Tag Archives: graflex

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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working with lumenized prints again

i am never quite sure what to call sun prints using regular old photo paper.  with plant materials and the same paper they are called lumen prints, with a pinhole camera stashed in a tree for 6months they are called solargraphs, long exposed in a camera they can be called retina prints  but what are contact prints called ?  they aren’t POP prints ( printing out paper ) where they are developed with water and toned+fixed.  whatever they might be called, i’m doing them again as part of a new project …

these prints are part film, part lumenized, part inverted negative and soon to be part cyanotype.
(i have to coat some paper )
this is a triple image, so please click on it so you see all three


negative, inverted positive, luminized

30 year old film, split processed coffee and ansco 130


negative, positive, lumanized print



this one is 4 images, not 3

springtime flowers

4 lumenized prints

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retina prints

for a few years now  have been making contact prints, and camera prints with just photo paper.

it started off as an experiment because i saw how easy it was to make cyanotypes, and i saw some absolutely
beautiful lumenprints by a photographer named bruce over on apug.  he made contact prints with plants and a heavy piece of glass on top
it was left in the sun, and the plant sort of bakes into the paper.  the print appears like a photogram, and through coaxing and toning
the image can be preserved.  they are something to behold …  i took a different route ..

instead of putting plants under glass, i just leave them on top, i don’t mind air spaces and depth and shadow.  i also put negatives on the
paper ( regular old photo paper ) and glass on top or in a contact frame  …  and in both cases images appear, but they can’t be preserved
seeing the plants or film didn’t bake into the paper …  so i scan the images to preserve them.  i also use cameras to do this sort of thing to.
instead of a small pinhole and leaving the camera open for 6 months i use a regular lens and leave the shutter open from anywhere from 30mins
to 8 hours.  again the images can’t be fixed, so i scan them.

today i loaded my graflex 3A postcard slr with a sheet of 5×7 paper and left the shutter open for about 30mins.

plants and windowbox


i inverted it to make it a positive image


windowbox and weeds


and a little while ago i added colors to the negative

weeds and windowbox




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more glass and metal coated

last night with the radio keeping me company
i heated emulsion and scrubbed glass and
coated 6- 5×7, 4- 4×5 glass plates  1 – 4×5 metal sheet, and 2 trimmed small ones for 35mm and MF.
they chilled and now are drying out in the dark ..

i hate waiting and wish SGE would dry out quicker, but it doesn’t …


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hand color, sun print .. half the dream

sometimes i run on inertia,
i just am on autopilot and don’t really stop and think
if i am doing something right or wrong &c.

the colors were added by me using a mouse.


glass plate sun print hand colored

Posted in alternative process photography, images on glass and metal, images on hand coated paper, photographs, technique and style Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

hand colored work, from dry plates

i am kind of stuck in hybrid mode these days

part of me is stuck in about 1890 and the other part in 2013 ..

recently i have been hand coating metal and glass plates with liquid emulsion
some were exposed and developed in a special developer to convert the negative image to a positive
( tintypes and ambrotypes ) with wet plate images this is done with collodion spiked with certain salts
which then bind with silver nitrate and are developed …this sort of thing was invented in the late 1850s early 1860s …

what i am doing was invented 20 years later.  instead of the silver nitrate ( and salts ) being suspended in a slowly drying
celluloid ( collodion ) that needs to be processed into a photographic image right away when still “wet”, i am using the silver-stuff
that has been suspended in clear gelatin.  they are called DRY plates …  it is the same silver gelatin liquid that i coat on paper ..
the same emulsion you can make yourself if you want  ( it really is easy enough for a college student to do ..  i did as a 20 years old at least )
and it is really easy to purchase from a store in a bottle  ( liquid light, black cat, se-1 &c ) …
in around 1900 someone discovered a way to invert the image to make a positive …  street photographers capitalized on this making instant portraits and post cards  ( developing tank under + attached to the camera ) …  and you can still do this today with the rockland colloid tintype kit

that is what i am using at least because the recipe for the developer is an unknown …

some plates are tintypes i made, some ambrotypes

and some are hand colored ( using photoshop )



