Tim Layton Fine Art: Blog http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog en-us (C) Tim Layton & Associates | All Rights Reserved tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) Sun, 12 Nov 2017 23:23:00 GMT Sun, 12 Nov 2017 23:23:00 GMT http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/img/s/v-5/u131224912-o510457233-50.jpg Tim Layton Fine Art: Blog http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog 80 120 2018 Wildlife Photography Bundle http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/11/2018-wildlife-photography-bundle It was -4F (-20C) at sunrise photographing Bald EaglesIt was -4F (-20C) at sunrise photographing Bald EaglesGet my free Darkroom & Fine Art Newsletter and never miss another article again. If you love nature and wildlife photography, I have some really good news for you.  

You can subscribe to my 2018 Wildlife Photography Bundle and take your wildlife photos to the next level. Subscribe by 12/31/17 and save a whopping 60% discount for only $99 vs. $250.  Use discount code EARLYBIRD18 at checkout to get your special discount.  

Tired of being disappointed with your wildlife photos and struggling with post-production?  This is your chance to master the key skills required to create winning wildlife photos (capture tack sharp images, color management, resizing and cropping for composition, advanced noise reduction, advanced multi-layer sharpening).  

Independent of your choice of output mediums, the same fundaments apply.  You need to be able to capture critically sharp and compelling images in the field, and then successfully navigate through the post-processing steps which includes color management, cropping and resizing for compelling compositions, noise reduction, and selective sharpening. Because we work in low-light conditions most of the time, we push the limits of camera gear and post-processing more than any other type of photography.

I purposely sequenced the modules in the 2018 Wildlife Photography Bundle in a specific order because it is how you should learn and master the skills to produce winning wildlife images.  

Black Bear - Great Smoky MountainsBlack Bear - Great Smoky MountainsIf you enjoy this photo, subscribe to my Wildlife Photography Newsletter today and never miss an update again. If you subscribe to the 2018 Wildlife Photography Bundle by 12/31/17, you can get the entire bundle at a whopping 60% discount for only $99 vs. paying $250 for the individual resources.  Starting on January 1, 2018, the new price for the bundle will be $187, still an incredible value at a 25% discount, but why pay more if you don’t have to. Use discount code EARLYBIRD18 at checkout to receive your special 60% discount by 12/31/17.  

If you don’t have your camera body, lenses, and teleconverters capturing critically sharp images in the field, the rest of the workflow doesn’t really matter.  I struggled with this for over a year before I got this figured out.  Every lens, camera body, and teleconverter is manufactured within a range of specifications.  I can almost guarantee you that every single lens/camera/teleconverter you own for your wildlife photography needs some form of front or back focus correction to get critically sharp images.  

As wildlife photographers, we typically work in low-light conditions using our lenses wide open at high ISO settings.  Being able to get tack sharp photos in these conditions is what sets you apart from the crowd.  There is no post-processing that can fix these type of errors.  

Next, I take you through a comprehensive post-processing workflow in Lightroom and Photoshop that took me 2 years to fully figure out and refine.  I walk you through the entire process in this bundle.  

2018 Wildlife Photography Bundle Contents

  • # 1 - How to Use LensAlign to Capture Critically Sharp Wildlife Photos (eBook) - $50 value
  • # 2 - Resizing & Cropping Wildlife Photos for Composition with Lightroom & Photoshop (Video Workshop) - $50 value 
  • # 3 - Advanced Multi-Layer Selective Smart Sharpening For Wildlife Photography in PS (Video Workshop) - $50 value 
  • # 4 - Advanced Selective Noise Management For Wildlife Photography (Comparing 4 methods - Topaz DeNoise, Photoshop Reduce Noise, Photoshop Surface Blur, Nik Define) (Video Workshop) - $50 value 
  • # 5 - Complete Wildlife Photography Post-Processing Workflow in LightRoom and Photoshop (eBook) - $50 value

Subscribe to the 2018 Wildlife Photography Bundle by 12/31/17, you can get the entire bundle at a whopping 60% discount for only $99 vs. paying $250 for the individual resources.  Starting on January 1, 2018, the new price for the bundle will be $187, still an incredible value at a 25% discount, but why pay more if you don’t have to. Use discount code EARLYBIRD18 at checkout to receive your special 60% discount by 12/31/17.  

