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Thursday, July 01, 2004

I just have to tell you, I just printed Water Pattern #32 (see below), and this shot, done with XP2, is about as good as anything I've ever done in the abstract vein.  The grain structure is pleasing, and you have wonderful highlights, grays, and rich blacks.  And the shot itself is quite good.  I've done a lot of these water movement on the sidewalk shots, but this one is the best.

In other words, my Zone VI enlarger loves this film.  When you look at it through the grain enlarger, it looks similar to HP5 - not quite as grainy - but very sharp.

I also printed the shot of the Mermaid Tee Shirt - and this too is great.  I don't think you hear me saying these things about my own work too often - but these two shots really made me happy.

Another thing I realized, and this I realize every time I go back into the darkroom is that the silver gelatin print still the most pleasing to me, but the HP Printer (though it only does small prints) comes very close.  The printer does scare me sometimes when it grabs the paper - quite a clanking sound.  Once the head starts moving it is quiet.

The main difference is in the finish of an air-dried fiber vs. the glossy inkjet.

Also, doing larger darkroom prints is not really that bad - it's just that I'm cramped for space, and the real pain is setting up and breaking down the wet darkroom.  I don't think I would complain about it as much if I had a dedicated room to print in.  To get such a room I would need to move, and I can't afford to do it, so I'll just have to live with it.  I talk all the time with neighbors who are looking for larger apartments, and when they tell me the prices I just say - well, maybe - when my ship comes in.  The irony is that to afford an apartment with an extra room, I would have to go back into the business world, would shoot less, and be very unhappy.

12:52:03 PM    

Darkroom day.  I have a lot to get done (orders).  I hope to also get to print some of the new XP2 negatives but I don't know if I'll have the time / energy - maybe.

I have printed them with the HP printer and they look great so I'm not expecting any problems with them.

Also - I found another local lab - Best Photo on 3rd Avenue and 89th street.  So far so good - i.e. no scratches, no dust.  But that's based on one roll.

Anyway - chemicals are mixed - the cloth has been pulled over the window - the folding table is open - and I have about 6 large prints to get through and 2 smaller ones.  I really want to fool around more with the Portfolio software (which I like a lot and did actually buy - $200).  I like it better than iMatch which I removed from my PC the other day.  It is pretty intuitive - works well with the XMP metadata in Photoshop - and the gallery generation is MUCH more sophisticated than the gallery generation in Photoshop. 

Once I get this printing and packaging done - I'm going to think seriously about photographing the fireworks on Sunday.  One possible point might be to go to Roosevelt Island.  Jersey City is better, but more of a pain to get to.  I've never photographed fireworks - and it might be fun to do in color.



8:49:43 AM