Posted in alternative process photography, film development technique, images on glass and metal, liquid emulsion, photographs, technique and style Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

more work from the graflex 3A

at the beginning of this year i bought a graflex 3A.  i wasn’t quite sure what i was going to do with it …

the shutter was old and finicky, and while i had been in touch with a graflex guru to rehabilitate the camera, i opted not to use the shutter at all.  the camera originally took 122A roll film that was more than 3″ in width, and included a special backing to write notes on the edge of the negative ( it is an “autographic” camera ).  some people convert these cameras to use 120 format film, which is about 2.5″ wide but without a working shutter i opted to use the camera only for shooting paper negatives.  i have been working with paper instead of film for years with large format cameras (4×5, 5×7, 8×10, 11×14).  the format of this camera is 3.25×5.5 ”
and i love the long rectangular format so this was going to be fun.

at first i put single sheets of 5×7 paper in the camera, it made a beautiful exposure centered on the 5×7 paper, and this would work well if i didn’t need to make more than one exposure at a time, or i had a way to exchange exposed paper for unexposed paper.   i scavenged a second film spool from another 3A camera i have, and i experimented to find the best way to make long rolls of paper.  first i rolled fiber paper.  i had a lot of wasted paper, and the emulsion tends to crack when cold or bent, so i soon  realized this wasn’t the best choice.  i found a box of old 8×10 resin coated paper and cut pieces in half.  they were perfect for the spools.  i took tape and connected 4 sheets of sliced paper end to end and then wound the paper onto a spool.  i taped the end  and left the paper for another day.  leaving it wound up gave a “memory” to the paper so it wouldn’t readily unwind itself in the camera.

i eventually put the spool of paper in the camera and taped the end to the receiving spool and closed the back.  there was no backing paper with numbers on it to remind me where to stop winding, so i just winged-it.  2.5 full revolutions seemed to be OK.  made a lens cap out of tape and cardboard and put it on the front of the lens and was ready to make some exposures.  the system worked well, and i have shot 2 rolls of paper so far.

after the paper is done, i go back to the darkroom and turn on the red light.  i unwind the paper from the receiving spool and put each sheet in a warm water bath to relax the curl.  then i put them one at a time in a 3.5 gallon container filled with used coffee developer i have run film through.  the coffee developer works great with paper negatives.  it is low contrast and slow.  the images appear at around 2 minutes and finish developing at about 4 minutes.

the images scan well, and print beautifully as contact prints.

Posted in alternative process photography, film development technique, photographs, technique and style, using vintage equipment Also tagged , |

ancient roll film camera and spools of … paper not film

many years ago i bought a medium format camera and used rolled paper inside instead of film. it wasn’t hard to roll about 2 feet of paper on an empty spool, but unfortunately
the tension on the film advance mechanism couldn’t take it, and it broke.

the graflex 3A is a little different. it is about 100 years old and the advance mechanism is just a key on the bottom of the camera. the spools are about 3 1/2 inches + in length and originally they were used for spools of film with a paper backing. this particular camera is an “autographic” so there was a little
window that slides open and a metal stylus to write notes on the negative. it was like carbon paper and made white letters on the print. i figured that a long roll of paper would wind very well in this camera, since it was originally made for film that was 2 layers thick.

i took some 5×7 sheets and cut them in half and taped them together.
i am a fan of black masking tape – it removes easily. after 8 sheets of paper were connected
i taped a leader on each end ( piece of 35mm film ) and put the paper spools in the camera.
i wound and wound
and noticed how many turns it took to get to the next frame ..
and i rewound the paper and closed the back again.

i began making exposures, but the paper wasn’t left wound on the spool tight enough, for long enough so it unraveled inside and bound up.

in a dim lit room, i opened the back, retaped the paper, and advanced it again.
it seemed to work fine.

i was a little off with “2 1/4 turns= 1 frame” but it was close enough.

these images were not photoshopped except to invert.
with the darker one the brightness was turned down a tiny bit.

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