Tag Archives: caffenol-c

some of the buildings and structures in boston

i lived in or near boston for around 15 years.  and while it has changed a lot since i left ( 1998 )

it is still very much the same.  while i love new construction and modern architecture i also love

the alleys, 19th century and 20th century architecture.

the last few times i went to boston i photographed the skyline, and a handful of buildings

using the camera i was given when i was about 15 years old.  ( pentax k1000 )

mine has been used steadily since the early 1980s and even fell out of a backpack

when i was running to catch a bus …  the baseplate slammed so hard on the concrete it separated the prism

and top plate from the camera enough that i had to put duct tape on it so it would work right

eventually i brought it to a camera repair shop and now it’s 15 years later and good as new .

 

off state street

alley and air conditioning brackets

off state street

federal reserve south station

twin buildings

 

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boston cambridge

sometimes i drive to boston with a camera

i stop at alewife station and take the T into the city

about a year ago there were demonstrations on the boston common

and i parked at the garage and took the T in …

a weekend or 2 later i drove and parked in the city and wandered like old times.

 

T stop

view of the skyline

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ARAX60 !

it seems that i have been asleep at the wheel for the past 8 months but i assure you i haven’t !

its been a really strange new year ( to say the least ) and i have handfuls of stories to tell  …

i bought another ancient rolleicord ( i never can afford rolleiflexes ).  i had one for a while years ago

but sold it to a friend and regretted selling it almost as soon as i dropped it off.  its funny, my first MF camera

was an old kodak reflex that was my uncles, i used it in high school and when my cousin needed it i sent it back …

then in college i scraped my $$ and went to an old camera shop a few miles away called “king arthur’s camera shop”

and bought a used yashica mat 124G  and LOVED it.  well i loved it until i ran out of money a few years later and sold it to

a good friend along with armloads of 120 film.  yup i regretted it soon after she drove off! fast worard a few months ago

and the MF bug bit me again …  i got another ancient triotar lensed rolleicord but IDK it didn’t have a flash sync so i sold it to

someone in NYC for the exact price i paid ( i tend to do that ) and found me another rolleicord through the

photrio classifides …  it had a flash sync and has been a lot of fun to use.  its a rollicord V   as much fun as it is,

i LOVE not having to look DOWN all the time.  left is right , right is left  its not hard to figure out but i’d rather just look and not have to think..

i was bitten by the keiv bug…

well, not really the keiv bug but the ARAX bug.

keiv cameras have a rich history in the soviet union.  based on western or eastern europen brands they did their own thing

and they were OK ..  but here in the west i guess OK isn’t good enough !

then there is ARAX …  these guys got the best of the keiv cameras and rebuilt them …  fixed the light leaks, fixed the mechanisms

that might have been flawed …

i had my sights on an arax cm, basically refered to as a “hasselbladski” because it is a russian copy of a early hasselblad. i scoured ebay

and for sale listings and eventually realized thatwhile it is a great camera, well, with something that sophisticated,

there are usually things that go wrong,  so instead  … i settled on a arax 60  and to be honest i couldn’t be happier !

i was sooo close to ordering it right from the arax factory, but i found a seller here in the states who i knew and he was as excited

to sell it to me as i was to buy it !  he sold it to me with the original standard lens and some close up “tubes” … but i had heard about

the mythical qualities of the sonar lenses …  so i ended up getting some nice deals on a pair of sonar portrait lenses …  not sure

if i can say they are mythic, but they are nice and do the trick !

i’ve made some portriats with the camera and some general photographs and can’t be happier with the results.

not to say i won’t use my rolleicord from time to time but for now the arax 60 is doing the trick !

