489 words on Black and White
It was Wednesday, meaning there was another quality evening at the photo lab. And this time we were there on our own because our domestic artist, aka teacher, wasn’t in town. So we just cut the crap talking (which can be interesting but seems to waste loads of time, particularly when everybody would like to actually have some prints ready for ‘seasonal’ reasons) and went straight ahead. This in turn meant we actually got plenty of prints done which was great.
Of course this gave us plenty of opportunities to try out the new ORWO papers which seemed to be a tiny bit unreliable in terms of exact reproducibility but otherwise were a real charm. I mostly did rather small prints this time. We ended up ‘pressing’ most of them to be matte as the shiny way of doing that doesn’t seem to work all that well with the combination of our skills and the machine at hand. But usually I think a matte finish is nicer anyway, so that wasn’t much of a concern.
As I had also ordered a roll of photo paper – 115m×7cm, we also had a go at these. Of course it’s difficult to actually use that format of paper beneficially as very few photos will be able to use the great length of it but fit into its small width. So I came up with an idea that proved quite popular: Just use several stripes of the paper to assemble a larger sheet – three 30cm stripes add up to about an A4 size. And people did this in different ways. With the papers matching up exactly or with gaps left between them, which looks quite cool to me.
At those sizes, actually processing the paper starts being a bit of a hassle as the containers holding the chemicals only have a certain size and you have to move the papers around and in and out trying to make sure they get reasonably evenly developed.
But to finish things off, I went for a big one. One that was inspired by the scene in Blowup where Thomas makes those huge magnifications by projecting the image onto the opposite wall (rather than just down where the paper usually lies. I had never done that before and luckily the projectors we use can be tilted suitably. But of course I was still limited to 7cm in width… making it rather impossible to get a whole photo on a stripe like that. And hence I went for some rather harsh cropping and ended up making a print of about 90cm×7cm of a stripe across my flatmate Daniel. As he’s the one who got me into the Blowup thing to begin with he might appreciate this. As this was the last print I made, it’s still in the lab drying though… it did look a bit rough at the large magnification, but it also looked rather cool.
Sigh. In this digital age, I am missing the darkroom now. :-(
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