A print scale, sometimes also called a step wedge, is a darkroom tool that can make your workflow more consistent and efficient. A step wedge is functionally similar to a print scale but has a slightly different purpose.
Normally to determine the proper exposure of a print you make a test print. This is done after you frame, focus, stop down the enlarger lens, and turn off the not-safe lights. You'd then get a piece of light sensitive paper and a board. You'd set the timer for 1 minute and cover all the photo paper with the board except for a small strip. Turn the enlarger on with the timer and uncover more of the paper every 5 seconds. Process the paper normally and you should be able to determine a good starting exposure from the strip you like the best.
Whoo it worked, some years ago I ran into a problem with my Koni-Omega 6x7 medium format camera. It was a nasty light leak that looked horrible. I think I figured it out, which will be its own post coming up. For now I'm just happy the contact sheet looks good. I shot this on a little photowalk around Saginaw just before a big storm with a 58mm F5.6 lens. Shot sort of as a test shoot. My iphone light meter had some issues with backlit, sunset, shots but did pretty well overall. This is Tri-X pushed to 800 in Xtol 1+1. This "contact sheet" is just a cell shot of the negs on a light box and then inverted.
The web is full of photography tips film or digital. One of the things people really seem to dig are film tips that use non-photography items.
Sometimes you see this posed as questions like: "What's the most unusual thing in your camera bag?" Other times it's almost the whole DIY Photography genre from lighting to building your own camera.
Well here's an off the wall tip using a very non-photography related item: a Scrunchi!
Some medium format cameras have interchangeable backs. This allows you to load several up and just change backs when a roll is finish. It's faster than reloading a back.
W00t! I got mine. It's and end of one era as we transition to more and more e-commerce. I enjoyed the ride and FreeStyle's catalogs. I can understand why we are where we are today and no doubt Freestyle will remain my go-to company for all things analog photography.
Just got in a new film photography related patch from Tap & Dye. It's super cool and reminds me of Motorcycle Club artwork. I mean, it's got a skull, lightning bolts, script fonts, we're talkin' bad ass here! 3" diameter circle with an iron on backing make it easy to flaunt.
The only catch is that it was $12.75 to my door. The price might not be for everyone, but then again, neither is looking this good!
Tweet this bomb ass patch! Tweet
I was talking with a fellow film photographer one time and the subject of maintaining a growing base of work in terms of negatives came up. I told him what I do and he said "Wow, you're really organized! I should do that." I thought this was a little odd because most people wouldn't describe me as organized. I decided years ago, sifting through boxes of prints from labs for that one frame I wanted to print that there had to be a better way. I developed a system of archiving negatives that work for me. Having my negatives organized makes my time in the darkroom more fun and productive. It has evolved over time and is its own work in progress. I rarely if ever can't find a negative provided it was shot after 2005.
B&W is having an awesome photography contest for analog photographers. Everyone from wet plate enthusiasts to Lomo shooters can join in! Categories include alt process, toy camera/pinhole, vintage images, and smartphone.
The important stuff:Submissions will be accepted from 05/27/15 until 10/15/15. Submissions must be made on CD and mailed in. Cost is $30 for the entry of two images, each additional image is $10.
More information and details are available here: http://www.bandwmag.com/contest-info/11