Black Bear - Great Smoky MountainsBlack Bear - Great Smoky MountainsIf you enjoy this photo, subscribe to my Wildlife Photography Newsletter today and never miss an update again. In addition to the video workshops and eBooks, you will also get access to my private Wildlife Photography Journal where I share in-depth articles and updates from the field throughout the year on a variety of topics such as photographing black bears in the Smoky Mountains, my techniques for successful birds in flight photography, trip reports, and much more.  I live this stuff on a daily basis, and I want to share it with you to help you in your wildlife photography too.  These articles do not appear on my blog or anywhere else.  My private Wildlife Photography Journal updates occur throughout the year, based on current activities and projects and I deliver these updates in beautifully formatted PDF documents.  

You get free updates for life for all of the video workshops and the eBook in this special bundle, and you receive my private Wildlife Photography Journal during 2018.  This simply means that if I modify or add new material, you will receive an automated email to download the revised materials for free.  

I will be releasing the video workshops and ebooks throughout the year and you will receive an email notification to log into your library at gumroad.com to get access to the materials.  If you have purchased other workshops or training materials from me in the past, make sure you use the same email address when you make this new purchase so that all of your training is in one account.  

I invest a significant amount of time creating each of my learning resources, and I do not rush to get things published because the quality is critical.   

The current release schedule for the bundle is as follows: # 1 (January) # 2 (February) # 3 (March) # 4 (April) # 5 (May).  I may release the materials sooner than this, but I wanted to set realistic expectations for you.  

2018 is going to be a fun year and I look forward to connecting with you and sharing our passion for nature and wildlife photography.  

Get my free Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. View my Learning Materials for darkroom, large format, and wildlife photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) nature wildlife wildlife photography http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/11/2018-wildlife-photography-bundle Sun, 12 Nov 2017 13:23:31 GMT
How to Create Digital Negatives for Alternative Printing eBook http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/how-to-create-digital-negatives-for-alternative-printing-ebook In my 30 page How to Create Digital Negatives for Alternative Printing eBook, I walk you through the entire process of how to create digital negatives for your analog alternative printmaking (platinum, palladium, salt, van dyke, silver gelatin, etc.) using Photoshop.  The eBook is in PDF format. 

Get Immediate Access Now and start making your digital negatives today.  

Digital Negative Overview

A digital negative is a film-based negative that was edited and printed on a computer and printed on an inkjet printer for the purpose of making an analog contact print.  

Photographers arrive at using digital negatives for different reasons.  A lot of photographers have moved to the digital medium, but they love analog alternative printmaking so they need a way to create a negative from their digital file so they can make the contact prints.  A traditional film photographer may elect to make all of their edits (crops, contrast, dodging, burning, etc.) inside of Photoshop and make contact prints from the digital negative as opposed to making all of those edits in the darkroom.  The possibilities are endless and the reasons that you want to pursue making a digital negative will depend on you and your goals.  I walk you through the entire process of how to create digital negatives for the type of prints you want to make.  

The basic idea behind a digital negative is to capture the image on a camera (digital or film) and then process the digitized image (RAW or scanned) and leverage the power of Photoshop to print the negative.  The hard part is in the creation of the custom curves required for contrast and densities corrections resulting from the distortion between what you see on your monitor and the chemical based printing process.  Not to worry, I walk you through the entire process.  

In order to make a high quality digital negative you will need to create a customized correction curve in Photoshop, which ultimately allows your analog print to be made.  Once all of the variables are accounted for in your environment and processes the correction curves can be calculated and then saved in Photoshop as .acv files so that you can apply them to future prints that use the same process.  

