Friday, April 14, 2017

Dump Family Portrait Printing Continues

The 20x24 fiber exhibition print of the "Dump Family" for the "TRUMPET" show might be the hardest print I have ever tried to make. The darkroom work on the photograph involves over 18 steps. I probably have the print under the enlarger light for over 30 minutes (45 minutes?) of extensive dodging and burning. My first print attempt of this print was a disaster, the second attempt below is of much better quality. I will continue working on this photograph the rest of the day. I will probably make 4 or 5 versions before I am done. I think this is a very important photo in the series and I need to get it just right.

Here is the second attempt at the "Dump Family" group portrait.

Attempt #2 at garbage dump family print, Mae Sot Thailand 2016
I am not happy with the fathers left hand, I need to dodge it some in the 3rd printing attempt. I am also going to lighten the entire print by 10%, maybe do a base exposure of 92 seconds or so. I think I will add burn time to the bottom edge of the print, to help draw the viewer eye up to the family.

The print was made on Ilford warmtone fiber photographic paper. With a Durst 138 5x7 condenser enlarger and Agfa #3 filter. Development was in Dectol 1/1 for 3 minutes. The lens is an old 210mm Schneider F5.6. The steps involved in making print version #2 are as follows:

1) Basic exposure of 105 seconds at f5.6 filter 3.
2) Dodge body and head of mother of son -60 seconds. (large round tool)
3) Dodge moms head another -10/-20 seconds (small round tool)
4) Dodge body only of lower mother and son -10/-20 seconds (large round tool)
5) Dodge chest of father - 50 seconds (2nd large round tool, am using 2 dodging tools at the same time)
6) Doge right face of father -30 seconds (small round tool)
7) Burn top left corner +100 seconds (card)
8) Burn top right corner +100 (card)
9) Burn bottom right corner +180 (card)
10) Burn bottom left corner +180 ( card-avoid dogs face)
11) Left side edge burn +180 seconds (card)
12) Burn bottom edge +180 seconds (not dogs face)
13) Burn Right edge +100 seconds
14) Burn floor area under father +100 seconds (avoid hand-L card)
15) Burn right corner +50 (bent )
16) Burn +280 seconds (mask #1)
17) Burn +70 seconds daughters shirt and white bag area (mask #2)
18) Burn another +40 seconds left white bag area (mask #2)

Update* In version #3 of the print I added and another 6 or 7 steps but the print is better. Iill take a rest before attempting #4, printing this negative is exhausting!
Update** Ended up doing 5 prints total. The last 2 I changed from Agfa filters to Ilford which seemed to give more zip to the print. My Agfa #3 filter had faded from the intense heat of the bright enlarger light bulb, and the super long exposures for burning.

I will have to get back at it early tomorrow. I still have 2 more days of printing  ahead of me before I go back to work Monday night. Will let today's photos dry then see where I am at tomorrow. The wet prints look quite good. After lots of effort I feel I am close to conquering this difficult dump family negative. I think the final step count to make the print is close to 30 now.