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4c. In the Dark - Printing

leura cascades, 1999

Printing: My enlarger is a venerable old Omega D2V 5x4 enlarger, complete with Omega D type condensor lamphouse. My enlarging lenses are 75mm f4, 80mm f5.6 and 135mm f5.6N El-Nikkor (by Nikon) - no longer made - or 150mm Componon-S by Schneider-Kreuznach.

The enlarging paper I used to use most regularly was Agfa Multicontrast (either fibre base or resin coated). Again, unfortunately no longer being made (notice a trend here?). News of the rebirth of this paper - manufactured by a third party to the original specifications - abounds but I have yet to see any of it in Australia. With the demise of Agfa, I now use Ilford Multgrade IV developed in Ilford Multigrade Developer or Agfa Multicontrast developer.

God may be the Supreme Artist, but he rarely gets the tonal relationships "just right" for B&W photography :-) so most prints are subject to some form of exposure manipulation - either "burning in" (darkening) or dodging (lightening) selected areas by giving more or less exposure at the printing stage. See this page for an example of how my "Never Never Creek" image has been manipulated by burning.

All prints are toned in Kodak Rapid Selenium toner diluted 1 part toner to 10 parts water. The time spent in the toner varies according to how much colour shift is required. This is both for aesthetic reasons (it removes the "green" cast exhibited by untoned paper, and deepens the blacks slightly) and archival reasons.

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