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Month: October 2014

Jobot

Jobo motor base, in progress

October 11

I’ve been developing film in trays in the dark almost 20 years, which sounds more like a prison sentence than a term of experience. To be able to work in normal room lighting, I’ve made a few daylight hand-inversion tanks, and had good results with 4×5- but for 5×7 the tank size and solution amounts make this approach impractical.

I’ve always wanted to try a Jobo ‘Expert’ Drum, which uses a minimum of solution, and works by rotation instead of inversion. I finally found a deal on one (they are ~$500 new), and was excited about putting it to use. I was struck, using this thing for the first time manually, how unbelievably tedious it is to spin this drum for 10-15 minutes, and how awkward to get the chemicals in cleanly, and how much of a hassle to clean and dry between batches of negatives.   Out of desperation, I made all these cheap and ridiculous ancillary items – funnel and stand, converted skateboard roller base,  hair-dryer to dry the tank between uses, and a ridiculous crank-wheel- all just to be able to give this thing a proper evaluation.  Since I was already in over $300 over the drum, I didn’t want to waste a bunch more money if I was just going to go back to tray shuffling. (Trays cost under $15 and need no accessories.)
Continue » Jobot

The paper year

cloister-1

Cloister, Catedral de Sta Maria
Carbon transfer on Lanaquarelle

I haven’t done a lot of alt printing lately, but with all the recent remodeling I had to find new space for my stash, and so I took a little inventory.  Also, for some reason this fall my interests have returned to the darkroom with an eagerness that’s startling. Here’s to extending the shortening days with long hours of music and printing. Maybe this is just from some general registry for the tactile, all knotted up with nostalgia for the new school year.  I always thought October was a better start for the new year than January- the fiscal calendar has it right.  Time to find a comfortable place indoors and take stock.  I’ve always loved any craft supplies but paper is special, almost fetishistic. Doing the things that concern themselves with paper as possibly just an excuse to handle the paper itself. Drawing, printing, painting. I quit writing as much when I switched from a typewriter to keyboard. Continue » The paper year