Darkroom notes from April 12

A glossy paper print of a blurry black and white image of a woman standing in front of a lit piece of framed glass at the 2016 InLight exhibit in Richmond, Virginia.

I’m still slow as molasses in the darkroom, but at least I’m keeping careful notes.

Top half of a table of photo printing details filled out in pen

This week’s print was one of my favorite photos ever. I took this at the 2016 InLight exhibit in Richmond. The artist had hung framed glass (or maybe they were just windows) from the ceiling of an indoor parking area, lit them with lights, and I think I remember clouds being painted on them. I put the Olympus XA on a chair or box and let it grab whatever very long exposure it thought it needed, which gave it a cool time-smearing effect.

It’s hard to print because there are blown-out details we’re not seeing in the highlights at the top of the framed glass and in the woman’s face. The photo shown is print P1 in the table. P2 (not shown) was a little better because I burned in the window and the lady’s face, and the print’s left and right edges, but I overcorrected and the edges look too straight. P3 (also not shown) was the best one, where I gently burned all four edges of the print, but a little demon crumb of extra photo paper landed on the darkest part of the print while I was exposing it and I didn’t see it until after processing. Oh well. Yet another thing to watch out for next time. Really, though, when I burned in the glass and the lady’s face, I should have switched to a lower contrast filter to get some more details back. We’ll just have to imagine what that would have looked like.

April 18, 2023