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Thread: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

  1. #11

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    Re: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    It will help if you can tell us what specifically you don't like about your current results.
    ^^^this^^^
    What do your images look like under a loupe?
    What method/equipment are you using?
    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.

  2. #12
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

    Good question OP. I agree and I've wondered just how effective burning and dodging is achieved while contact printing. I suppose it's a skill that is acquired through repeated practice, but I would guess that starting with the best negative possible is probably a good strategy. Still, trying to burn and dodge using enlarger techniques is awkward at best and I always feel like I'm working in the blind. And dodging with strips of tissue paper seems to bring on rage and insanity.
    Good luck in your quest!

  3. #13

    Re: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

    Right now I use an enlarger as a light source. Way out of focus. Grade 2 filter and then up or down -- maybe I should be starting with grade 3 then since it was pointed out that we want more contrast? I have an 8x10 plywood "canvas" thing that painters use instead of canvas to hold it up off the surface and then a much bigger piece of glass to hold it down. Then I expose..

    Though I keep the glass clean, the prints have a million white flecks that aren't dust shaped. I wear a hat so as not to moult and don't get those enlarging. I tried just putting the 8x10 neg on paper without glass, and was much happier as no millions of flecks. It was a portrait so the fact it was soft worked out, but it was soft without the glass holding it down. It is also flatter than I can get with my condenser enlarger ... hmmm ... maybe I'm doing the negatives wrong. I've also tried a very small utility bulb from about 3 feet above with a multigrade filter holder in front, and that seems to do as well as the enlarger without having to set up the enlarger all the time -- it is sort of focussed for what I usually print.

    This has been extraordinarily helpful! I'll look into the Van Dyke and other processes but I had assumed they were all chemistry beyond me but that Van Dyke sounds very good. I didn't know where to start so that's a good suggestion.

    Thank you all!

    Dean
    Dean Lastoria

  4. #14
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Roody View Post
    Dean,

    Even though you said "regular paper to start," you should realize that one major advantage of contact printing over enlarging is that you can use alternative process techniques. These processes are not that difficult to learn and the results can be amazing. Christopher James' book is an excellent reference:

    https://www.christopherjames-studio....okreviews.html

    Pete

    I didn't know about this book, but it looks like a worthy addition to the library. The price of a new one made me gasp. But I found a used copy on Amazon for about 1/5 the price of new. :-)
    Last edited by William Whitaker; 25-Jul-2019 at 08:04.

  5. #15

    Re: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

    Pete, I’ve ordered that book — apparently only 3 left in Canada! Jim, thanks for the Van Dyke suggestion — I had an alternate process book that I’d been afraid of and looked up Van Dyke and it does not seem intimidating. And my little book by Webb and Reed even has a chapter on getting a better negative as David suggests. Thanks again! Dean
    Dean Lastoria

  6. #16

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    Re: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    if interested in glossy silver prints, it is necessary to find a source for silver chloride paper instead of silver bromide which is used for enlarging.
    It is not at all 'necessary' to find a pure chloride papers (of which two are currently manufactured and I have serious doubts about the future of one of them). Any kind of photographic paper works fine for contact printing.

  7. #17

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    Re: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    first learn to make negatives which print well with the chosen process. For most contact processes that means more contrast than for enlarging. if interested in glossy silver prints, it is necessary to find a source for silver chloride paper instead of silver bromide which is used for enlarging.
    In my experience, I tend to lose contrast as I increase print size. And, you can certainly use enlarging papers for contact printing; been making contact prints for nearly 40 years with enlarging papers before I started using Lodima and Lupex a few years ago.

  8. #18

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    Re: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    It is not at all 'necessary' to find a pure chloride papers (of which two are currently manufactured and I have serious doubts about the future of one of them). Any kind of photographic paper works fine for contact printing.
    No truer words have ever been written.

  9. #19

    Re: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

    FYI: https://www.lodima.org/photographic-paper
    Palladium toned kallitypes are quite affordable, and very archival. A vacuum frame is probably the best method, IMHO.
    For contact printing I burn very little and dodging is more so used. Cardboard taped to coat hangers and moved around a lot close to the frame.
    For me it probably takes 5 proofs before the final print.

  10. #20

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    Re: Contact printing “how-to” but as a final product, not a proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    It is not at all 'necessary' to find a pure chloride papers (of which two are currently manufactured and I have serious doubts about the future of one of them). Any kind of photographic paper works fine for contact printing.
    Bromide paper does not give the density range of chloride paper. This was proved to me many years ago,and bromide papers have changed, bu not improved in this manner.

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