Promenade (wet print)

 

Silver geletin print on Ilford Mulitigrade lV FB. Selenium toned.

Finally made the time to improvise a temporary darkroom and make some prints. I have to say, producing a print by hand is a tremendously satisfying experience.

I burned in the sky and darkened the top of the tree and house on the wet print to add more drama to a griity, stormy sea front. The grain from the Tri-X negative helps with this too.

I’m sure some one with more computer skills could take this scan and make it look like the print but for me that would be nowhere near as satisfying as watching that image appear from blank white paper in the developing tray.

The scan of the wet print has had no tweaking other than ‘auto levels’ to compensate for scanner deficiencies.

15 thoughts on “Promenade (wet print)

    • Hi Mike.
      Thanks for commenting. I hope your film turns out well and I’m sure you’ll have no problem editing it with today’s choice of image enhancing software.
      Good luck!

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      • It’s really not that difficult and immensely satisfying. Photography is different things to different people but I’d encourage anyone to try at least once to develop and wet print their own negatives. There’s a sense of ownership I just don’t get with digital processing and printing.

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  1. it’s a great shot, it’s such a long time since i ventured into a darkroom, there is nothing like the experience of your first image emerging from the developer. I never managed to produce good prints inthe wet room, I much prefer the PC as a digital darkroom, you can process in the comfort of the livingroom in the light with no smelly chemicals 😎 perhaps it lost some of it’s magic, but the up side is much better images. I would love to give your scanned image ago on the pc.

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    • Thanks Russ. Feel free to give the scanned image a digital workover if you can download it. It’s only a small file so I don’t know if that’s possible.
      Call me weird but I actually like working in the darkroom (the little I’ve done) and ‘suffering for my art’ (cliched I know). It’s all a personal choice of course and I’m definitely not snobbish about it – if an image is good then it doesn’t matter how it was produced.
      I just really like the ownership I have and the feeling that the actual print is mine because I made it. Also doing things comfortably makes me lazy! If I could draw I probably wouldn’t photograph (at least not as much)

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  2. Hi John, I had a go with the image, but it’s too small to do anything with. There is something nice and tangible about a print, especially if you have taken it from blank paper to finished image, so many images nowadays are confined to the digital realm, I try and print a few of my fave images every now and again. I doubt i would ever go back into the darkroom though, as i have re-learnt my craft on the PC, too many new things to learn in the future I guess.

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    • Yep, in a world where millions of images are uploaded to the web daily it’s nice to have something tangible. I fully understand the attraction of digital to most people and as I said it’s the image that counts. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Great job and so nice to see someone else producing a print in a wet darkroom. We’ve been busy working in ours all morning. There’s nothing to compare to watching your work appear before your eyes as if by magic. There’s also nothing like having that first silver gelatin print in your hands once it’s dry!!. Keep up the great work. 😉

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    • Thanks for your encouragement and support. I’m really enjoying this process and love the feeling of having created something myself by hand. Most people I talk too think it’s a bit like witchcraft!

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  4. Your wet print is fantastic John! Absolutely beautiful, it has great character!
    Just a question. How did you manage to get such a great scan of the wet print? I tried today, I took one of my old prints and tried to scan it. It looked just horrible! The mid tones looked all smeared up with the shadows, and fixing the levels on the histogram in the scanning software didn’t go well at all… I just didn’t fix it! Do you have any ideas?

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    • Ironically the flatbed scanner I have which is useless for scanning negatives seems to scan prints really well. I did nothing more than hit ‘auto levels’ in Picasa which deepened the blacks a little. I’m afraid I’m not very good with computer tech. I can empathize – I’m frustrated at having a lot of good looking 120 negatives that I can’t scan and post (until I print them). Sorry I can’t be of more help.

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  5. Oh, thank you anyway! I just have to try again… I am a bit worried though, if a print looks good, maybe toned in some way, and then not having the possibility to scan it properly and share it… Gah…..

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