As with all websites and blogs, I have to talk about gear somewhere, and that is here. I will try and explain what I use and why without boring you too much.
I use a View Camera because it allows me time toseee what I’m actually going to photograph, take in the scene and what will be in it, see the weather and see how the light changes the image to be made. Also, using a View Camera allows me to individually develop the sheets I expose, which eliminates the potential for scratches on negatives at the expense of a lot of time.
Easy to use point and shoot. I tend to forget I’ve moved the exposure bias dial so a few shots on each roll are a bit noisy but that’s what you get when you’re lazy. I usually send 35mm rolls to a lab.
Whatever I’m not currently bored of shooting.
Blakemore’s “Beers” (eventually).
Adox Multi Contrast Classic 110 Premium Glossy 16″x20″ Fibre Based paper
Adox Fine Print Vario Classic Matte 16″x20″ Fibre Based paper
I prefer Adox over Ilford papers because the shadows seem to hold more texture before blocking up. It helps when a negative is slightly underexposed; and as Adox don’t tend to make graded paper, one box is all I need.
When it comes to exposure I use Fred Archers and Ansel Adams’ Zone System. It took me close to a year to wrap my head around it, but as soon as I realised it’s not a set of rules cast in concrete but points that you arbitrarily apply to the scene you’re looking at it all fell into place. (You state where ZIII is and what you want ZVII to be and develop accordingly). I try not to let it take control of my methodology as it was developed as a creative tool but it usually does.
I use the DigitalTruth Massive Dev Chart app to help time my agitation scheme.
I process all my sheets in trays, and I can only process 1 sheet at a time to prevent scratches in the emulsion.
My agitation scheme is as follows:
30 seconds of continuous gentle agitation,
4 gentle agitations at the end of each consecutive minute,
2 minutes in stop,
20 minutes in fix, to ensure all anti-halation dyes have been removed,
The obligatory 20 minute rinse with a rinse aid dip, squeegee’d then hung to dry.
That feels about right for now. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and I hope you take the time to read a few posts.