The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Making your print in the darkroom
Walter Glover
Posts: 1107
Joined: 31 Jul 2012, 22:31
Location: Leichhardt, NSW

The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Postby Walter Glover » 02 Aug 2012, 07:43

The greatest motivation for me about 8x10 is the contact print. Devoid of Callier effect and shown exactly as seen and perceived, there is a purity and beauty to the contact print that can never be replicated by the enlargement or the ink-jet.

My preferred paper for contact printing in recent years is Ilford Warmtone but nothing has the rich enchantment of the old Agfa chloro-bromide papers. if I remember correctly it was Portriga-Rapid or Record-Rapid that first taught my eyes to sing.

I can't say that I am a huge fan of the current results I see of platinum printing but I marvel at the prints of guys from the pre-silver gelatine era such as Frederick H Evans.
Walter Glover

"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi

mark l
Posts: 31
Joined: 30 Jul 2012, 09:20

Re: The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Postby mark l » 02 Aug 2012, 10:22

We must be from the same era, I can remember nearly weeping when I realised Agfa took the cadmium out of Record-Rapid and ruined the best paper ever (in my mind anyway).
Frederick Evans is a hero of mine and in the flesh his prints are astonishing, saw them years ago when I lived in the old dart, I was introduced to his grandson and got to look at a portfolio of unmounted prints, they were absolutely beautiful.
I only bought an 8x10 for contact prints, love them to death, no comparison to an enlargement, must admit I've often wondered about platinum, but I've always developed for silver, not sure my negs have the "guts" needed for platinum. I reckon I would have to do a project specifically for platinum and expose and process the negs accordingly, maybe when I've retired and have more time on my hands.
Last edited by mark l on 06 Aug 2012, 15:24, edited 1 time in total.

Lachlan717
Posts: 504
Joined: 03 Aug 2012, 16:49

Re: The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Postby Lachlan717 » 06 Aug 2012, 15:21

I'm getting very tempted to learn Carbon Transfer for my 7x17" images...

alexn
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Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 13:58
Location: Brisbane.
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Re: The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Postby alexn » 06 Aug 2012, 20:17

I would love to see a 7x17 contact print... Or, if by chance you do win powerball and get some 7x17 velvia, I would pay a viewing fee just to see it on a light table!! :D
http://www.facebook.com/alexartphotography - Alex art photography on Facebook
http://www.alexartphotography.com - Alex Nicholas Fine Art Photography

Lachlan717
Posts: 504
Joined: 03 Aug 2012, 16:49

Re: The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Postby Lachlan717 » 06 Aug 2012, 20:44

Mate,

If I win Powerball, I'll buy you your own (Shen Hao) 7x17" and give you more Velvia than you can poke a stick at!!

alexn
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Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 13:58
Location: Brisbane.
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Re: The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Postby alexn » 08 Aug 2012, 17:12

Deal :)

I have recently become intrigued by the contact print... How its done, what is required...

The intrigue also has me looking at 8x10 stuido cameras for portrait work... Obviously a 4x5 contact print would be a little silly.. but 8x10 or bigger would be fantastic...
http://www.facebook.com/alexartphotography - Alex art photography on Facebook
http://www.alexartphotography.com - Alex Nicholas Fine Art Photography

Walter Glover
Posts: 1107
Joined: 31 Jul 2012, 22:31
Location: Leichhardt, NSW

Re: The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Postby Walter Glover » 09 Aug 2012, 09:29

alexn wrote:Obviously a 4x5 contact print would be a little silly..


It ain't necessarily so Alex,

Tina Modotti, muse. love and disciple of Edward Weston, built an enormous reputation and here work was all 6x9 cm contacts (or whatever the 'Plate' size equivalent was.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g29CCS_kuaQ

Facile means of producing large prints (and possibly the competition for attention on the computer screen) has relegated the charms of the small print to the dust-bin of art, but to see gorgeous small prints and contacts can be a great delight and the prints take on a gem-like quality.

There are all sorts of things for us photographers to express and all sorts of ways for us to express them.
Walter Glover

"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi

Lachlan717
Posts: 504
Joined: 03 Aug 2012, 16:49

Re: The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Postby Lachlan717 » 09 Aug 2012, 10:07

alexn wrote:I have recently become intrigued by the contact print... How its done, what is required...



I watched a video by Jim Fitzgerald on carbon transfer the other day. I think I have the itch. Whilst I have yet to see on in the carbon (its version of in the flesh), my understanding is that they are something to behold as they have a slight 3D look due to the raised carbon in the shadows.

John Austin
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Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 10:58
Location: Quinninup Western Australia
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Re: The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Postby John Austin » 17 Aug 2012, 11:31

alexn wrote:Deal :)

I have recently become intrigued by the contact print... How its done, what is required...

The intrigue also has me looking at 8x10 stuido cameras for portrait work... Obviously a 4x5 contact print would be a little silly.. but 8x10 or bigger would be fantastic...


5x4" contact prints are not silly, if well presented they can work very well - By well presented I don't mean waste of mat board by putting them in 16x20 frames as has been done - We use 10x8" frames for my wife Rae's 5x4" CPs - Rae exclusively works with 5x4" contact prints from her PH camera and they sell - However, as they are made by me, her prints are utterly exquisite - Bugger false modesty, I am good

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Alastair Moore
Site Admin
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Re: The Wonder Of The Contact Print

Postby Alastair Moore » 17 Aug 2012, 13:14

What paper do you contact print 5x4s on? On 8x10 paper or smaller and then mount them on 8x10 mat board? Would love to see some of those!


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