Get Immediate Access Now and start making your digital negatives today.  

You should know that analog photographic printing processes are not linear because they are based on chemistry.  This simply means that the density of your print is not same as the inverse negative that you create when scanning your film or inversing a digital file. The way that plays out is that your highlights are brighter than expected and your shadows are darker than the values on the source negative.  This is where your custom correction curve comes to the rescue and why they must be customized for your processes and specific environment.  I could give you my curves but it wouldn’t do you much good.  I do something even better.  I teach you how to create your own custom curves that are specific to your environment. 

You will need to use a step table (a.k.a. step tablet) to measure the changes that occur between your negative and final print (non-linear distortion).  I have included a step table .TIFF file for you.  The step table has known densities and your job is to determine the relationship between the source values and the printed values, so you can create a custom correction curve.

I walk you through every step in the dilative negative workflow process as outlined below.  

Digital Negative Workflow:  

1 – Decide on your printing process (silver gelatin, platinum, salt, etc.)  
2 – Select your variables (paper, chemicals, etc.) and determine base exposure
2 – Create a custom correction curve for your specific printing method
3 – Create a soft proofing file in Photoshop
4 – Edit your photograph in Photoshop for creative and artistic purposes
5 – Apply the correction curve, Invert photo to make it a negative and flip it
6 – Print the digital negative on Pictorico OHP transparency film
7 – Make the analog contact print by hand

Get Immediate Access Now and start making your digital negatives today.  

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) digital negatives http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/how-to-create-digital-negatives-for-alternative-printing-ebook Tue, 31 Oct 2017 11:06:45 GMT
New Wildlife Fine Art Platinum Histograph Limited Edition Miniature Collectibles in 2018 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/new-wildlife-fine-art-platinum-histograph-limited-edition-collectibles-in-2018 Tim Sr with the Nikon 600mm PrimeTim Sr with the Nikon 600mm PrimeGet my free Darkroom & Fine Art Newsletter and never miss another article again. I have been working hard over the last few years creating some amazing wildlife photos.  You most likely know me from my analog large format platinum printmaking, however, I have been an avid wildlife photographer for many years too. Until now, I haven't created any artwork of wildlife available for sale.   

If you are interested in viewing or photographing wildlife, then join my free Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update or behind the scenes tip again. 

I am deeply passionate about protecting nature and wildlife.  You can read more about the importance of wildlife in my "Why Nature Matters" article.

I am going to be offering limited edition wildlife Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM in 2018.  These are fine art collectibles in ACEO format making them easy and fun to collect like other cards that you may be already familiar with.  The miniatures are still limited edition collectibles, but affordable enough for many people.  

You can learn how I create my digital negatives for my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM in my new eBook "How to Create Digital Negatives for Alternative Printing".

I am in the process of curating some of my best wildlife images into collections and I will be announcing more details on this via my Wildlife Photography Newsletter in the near future.  I am currently reviewing several candidates in the following categories: bears, elk, birds, and butterflies.

Platinum Histograph Heirloom Miniature is the most archival of all art mediums because of the inherent stability of platinum and they exhibit a tonal scale and rendering of tonal values that are described by many as ethereal and three-dimensional.  

I am excited to be making handcrafted collectibles in limited editions for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.  I wanted to open up the world of fine art collectibles to the general public by making them affordable, but also rare and collectible too.  You don't need any previous experience buying artwork to get started and with a limited edition of only 250, you get the exclusivity that is often very important for long-term value.  The Platinum Histograph Heirloom Miniatures are created in the same way, using the same care and diligence, that I employ in my larger Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Gallery PrintsTM.

I am passionate about bringing a new and innovate style of collectible art to nature and wildlife lovers around the world.  Your Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM can last for thousands of years, making them something valuable that you can pass down to your family generation after generation.  