 

new brutalist detail
arax 60

almost torn down, hand colored arax 60

 

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late summer photographs

just a taste of what i have been doing lately.

it includes using a cyclone #3 and empire state …

as usual, i have been off the beaten path, i ended up in west greenwich at the plain meeting house

and also found myself at the abandonned and partially redeveloped lonsdale mill complex.  i’ve been to both places

before, but its been months.  i also found myself at home photographing closely.

tinted

cyclone #3, caffemol C + faux dektol

tinted in PS

trailer truck along building, overcast sun peeking through

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cyclone negative cyanotype

a couple of days ago i was making some more cyanotypes i loaded up some contact frames with waxed negatives to see if i could get a better print than i did with my old coated paper some of those prints just didnt’ work out ..  and at the same time i found an old hand coated paper negative made with the cyclone #3 a while ago, that was just sitting on the tabletop.  i had cleaned up quite a bit a week or 2 ago:  i swept the floor;  i organized;  i put things away;  i stacked things;  i found things i hadn’t seen in a while.  the paper negative was a rediscovery, even though it wasn’t really lost.  it seems like it was coated on xerox paper, it is thin and durable.  not sure what emulsion is on it, maybe foma?  maybe my home-brew, not sure.  it has a nice contrast and look and i stuck it in the contact frame.  the waxed negatives took a ton of time before to expose, so i was banking on a day or 2 in the sun for all 3 of the cyanotypes.  it was a lot more diffuclt in late october because the sun is low, and it moves across the sky differently than before, so i had to really follow the sun around with the print frames. i did OK i suppose, but i was more in open shade than i was in the sun, and that is OK too.  the print is made from the same classic formula i coated the others with.  and after 2 days in the sun i washed it in water and added a little hydrogen peroxide to finish the development, and eventually i painted some areas of the print with dilute washing soda to give a yellowish hue to some areas. anyhow, its the kitchen table and window and chairs. not sure if i am going to add my own colors or leave it, the blue tones of cyanotypes are starting to grow on me.

 

classic, and blue

window table and chairs
classic cyanotype H2O2 to develop out faster as i always do, and a little washing soda to bleach and ad color

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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hand tinted

this is a hand tinted image of a tree &c down the road from me.  it was made with either a 8×10 or 11×14 paper negative, i can’t remember which one, but it was run through the empire state …  after scanning the image and inverting it, i added some colors.

hand tinted from large format paper negative

the wind blew at the coast, the leaves rustled and starlings flew away

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photo illustration sort of, PS colored photo reconstruction

a while back i made some paper negative from hand made emulsion the negatives were more like a collage of things, images, textures, brush strokes. i decided to scan big and crop small and the image i retrieved from the paper was a sweet photograph of trees and a fencepost, but it always seemed to be missing something whenever i looked at it.  i put it aside for a good 6 months and looked at it a little bit more once i had distance from it

 

railing and trees

railing and trees

 

the other day i spent a handful of hours working on it.

i enlarged the canvas, i added colors ( which was i originally had hoped to do )

anyways, i worked and worked added, and subtracted and came up with this

 

 

cyclone

reworked image

it took hours, and it really still isn’t completely done, but it was fun making something that never really existed.

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hand coating xerox paper

i’ve been experimenting a little with hand coating a variety of different papers.  i have a stack of paper i was given 20 years ago that is slowly being  eaten away and i know i will need to find another something to coat.  i brought the paper to my print shop and local art stores ( locally we have a jerry’s artarama, dick blick and the risd store ).  no one could really tell me what it was but someone told me it seemed like butcher paper.  i looked around for a source and found a few places, i could get it on a big roll or separate 1/2 sheets.  uline has both sheets and rolls, alex art supply too.  its “virgin paper” so it doesn’t have the wax coating on it.  my local restaurant supply stores also have it too, in a big roll.  none of it was the same feel ( i got samples ) as the paper i have been using, but at least now i have a few leads.

a while back i bought a reem of 14×17 xerox paper that was acid free ( i am told it is ALL acid free ) .  i originally was using it to do rubbings which were waxed to print as silver prints or iron ones (cyanotypes) and it worked great, so i figured i would see how it held up with stuff coated on it.  i have a bunch of cyanotype emulsion coated on it, but haven’t exposed it yet, and i am wondering if i should bother.  i also coated 1 sheet with foma liquid emulsion and exposed it and just finished processing the negatives.  i love how smooth paper looks with emulsions on it.  most of the negatives look good but it came with a price.

