toner which makes things even more exciting. I can then combine blue and brownish on one print which offers a broad range of possibilities on its own again. Enough talking…
The toning causes them to jump to life even more, even though they were not lame before but still. I like it quite a bit although I wouldn’t mind further fine-tuning even if it’s just for experiment’s sake. I’ll even HAVE to fine-tune and experiment to get better and gain absolute control of what I do. Theory means nothing on its own but you’ll need the theory to support your creativity and to be able to use in your advantage. So…I’ll be spending some more hours in my kitty-dork-dungeon 😉
Oh, and not to be like an advertorial person but the book of Tim Rudman that I bought…wow….contains lots of useful information and give you a glimpse of how easy and foremost, how difficult the process is. Lots of variables and such… To anyone wanting to play around with lith printing I can wholeheartedly recommend it!
Here is the last photo of the “weird-square-in-Florence-but-good-for-portfolio” series printed last night. A huge difference of the version from the former post!
It took quite a bit of fumbling as 6 minutes were way too long for developing; blacks closed up so experimented with the time to get it correct (for me). I also have a slightly lighter version; will seen which one holds up best after being toned.
Anywayzzz, again more to follow!
What a surprise after the Rollei Vintage paper! Totally different in handling. Exposure time dropped by half compared to the Rollei paper. Contrast greatly diminished which I tried to compensate for by increasing the amount of part A of the developer until I had this dilution: 2+1+24. This helped but it still was less contrasty than the Rollei version of the same image which I’ll post in the next post. I could try and bleach the image a bit but will have to experiment with that (and have to order the chems too).
The thing that jumps in your eye however like immediately is the amount of grain. Grain in the most extended version of the word! Makes the photo more like pictorialism really. I’m not too fond of that; it still is a photograph but it was not all that bad either. Pretty interesting even and when I have the right photo for this kind of extreme effect I’ll definitely go for this combo. Also the coloration of the images were not that obvious as with the Rollei paper.
Anyway, on the 2 examples which I’ll keep for experimental sake.
Another interesting night in the darkroom, more to follow soon! I also tried my regular Ilford MGW1K paper but that was really not all that great. Hardly any coloration, very little contrast though without the adjusted developer a tad more than the Fomabrom paper and pretty much no added grain / structure to the image which really made it quite boring. At least for my taste anyway 😉
The day my first lith printing adventure began. It was wonderful! So much more interesting that regular black-and-white. The book would’ve been handy to start with but I just couldn’t wait until it arrived. Google is your friend anyway (and the people who wrote about it of course ;-))
The influence you have on the photo by combining choice of paper, exposing (duration), developing (snatch point, temperature etc) and toning afterwards give you much more control and enable you to fine-tune more than with a regular black-and-white print. This makes this process a hell lot more interesting. Also the grain you can get gives more structure and feel to the photo, of course depending on your subject. I have a lot to learn and experience but I love it already!
The 2 golden rules in lith printing:
- Image colour and contrast are related to grain size in the paper emulsion – which in turn is related to its stage of development. Small grains of early development are soft and warm. Large grains of late development are hard and cold. The progress of development is affected of course by dilution, temperature, time and freshness.
- Highlights are controlled by exposure.
Shadows are controlled by development (‘snatch point’).
Regarding the latter point I’d like to add that the whole process of Lith printing relies on a property of Lith developers known as ‘infectious development’. This is different to the way normal developers develop a black and white image. In simple terms, infectious development means that the darker a tone becomes, the faster it develops. The faster it develops of course, the darker it becomes, and so it develops even faster still. This leads to an explosive chain reaction where the shadow tone development speeds away from the slowly progressing light and mid tones, which lag way, way, behind. The print is ‘snatched’ from the developer when it reaches the point required by the printer.
On to the photos of day 1 (well, the ones worthy of showing ;-)) They still have to be toned. Kodak Selenium toner I’ll use for this.
Some links to more information on lith:
Thanks for watching and be ready for stuff to come soon! Tonight I printed some more, also tried out FomaBrom 111 and my regular Ilford MGW1K paper. Will post results hopefully tomorrow.
The book I ordered from Tim Rudman arrived, only the wrong one. He most kindly offered me to keep the book and will send me the correct one. If you want a book with great examples of lith prints make sure to check this out; it’s beautiful!
Have a good night!