You can read more about the gear that I use for my wildlife photography.  

I would love to hear what you think about all of this.  Send me an email to share your thoughts and say hello.  

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) fine art palladium platinum wildlife http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/new-wildlife-fine-art-platinum-histograph-limited-edition-collectibles-in-2018 Sun, 29 Oct 2017 14:11:15 GMT
Beginning The Testing Process With Kodak Ektascan B/RA X-Ray Film & D-23 Split Bath Dev http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/beginning-the-testing-process-with-kodak-ektascan-b/ra-x-ray-film-d-23-split-bath-dev I have been testing Kodak Ektascan B/RA X-Ray film over the last couple of years with a variety of developers (Rodinal, Pyrocat HD, D-76) for the purpose of finding a developer and a method to consistently tame the naturally high contrast of the film, but still find a working balance for my platinum and platinum/palladium printmaking. 

I have written about my detailed development process with D-23 and Ilford FP4+ previously, and in these next series of tests, I will be focused on Ektascan B/RA X-Ray film. 

FIRST SET OF TESTS

In my initial tests, I will be cutting down some 8x10 X-Ray film for my whole plate camera (6.5 x 8.5).  I love this format, and I would much rather cut the less expensive X-Ray film vs. the more expensive black and white sheet film.  Plus, I think the X-Ray film is aesthetically a good choice for the classic whole plate format.  I have a 11x14 view camera that I would like to use X-Ray film in as well for my platinum printing. 

My goal is to be able to consistently produce negatives suitable for my style of platinum and platinum/palladium printing when I want the classic orthochromatic type look.  I have a good idea of how I am going to try and control the inherent contrast of the X-Ray film, but also get enough density for my platinum printing needs.  If you read my previous article on D-23, you can probably figure out which variables I am going to be manipulating to try and achieve my goal.  

I will keep you posted on my progress.  You can subscribe to my newsletter so you don't have to worry about missing a new article.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I also send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) analog photography black and white black and white photography d-23 darkroom film fine art large format http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/beginning-the-testing-process-with-kodak-ektascan-b/ra-x-ray-film-d-23-split-bath-dev Sat, 14 Oct 2017 12:45:00 GMT
Get Connected To Nature - It May Save Your Life http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/get-connected-to-nature---it-may-save-your-life Smoky Mountain - Morton's OverlookSmoky Mountain - Morton's OverlookSelect the "Buy" button in the upper right corner to purchase over 175 different products to include: fine art prints, greeting cards, calendars, canvas gallery wraps, metal ornaments, coasters, mugs, mouse pad, postage stamps, and more!

Become a Smokies Insider. As an insider, you help protect the historic architecture in the national park AND maximize your Smokies getaway with our insider guides. As a thank you, you also receive a limited-edition, platinum, archival plate commemorating your devotion to one of our greatest national treasures.
In a new article by Dan Buettner (National Geographic researcher of Blue Zones), Dan lays out some very compelling evidence that modern people need more physical activity than just going to the gym a few times a week and then heading back to their desk for 8+ hours per day, only to go home and lay on the couch and watch TV or play video games.  These modern lifestyles are literally killing us and causing chronic illnesses.   

You might be wondering why a nature photographer is writing about "Blue Zones" and the global health crisis.  Humor me for 5 minutes, and read this article.  It just might save your life or someone that you care about.  

"If you look at how humans have evolved over time they didn’t sit down at a desk or on their couch for eight hours and then hope to make it up for a half hour or 45 minutes in the gym. Blue Zones is an extension of how people have lived forever. They live in environments that nudge them into moving every 20 minutes or so. It’s a natural inclination because humans have worked too hard for most of the history of our species that now we have technology mechanized – combustion engines do a lot of work for us. The sad byproduct is the work our bodies were engineered to do no longer gets done; our bodies don’t get the regular low-intensity movement they need to thrive."