the paper is VERY thin.  if azo or single weight printers think single weight paper is thin, they have never used xerox paper or thin japanese paper ( i’ll be using some of that next ).  a couple of pieces tore a little bit.  it wasn’t, too bad, maybe it was maybe because i am clumsy with rubber examination gloves on ( i hate using them ),  but it is something i worry about a little bit.  thin paper is weak when it is wet.

i also have a bunch of things i coated lately that i will be exposing and printing on.  i have some photo grade gelatin purchased from artcraft ( THEY ARE GREAT ! ) for my self made emulsion projects as i plug along.

so, this long ramble to say:  if you use xerox paper, be careful, its nice but it might be more trouble than it is worth.

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new caffenol, new liquid emulsion

over the last 10 years i have grabbed the caffenol c bull by the horns and wrestled it to the ground.  soon after i was given the “teaspoon” recipe i added a tiny bit of print developer and modified the developer so i could use it as my main go-to film developer.  eventually i changed how i processed film again, by splitting my development like a divided developer / alkaline bath  and began using the print developer i had always been using for film ( first ansco 130, now dektol ) and the caffenol c ( with a splash of print developer in it ) one after the other.  i began doing this first for prints, to jump start the developer so it wouldn’t take as long for the caffenol c to work.  from my experiments i learned it took 2 or 3x the normal developing time ( 1 min rc, 2 mins fiber ) for prints in caffneol, and i really am impatient and don’t want to wait 3 mins ( or 6mins ) for prints.  i shuffled the prints between print developer and coffee, until it was done .. and i figured, why not try this with film, so i began doing that.

i tend to not make developer often.  the sumatran caffenol lasts for hundreds of films and hundreds of prints.  i have a tub with 6L of developer in it, and usually take 1L out and put a new L in.  last night i got rid of my 6L and made 5 fresh with old instant coffee i had lying around.  we drank some of this instant on camping trips and when we had a power outage this summer, it didnt’ taste very good, so it makes more sense to me to make developer out of it 🙂   i free-poured the coffee, and carbonate and vit c as i always did, and i made 12 cups (around 1L) of sumatran coffee and added it in.

i’ve decided to use the developer 1-shot for now on.

i’m also almost done with all my film, only a few boxes left, and a few bottles left of liquid emulsion.  1’ve purchased denise ross’s book ( she runs the light farm ) on emulsoin making, and price some silver nitrate for when the magic day comes.  while i made emulsion as a wet behind the ear college student, i figure a good instruction book  from someone who knows what she is doing isn’t a bad place to start.  as i plug through these last boxes of film, and bottles of emulsion i’ll be thinking of my new adventure, making my own emulsion for use in-camera and under-enlarger.  i’ve mised some tintype reversal developer ( i hope this home brew recipe works ! ) so i am running on all cylinders again after a year or 2 of back-peddling.

 

i’ll post more often as i finish all these things, and start making my own.

Posted in liquid emulsion Also tagged , |

quick and dirty processing for expired or ” no idea what kind of film it is ” film

as you might have read, if you have found this blog / journal i don’t typically use fresh film, chemistry or paper.  i am fond ofthe expired variety.  for the past maybe 15 years my “personal” photography adventure has all been done with out of date, bought cheap, given to me for the price of shipping film.  yes, i have bought new, for work done for others, but for myself it has all been the materials some people suggest is  ready for the trash heap.

there really is no cure all for the problems that might be considered “the downfall” of expired film.  sometimes the people ahead of you in the long line of owners stored it in their 150ºF car for weeks and just remembered before giving it to you or selling it on eBay suggesting it was found in their neighbor’s house and they were asked to sell it … or it could have been lying around a warm house with drastic seasonal temperature changes, or it could have just been sitting on a shelf in a cool not too humid basement.  so you have to be prepared for loss of speed, maybe fog, or the worst case scenario, the film not working at all … most of the film i use that is expired i know where it has been, so its provenance is not so mysterious.  when i get it, it gets put in a place that doesn’t have too much temperature variation, and not too much humidity.  when i expose it, i typically over expose a few stops ( i do this with “fresh film” too so it isn’t that much of a stretch for me

