Monday, February 6, 2017

20x24 Printing Problems

Making 20x24 prints is more difficult to do than smaller print sizes. You have to be deal with larger grain and dust issues, folding bent wet paper, bigger trays, more chemistry, higher enlarger light sources (vibration-focus) as well as larger easels. Then there is the cost of everything which you are always worried about. How many sheets of paper will it take to make this print? How much per sheet?

My main problems with the most recent dad show exhibition negative is dust and edge fogging. The neg has a bit of fogging on the bottom  so I am doing like a 5-10% crop to eliminate it. I do not like to crop my work but this is an important negative that shows dads humanity. I want to include it so that that viewer can see dad first healthier in the hospital before his decline and death. The last photo in the series at the show might be dads body soon after he passed (he had left us but will still warm when I kissed him after making that last photo). I need this more hopeful human photo to offset the other images.

Getting back to the negative I was working this last week. I need to place the enlarger projection at a certain point of my enlarger baseboard to allow for the paper easel to fit properly. To do that I had to use the glass carrier not the glass-less (you can adjust the position of the neg on the glass). When using glass carriers dust can be a nightmare. I was printing large on a condenser enlarger (show everything!) at very high contrast so all that dust-small hairs on the 6 surfaces (4 glass, 2 negative) just got magnified to death. No matter how many times I cleaned the glass the dust-hair problems persisted.

The other problem was that when I tried to crop the fog, I ended up not having enough room to move about the very large paper easel. What to do? I had a tight fitting easel on my baseboard and dust that I could not remove.

I will pack it in for the week and think about this. I think what I need to do is go to the glass-less negative carrier which will remove much of the dust problems. I will also try removing the paper easel and print directly onto the wooden baseboard. I might try holding the fiber photographic paper down with weights or tape. This way I can get the full negative the way I want it onto the sheet. The photo will not have the sharp white edges an easel gives but I can cover (hide) those blurred edges with my over mat when the picture is framed. Maybe not a super pro solution but it should work for exhibition purposes.