Based on national statistics, it is likely that two out of three people reading this article in America is overweight and placing themselves at significant risk of diabetes, heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, and more.  If you want to know if you are over weight, use the online BMI calculator supplied by the Centers for Disease Control.  Did you know that the CDC estimates that 100 million Americans have prediabetes and 70% don't even know it! Want some good news?  Read this article to get inspired to get outside and start making a positive investment in your health retirement account.  

HOW DOES NATURE COME INTO PLAY?

It is a scientific fact that our bodies need regular exercise to thrive, not just a few short sessions per week at the local gym and following the next fad diet for a few weeks.  

Did you know that your body has an internal pharmacy?  When we exercise, our bodies release nitric oxide, which in turn releases specialized medicine that we need to be lean and avoid chronic diseases.  I explain more in the sections below, so hang in there and keep going. 

Based on the obesity crisis in America, it is clear that the majority of people no longer know how to eat properly and people don't get enough physical activity.  A large majority of "food" in modern grocery stores aren't even food, so it is easy to understand how the health crisis has gotten to this stage.  The "requirement" for regular physical activity and exercise has been replaced with technology and modern conveniences.  

Our bodies were designed to move, serve us, and thrive when they are treated well.  Between the lack of quality fuel (eating real food as part of our lifestyle) and not getting enough physical activity, it is clear why there is a health crisis in America, and it is spreading globally too.  Read more to learn what you can do to improve your health and wellbeing. 

WHAT CAN I DO FOR BETTER HEALTH?

There are many ways to make the right kinds of investments to ensure you have better health and avoid the chronic diseases that are associated with poor eating habits and lack of physical activity.  One of the best ways that I believe anyone can start making better investments in themselves is to spend more time in nature.  Take frequent walks in your neighborhood, hike or find an outdoor activity that requires you to move more.  These suggestions aren't just my personal opinion; it is a scientific fact that with increased exercise, your body opens up its internal pharmacy for you.  Read on to learn more.   Once you have this part of your daily routine, get more educated about basic nutrition and start making better choices in your diet.  

As a nature photographer, I am outside every day.  In fact, I start my day with a hike at sunrise because it is good for my body, and it clears my mind.  I understand the quality of food that I put in my body every day now and over time, I have learned how to make informed choices when at the grocery store.  You can do all this too.  

An exciting field of research, called the neuroscience of nature, validates why movement is the best medicine for our bodies.

On your way to your nature walk or hike, suppose you stopped by your neighborhood neurologist and got wired with cameras (called functional MRIs) that peer inside your brain to reveal what’s going on in there as you are walking outside.

Here’s a list of some of the fascinating health effects neuroscientists have discovered from a simple walk in nature:

  • Decreased heart rate
  • More relaxed blood pressure
  • Increased happy hormones
  • Decreased stress hormones
  • Mellower moods
  • Stronger immune system
  • Fewer fearful thoughts

Neuroscientists dub the beauties of nature “visual valium.”  The insightful statement “It’s pleasing to the eyes” also applies to the brain since the eye is simply an extension of the brain.  

Imagine inside your body and brain you have command centers full of dials, which are turned up and down and set just right for your physical and mental well-being.  These dials are interconnected by chemical emails – hormones – that enable each system to talk to the other.  When you walk outside the eye-brain dial says to the heart dial: “Relax, you don’t need to beat so hard and fast.”  Then it says to the intestinal dials, “Gut feel good!” Movement helps every organ of the body work more efficiently.

Brisk movement causes blood to flow faster over the surface of the endothelium (blood vessels).  The endothelium is your body’s largest endocrine organ.  If you open all your blood vessels and spread them out flat, your endothelium would cover the surface area of several tennis courts.  Each cell of the endothelium is its own endocrine organ, filled with “microscopic medicine bottles” that release health-promoting substances into the bloodstream at just the right time, in the right amount, with no harmful side effects – and they’re free.  

