Moving on from my first experimental paper negative shoot, I made some crucial changes for my second shoot on Monday the 4/2/19. I pre-flashed all 10 sheets of paper for 2 seconds at F.8 in the darkroom prior to loading the dark slides. As I was not this time shooting two images of each scene, I was able to use all 10 exposures for different images. This meant that I was able to achieve more in the limited time I had available.
I also rated the paper at ISO 2 instead of ISO 6 as this was mentioned on one of the numerous websites I have been reading. As the paper is not intended for initial exposure, Ilford do not specify what the correct ISO should be. It is guess work at best. This particular box of Multigrade paper is at least 10 years old, so some loss of speed could also be factored in due to age.
The day itself was unseasonably bright and sunny with limited cloud cover and blue skies. I was already aware that the blue sky may cause issues but I was not able to wait for cloudier weather so I continued regardless. Although I had rated the paper at a slower ISO, the brighter lighting conditions counter balanced my exposures somewhat which resulted in shutter speeds of 1 second up to 1/15 of a second.
Gallery of Negative Scans
The negatives produced for my second shoot are much more successful. Although most of the sky detail is lost due to the blue colour, there is some detail in there. The scans themselves were made on a not-so-great flatbed scanner at 1200dpi, which results in a healthy 19×24 inch print size when resized for output.
Click to open full sized images.
In conclusion, I am especially happy with the results I have achieved with this shoot. The aesthetic quality of the images is well beyond my expectations and the images are certainly more successful than my initial work. I like the gritty, dirty imperfections as this seems to resonate with the ancient landscape and I consider the development marks to be an accidental factor that also reflects the man-adjusted nature of the location. The additional finger prints and scratches are probably my own fault at the loading and developing stage but again I do not feel this detracts from the subject matter at all.