but for some who love to shoot box speed or “push” process, this can be an issue ). the trick in processing isn’t really a trick at all.  it is to use a print developer like dektol, or ansco 130, or whatever else you might have on hand.  sometimes they are called “universal developers” …  whatever you want to call them, they work well.  some restrain the fog that might have appeared on the film from poor storage too. the “old trick” for using print developers for film again isn’t really a trick at all.  for dektol it is the dilution becomes the time. so 1:5 is for 5 mins, 1:7 for 7 mins 1:3 is 3 mins.  ansco130 i used to regularly use 1:6 for 8.5 mins.  i liked dense and contrasty film and i am sure it would have worked fine at 6 mins like its cousin “gaf universal” used to suggest on its can.  i have read stories, and talked to old pros from days gone by and they regularly put their sheets of film or rolls of film in strong dektol ( 1:2 or 1:2 ) and just let it sit there, no agitation for 1 or 2 mins.  i have never done that so i can’t really recommend it, but i have done 1:6 both with dektol and ansco and it works great.   if you are a coffee developer user another couple of things i have done uses coffee (as you might have guessed).   you mix a strong batch of caffenolC ( i use the teaspoon recipe ) and add a splash of your favorite print developer into it.  i used ansco130 for years, now i do this with dektol.  and you stand develop your film for about 27-30 mins.  before you sink your film in the developer, you water bath it so you get the emulsion swollen and ready to absorb the developer.  and you bank the tank &c to get rid of the air bubbles.  then you just pour the developer in the tank.  i agitate for a few seconds and bang the tank again to get rid of the bubbles and then just walk away for about 1/2 hour.  if you want yo can agitate a little bit in between halfway through or the end, don’t do it much …  your film is pretty much going to look OK.  i also do the split develop routine now too.  1:8 for about 8 mins it would have been …  i process the film for 4 mins with a normal agitate scheme (water bath first, then 1 min continuous, then 10sec / min) then i pour out the print developer and continually agitate the film tank, now full of strong caffenolC with a splash of print developer in there.  you don’t need much print developer 20cc 15cc whatever you want.

again, your film will come out looking nice.  maybe a little dense maybe not too dense … either way you will be able to print with an enlarger, or contact print or scan if you like to do that.

if you like examples …

poke around this blog, or my image kind area and most of the black and white images there, made within the last 15 years

were done using the methods i have described.

 

have fun!

Posted in film development technique, technique and style Also tagged , |

last group of cups and plates

i had a mini project with cups and saucers and bowls and plates.  all taken with a large camera on sheet film, processed in coffee and print developer ..  scanned and colors added by me ..  all sort of green and red, some better than others, all just fun  and playing around.

 

the bottom cups and handles were not taken at the same time, and just sort of fit together and noticed after the fact …

green and red cups and plates

hand colored

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self made close up attachment

you read it right.

i made myself a close up attachment for my graflex slr.  i did this a handful of years ago because i wanted to do macro work, or at least “magnified” photographs and couldn’t put a long lens on the camera because of bellows extension.  so what did i do ?

i took one of the handful of old junk lenses i had lying around, and assembled something that i could stick in or on or over my camera.  i have done this with a few different lenses i use with the slr, and it is fun.  the depth of field is nearly gone so you have to be careful what you focus on.  you also need to realize that depending on where you have the bellows cranked open to, your lens to subject distance will change, and the magnification will change as well  …  so the image might end up looking normal not magnified.

this is something i made exposures of last week and assembled as a tri chrome moments ago.  i know the colors are a little weird, i kind of like this sort of charm, like a bad fotomat print  😉

because i had excessively expired film and developer i decided to stop down a little bit and make very long exposures.

i am not sure what F-number i stopped down to, my sunshade blocks the numbers, so i will just say 1/8 a turn  ..
and the film was exposed for around 15seconds each exposure.