The fast-moving blood creates an energy field called shear force, which releases a natural biochemical called nitric oxide.  Nitric oxide (NO) acts as a biochemical key to open your pharmacy and dispense the medicines you need.  The more you exercise, the more your endothelium gets used to the extra blood flow.

Please, get outside today and take a walk in nature. Find ways to incorporate walks and hikes into your normal routine as a positive investment for your future.  Invite a family member or friend and be a source of inspiration for them.  After you are moving on a regular basis, start learning more about nutrition and how to make better food choices.  I hope to inspire you to take action for your own health and then help others.  Without health, you have nothing.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) diet health hiking nature obesity walking http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/get-connected-to-nature---it-may-save-your-life Thu, 12 Oct 2017 12:33:47 GMT
Getting Geared Up For Some New Floral Still Life Platinum Prints - Part 1 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/getting-geared-up-for-some-new-floral-still-life-platinum-prints Vintage Large Format Lenses for my Platinum PrintmakingVintage Large Format Lenses for my Platinum PrintmakingSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.

Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
I am getting ready to work on a special project for a collector where I will be making some fine art platinum prints of some rare flowers.  

While the details are getting worked out on the project, I thought I would get my daylight studio in working order and also get all of my darkroom processes finely tuned for platinum printing as well.  

I am going to make a few prints over the next week or so and so I turned to my garden to select some fresh flowers.  

I walked around my gardens today and I found a few flowers that I really appreciated.  I especially loved the Dahlia that you see below and I can't wait to photograph it tomorrow morning in the soft northern light.

I will be using my 8x10 Chamonix large format view camera with my 5x7 reducing back because I want to make 5x7 platinum prints of this Dahlia, and possibly some roses that look to be in prime condition as well.  

Fresh Dahlia From My Garden For New Platinum PrintFresh Dahlia From My Garden For New Platinum PrintSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.

Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
I use large format original film negatives when I create my platinum prints vs. printing a digital negative via Photoshop like some contemporary printmakers do.  Quality is my top priority for my collectors and so I continue to use large format original film negatives for all of my platinum and platinum/palladium prints. My entire platinum workflow is completely analog.  If you are interested in reading more articles about platinum printmaking, you can visit my platinum informational webpage.  

I will be using some vintage brass lenses for these new prints and if you look at the photo at the top of this article, you will see a 19th-century Cooke soft focus lens to the left and a Rodenstock Mornar to the right.  The optical signatures of these lenses are unmistakable.  I hand-selected both of these lenses many years ago and they have become part of my brand.  

I will be printing on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag for all of these prints.  I have standardized on this paper for all of my platinum and platinum/palladium printmaking.  

For the super geeks, I will be using Ilford FP4+ film and developing in Pyrocat HD.  

I will write a new article after I create the platinum print of the Dahlia tomorrow and share it with you.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) analog photography black and white dahlia darkroom fine art floral still life flowers large format photography platinum platinum print platinum/palladium http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/getting-geared-up-for-some-new-floral-still-life-platinum-prints Wed, 11 Oct 2017 20:48:19 GMT
Why Photographing What Matters Unleashes Your Full Creative Potential http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/why-photographing-what-matters-unleashes-your-full-creative-potential I have been going through an interesting time in my creative journey, and I thought sharing some of my personal thoughts with you may help you too and provide an opportunity to reflect on the idea of why photographing what matters is so important.  

PHOTOGRAPHING WHAT MATTERS

Anytime you have been doing something for a very long time; it is easy to get bored, distracted, off track, or even disinterested.  I have experienced all of the above over the last 30 years as a fine art darkroom printmaker. 

As I have been reflecting on the fall season and thinking about winter, I realized that continuing to photograph the subjects that matter to me has been the key to all of my success on every level.  

Setting aside the financial aspects for a moment, I have always photographed my ideas and passions versus trying to create a product that was marketable.  While this hasn't always lead to financial success, it is the one thing that keeps me creating new work and moving forward after 30 years.  I call it failing forward for all the right reasons.  I started to wonder how many other photographers are experiencing the same type of thoughts, feelings, and emotions?

