Chris Wormald – A Photographer's travel blog.

Monochrome Thoughts

Dancing Tractors, Cromer c.1975, Norfolk -Scan from an original archival Kodalith print

Striving for the “fine print” meant many hours in the chemical darkroom. Ansel Adams and Minor White, were the gurus of the time; the Zone System and careful exposure was the method for achieving print and negative quality enabling all the subtle tones from black and near black to white and near white and all the tones in between. The fog base density of the negative and the overall tonality of the final print – from cool to warm were of vital importance to be debated with friends students and colleagues. The choice of paper and film developers, and indeed what film was in the camera or the double dark slide, and how best to achieve lasting, archival prints in acid free storage and whether to dry mount or not, were carefully thought over and the techniques shared over a pint of real ale or a mug of tea.

Bodran Player, Exeter c1982 – scan from an original archival Record Rapid silver-print

Nude in Window c1989 – scan from an original archival Record Rapid silver-print.

How I loved the darkroom hours, using my DeVere 504 enlarger, enamel trays of chemicals, develop , rinse, fix, wash, hypo-clear and wash in my archival print washer, the resulting prints hung back to back, pegged out to dry overnight so they didn’t curl. Split-toning with selenium toner, careful spotting with a tiny brush and the pride of achieving the “fine print”.

“Gone”, Exeter Quayside c1983.
Scan from an original Record Rapid archival silverprint.

Moonfair, East Angia, c1982 – Scan from an original archival Record Rapid silver-print.

And the frustration bordering on despair when Kodak, Ilford or Agfa discontinued a much loved film or paper or when a favourite developer became hard to get; and the long list of names – once so important – Tri X, HP5, FP4, Panatomic X, Pan F, Record Rapid, Neutol WA, D76, DiXactol, Kodalith LP paper, Gallery, Acufine, Rodinal, Acuspeed, 2475 Recording Film. Now only remembered by a few.

Sanyassins dancing at Hood Fair in 1985

Sanyassins dancing at Hood Fair in 1985

Punk Girl c1979 – scan from an original archival Kodalith print

“Embrace the Base”,
Women of Greenham Common in 1982.  Kodak 2475 recording film at 1600asa

And the hardware – Linhof Technicardan and Super Technica, MPP, Bronica SQAi, Mamiya 66, 67 and 645, Hasselblad 500cm and XPAN, Nikon F2As and F3, Leica M2 to M6. Leica R6 and R7.

The mantra for four decades of my life.

Myself and Dominic, then aged 18 months, taken at a fair by my friend Nigel Pert in 1982

Myself and Dominic, then aged 18 months, photo taken at a fair by my friend Nigel Pert in 1982

Ritual Place, Staffordshire c1976 – scan from an original archival Kodalith print

“Harvest for the hungry”, Molesworth Airbase 1984.
Scan from an original Record Rapid archival silverprint.

Now a brand new mantra – Lightroom 6.10, Photoshop CS4, Adobe Raw, CR2, RAF, RND, TIFF & DNG, monitor calibration and print profiling, giclee and a whole range of new papers for desktop Epson, HP and Canon inkjet printers.

New frustrations and new triumphs – out of the darkroom and into the light. Accepting change and NEVER GIVING UP.

I bought a program called VueScan. This enables me to use my old Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 with my Windows 10 laptop to scan 35mm negatives. Previously it only worked with XP. machines. My last XP. machine died quite a while ago!

Whoopie my old film scanner works!

Morrismen at Stratford upon Avon circa 1982. Scan from a 35mm FP4 negative.

Fun on the Street, Madras c1987. – scan from an original archival Record Rapid silver-print.

Old 2CV, Briouze, Normandy. Nov 2012

My commitment to monochrome photography continues digitally,  I will not forsake my medium.

France, Normandy, StAubert, lilly,b&w3

Sweet line – lily.   June 2017

 

France, Normandy, StAubert, artichoke, seedhead, September1b&w

Artichoke seed-head, October 2017

 

France, Normandy, StAubert, courgette leaf1b&w

Courgette Leaf     June 2017

 

France, Normandy, StAubert, LowKeyLilly1b&w

Low Key Lilly9, St Aubert,  Oct 2017

 

 

France, Normandy, StAubert, LeekSeedhead1b&w

Leek seed head, August 2017       X-T20 50mm

 

France, Normandy, StAubert, Dahlia1b&w

Japanese Dahlia, St Aubert.  Fuji X-pro2

France, Normandy, Pont d'Ouilly, River Orne, 2016autumn-reflecti

October 2016 – split toned reflection using the X-Pro2

Cabbage leaf detail, digital emulation of chloro-bromide tonality.

Cabbage leaf detail, digital emulation of chloro-bromide tonality.

France; Nantes; BotanicGarden-pitcherplant4b&w

Fuji XE2 35mm f2 – Lightroom 6, PS CS4

 

France, Normandy, StAubert, artichoke3b&w

X-T20,   50mm

 

Uk-Cornwall-Penzance-musicsession-group1

Cornish music session – Fuji XT10 23mm

I still love traditional music!

France, Normandy, Putanges, ruined barns2b&w

The Fuji x-PRO2 has excellent monochrome handling; this is a JPEG out of the camera using the ACROS b&w setting, split toned in Lightroom6

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