 

graflex slr, sumatranol130 + dektol

home made close up lens, expired film, and developer

Posted in film development technique, technique and style, using vintage equipment Also tagged , |

coffee cups

originally …

i made 4 exposures, 1 with NO filtration and 3 others ( RGB ) and i was going to make a trichrome image of these coffee cups that look like stacked bowls but i ran into a little trouble.  while i love making exposures and i love processing film, i had no way of identifying the negatives after the film was processed.  i suppose if i was some sort of superhero i could look and know what was what, but there is too much stain in the film for me to be able to see which is which.  this can sometimes be a problem when processing 36 sheets of film at a time, and they get a little jumbled up  😉

so, instead of spending hours trying to ID the film, or making many many attempted trichromes with photoshop like some sort of mind bending puzzle i decided to take one of the images and hand color it, 4 different ways.  i used christmas colors and had some fun.

so, here are a few hand colored photographs.

4 up

hand colroed black and white

feel free to poke around on imagekind if you see something that you like they are less expensive than me making the prints by hand 😉

 

 

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around 36 exposures

the last few days i have been using a graflex slr ( series D )  ..  just moments ago i exposed my last 12 exposure  ” bag mag ” full of what might be foma 2oo and tmx 100.  i loaded the film a month or so ago in anticipation of using it up fast.  i researched the notch codes seeing i didn’t recognize them, there are a lot of films that used that code and my best guess is that i loaded was fomapan200.  i found this very strange because i have have only bought fomapan200 film once in my life and the film box is unopened.  …  i am certain there are elves living nearby and they seem very interested in large format photography!  they have borrowed my light meters and cameras, film holders, glass plate holders, even film and dry plates in the past … usually the stuff is lost for about a year and they put things back with film i have never purchased.  so, i’m guessing this 30 sheets of fomapan200 was an exchange for the 30 sheets of tmy ( old 400 ) that went missing about a year ago.  it sounds almost like a modern brothers grimm story ( the shoemaker and the elves ), but that’s a post for a later date.

===

i loaded it in the bag mags ( 4 of them ) and made some controlled exposures to test my new film developer line which is DEKTOL 1:7 ( 4 mins )  then SUMATRA CAFFENOL C ( 5 mins ) then wash and fix normally.  if you read my posts here from time to time you will notice this seems familiar.  i usually do the same thing using ansco 130  ….  while it is sort of a new adventure, i am quite certain it will be just fine and i probably won’t even notice the difference.   i’ll post a few scans after i process the film.

 

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3 paper negatives inverted

again with my paper negative tests

my dektol tests

my dektol + sumatra coffee developer split development tests

 

today i loaded film holders up and exposed the negatives in a more controlled environment.  i used a graflex series D camera so i cold focus and have a better idea of the exposure than a box camera …

well — sort of.

i also took a light meter reading, something i haven’t done in probably 2 years.  i wanted to know the unknowns and make exposures to see what was going on.   the first exposures was the middle one the images were all taken through a window — i pointed the meter out and set to iso 6.  i read about 6 seconds @ f4.  so i focused and stopped down a teeny bit and counted to 8 seconds  the 2nd exposure ( far left ) stopped down a quarter turn and about 20-22 seconds.  the 3rd exposure was a double exposure.  the first one stopped down more than 1/4 turn 20 seconds and then  wide open about 4 seconds.

not sure exactly what my fstops were because the lenshood blocks the numbers, i just know it wasn’ t f3.8 and it  wasn’t f 32 …

the prints were processed a the same exact time.  when the image appeared to come up i switched from dektol to caffenol then back in the dektol for a little boost in contrast i scanned them and inverted them and just barely adjusted the levels. my guess is the exposures and development were pretty much on target and the paper

hasn’t lost much contrast or gained much fog in 15 years since it is old and expired KODAK paper … i wish it didn’t all have kodak professional paper watermarking the back of the paper, or i would contact print the negatives into positive prints, the exposures look good for that too.

graflex paper negatives

dektol sumatranol split

 

even though this looks like 1 image, if you click on it you will see all 3

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