I spent the day playing with my Epson 9900 large format printer… no, honestly, I was working… What an awesome piece of technology it is. I was thinking of all those years ago when I used to work in the dark room printing black and white images for hours and hours on end. Enlargers, negative holders, paper processors, drying cabinets and chemicals, chemicals, chemicals. I’m pretty sure I used to stink of fixer all the time, no wonder nobody wanted to sit next to me!
I used to love printing black and white images like that. I would make my own concocted negative developers that would mature like a fine wine over many months, producing beautiful smooth tonal results, playing around with water baths and dilutions at different temperatures to slow down or speed up development to modify the resulting negative still further.
Often I would be running two enlargers at once, concurrently printing two different images, exposing one, dodging and burning with my hands or small pieces of cardboard to get the exposure just right, then dropping it in the dilute developer tray to soak while moving onto the second negative and repeating the process… Everything was an experiment, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, i’ve still got boxes and boxes of those meticulously printed images at home, great experience and great memories. Do I miss it? No.
I still do exactly the same thing now, just with a Mac Pro computer (with lots and lots of RAM!) and the Epson 9900 large format printer. Oh, and without the chemical stink, which is a bonus for the environment and my friends.
So, if any of this sounds good to you, you should come along to the latest photography workshop I’m doing with Greg Hocking, Perfect Printing, this October. There will be no chemicals and no stink, but there will be loads of invaluable information and tips learned from a combined knowledge gained in over 35 years of photographic printing on how to make your prints perfect, every time. To read more click this link… about the upcoming Perfect Printing Photography Workshop, there are still a few places left.