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Thread: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

  1. #21
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    I presently have two shows up. One is a mix of 16x20 silver gelatin prints, 8x10 and 4x10 platinum prints, and a 5x7 carbon print. Not exactly a gallery setting (the Taproom of the Mad River Brewing Company), but it is my introduction as a photographer to the local community I have moved to. It works.

    The other show is in a gallery setting. I have mostly 2 1/4" sq. platinum prints matted and framed. Half in black wood frames 5"x5". The other half are framed in misc. metal frame samples from a framing shop...so the two halves of each frame do not exactly match (in profile they do, but may be different in color or texture), and of course no two frames are alike except in the outside dimensions. In addition I have a 3 foot by 7 foot digital print (vertical) hanging on the wall (of girders of the Golden Gate Bridge) in the middle of these small prints just to throw a big shift of scale at the gallery visitors. Lots of fun!

    But many times I have gone the route of normal behavior and consistent printing style/presentation. Me at my Philly show a few years back...thanks Harris Fogel for the photo!

    PS -- it was a mix of 8x10 platinum prints and carbon prints -- segragated by walls.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MePhillyShow2.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  2. #22

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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    I'm currently getting to know MCC 110. I'm also using some MG Classic but still not quite sure about it. It has a relatively unique curve shape in comparison to other contemporary VC papers, and the former MGIV. I just need to adapt to it I guess. I've used other papers in the past. On the warm tone side I occasionally use MGWT.

    With respect to developers, current enlarging papers generally have most of their characteristics "baked in", so to speak. So they are less responsive to older developer controls. I've found it takes a fairly radical alteration to the developer to make any real difference on the various papers I've used (although warmer toned papers are generally more flexible than neutral/colder toned papers), so besides experiments, it's basically Dektol nearly all the time for me, followed by mild selenium toning.

    I generally prefer a relatively neutral print colour for most of my work.

  3. #23
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    Quote Originally Posted by seezee View Post
    It seems to me there's more than one valid approach for curating an exhibit, but as interesting as the discussion is, it's veering off-topic. Time, perhaps, for a new thread?
    To slightly re-frame what I said before, I think the relevant underlying issue here is whether the attributes of a paper - color, FB or RC base, surface finish, DMax, etc. - are central to one's expressive purposes. If so, "what is your favorite paper?" might have a clear answer and might drive one's other technical choices, to enable use of that paper and/or optimize results with it. On the other hand, if one sees paper as secondary to other choices - in my case film choice and exposure habits are primary - then paper may be chosen to best suit the resulting negatives and the idea of "favorite" loses much of its punch, though one might still prefer some products over others to meet the range of requirements posed by one's negatives.

    Of course, for others all of that might be highfalutin nonsense, any of a wide range of papers might be basically OK and picking one could be mostly a matter of convenience - availability, price, whatever.

    Anyway, I understood you as hoping people would identify specific papers they prefer to use and talk about why.

    So to elaborate a bit more on the reasons for my choices: I tend to prefer quiet prints with a gentle, open tonal scale with information all the way from deepest shadows to brightest highlights. Also, I don't usually have patience for spending hours in local manipulation to try to shoehorn a negative into a paper that doesn't really fit. That's why curve match is a key consideration for me. And in particular, the steeper the shoulder in my negatives, the longer the toe I look for in my paper. MG RC Warmtone is very handy in that respect. MG IV RC Deluxe is arguably more powerful medicine, but it has a kink in its characteristic curve that is a mixed blessing - it helps make the brightest highlights more readily printable, but often at the price of sucking the vitality out of the upper midtones and lower highlights.

  4. #24
    multi format
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    my favorite paper is expired rc and fb paper, and hand coated with liquid emulsion, and
    i put it in a film holder or back of a camera and make paper negatives with it. i'd rather coat
    smooth paper ( like "virgin" (uncoated) butcher paper ) for me at least,
    it comes out really nice ... im not too particular about printing, i print on whatever i can find too..

  5. #25
    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    To slightly re-frame what I said before, I think the relevant underlying issue here is whether the attributes of a paper - color, FB or RC base, surface finish, DMax, etc. - are central to one's expressive purposes. If so, "what is your favorite paper?" might have a clear answer and might drive one's other technical choices, to enable use of that paper and/or optimize results with it. On the other hand, if one sees paper as secondary to other choices - in my case film choice and exposure habits are primary - then paper may be chosen to best suit the resulting negatives and the idea of "favorite" loses much of its punch, though one might still prefer some products over others to meet the range of requirements posed by one's negatives.
    Well said, and I thank you for your careful analysis of personal choices.
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

    seezee at Mercury Photo Bureau
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  6. #26
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    my favorite paper is expired rc and fb paper, and hand coated with liquid emulsion, and
    i put it in a film holder or back of a camera and make paper negatives with it. i'd rather coat
    smooth paper ( like "virgin" (uncoated) butcher paper ) for me at least,
    it comes out really nice ... im not too particular about printing, i print on whatever i can find too..
    I use fixed-out photo paper (usually very expired, and glossy) as my final support for my single-transfer carbon prints. My stash of paper is pretty sweet -- a lot of 11x14 Elite and Brovira.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #27

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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    I'm a fiber base, graded, glossy kind of guy. I've got a variety of the stuff stocked in my freezer, enough to last quite a few years, but at last look is seems like Ilford Galerie is about the only one Freestyle still carries.

    Realistically, I see paper selection as part of an ensemble, depending on film, subject, and chemicals used. It's sort of like a combo----cheeseburger, fries and a soda. The "right" paper compliments the desired effect----just like the right cheese on a cheeseburger. Pepper Jack, Horseradish Cheddar, Maytag Blue, or ?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #28
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    (slightly off-topic again) ... but I admire your marketing scheme, Vaughn, attracting crowds into a print venue by advertising a taxidermied Sasquatch in the middle
    of the room.

  9. #29
    I live in Connecticut now.
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    This will be my favorite when I can find someone to print with it for me...









    Anyone want to trade? I'll split whatever paper is in here 50/50 if you make prints for me.

    How about it Drew? You say you're the expert on ilfo or cibi, will you be my printer?

    But seriously this stuff has been frozen until I got it last month and I would like to get some images made while there's any chance of it still being usable.

    The 20x24 got wet when taken out of the freezer and the ice melted on it but inside is good.

    So yea, this is now my favorite paper.

  10. #30
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Favorite "analogue" paper & why.

    Thanks Stone; but I only have enough chem on hand for my own remaining frozen stash of 20x24 CPM Ciba. The concentrated P3 chem itself is probably
    still fine, but even frozen the highlights in the paper might have drifted into crossover zone. No way of knowing until I start color printing again, which certainly
    won't be this year at all. Got way too many pre-retirement chores going on, though the lab itself is pretty much ready to go with its upgrades, other than reconfiguring a work station or two for eventual dye transfer printing. I've got quite a backlog of both drymounting and RA4 printing once I do retire from the day
    job.

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