In regards to financial success, no one can define that metric for you.  If you are a full time professional, then you may be more likely pressured to do things for income versus for other more noble reasons, however, if you let the financial drivers dictate your photography, only bad things will happen in the long run.  

UNLOCK YOUR FULL CREATIVE POTENTIAL

I can only photograph subjects and scenes that have a deeper meaning and purpose to me.  I find it very difficult and undesirable to just go out and photograph "pretty things" and make prints for sale.  I believe that I am at my best when I have a purpose in my work and it is aligned to something bigger than myself.  

For example, I have been creating platinum prints of the historic architecture in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this year.  It has been an interesting and also very disappointing experience for me.  I was originally motivated to create the archival platinum prints because wildfires swept through the park last year and came very close to destroying a lot of the historic buildings and cabins.  I thought this was a good wakeup call and I needed to do something before the history was lost forever. 

I have been shocked at the amount of defacement to the historic buildings and I wasn't prepared for that.  It is beyond my ability to reason why someone would take the time to visit a national park and then deface the very thing they went to see.  I am now standing back to think if I want to include these horrible defacements in my prints or if I want to let the project go.  I am not sure what I am going to do at this point.  

I believe that photographing what matters is the key to unlocking my full potential.  The magic happens by "doing" things.  So many times,  I have unlocked something magical by just staying in the game and creating.  If I weren't inspired to create the prints in the first place, my interest would fall to the side and I wouldn't actively stay engaged.  

Send me a note or submit a comment below and tell me about your thoughts and experiences.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) smokies fine art mountains" photography platinum prints http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/why-photographing-what-matters-unleashes-your-full-creative-potential Tue, 10 Oct 2017 17:16:49 GMT
Smoky Mountains Newfound Gap Photography & Travel Guide http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/smoky-mountains-newfound-gap-photography-travel-guide Panorama - Great Smoky Mountains Scenic Vista Along Newfound Gap. The 33-mile scenic drive along Newfound Gap Road (US-441) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Gatlinburg to Cherokee North Carolina is the only route that completely traverses the park that allows you to take in and experience the best of the Smokies.  

Purchase Now & Get Immediate Access.  I give you FREE Updates for Life!  I am in the Smoky Mountains several times per year and if I decide to update or add new information to make the guide even better, you will get a notification to go download the updated guide for FREE! 

Based on years of experience, I created a detailed 30-page Newfound Gap Travel & Photography Guidebook detailing 11 prime locations for you to enjoy along the iconic Newfound Gap Road from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Cherokee, North Carolina.  

The drive along Newfound Gap offers a unique opportunity for you to enjoy everything the Smokies has to offer, without necessarily trekking far from your automobile.You will experience everything from awe-inspiring vistas to wildlife.

After many years of being frustrated with incorrect or missing information, I created detailed navigation instructions to each of the locations for you because there is nothing more frustrating or irritating than being in a beautiful place and being lost or missing golden opportunities to enrich your life.

In many cases, there is limited or no mobile phone service in the park.  I published the Newfound Gap Photography & Travel Guide in PDF format so that you can download it to any of your electronic devices and also print it for your trips.  

By having the guide on your phone or tablet and having the option for a printed version too, you will have all the information you need to make your trip successful and enjoyable.

If you are a photographer, you will appreciate Tim's detailed notes that remove all of the planning and guesswork for you.  As a full-time professional nature and wildlife photographer, Tim Layton knows exactly what type of information you are looking for and he delivers it with detailed instructions for each location.

SUBSCRIBE today and receive FREE UPDATES FOR LIFE.

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) great smoky mountains national park newfound gap smokies smoky mountains http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/smoky-mountains-newfound-gap-photography-travel-guide Wed, 04 Oct 2017 14:28:01 GMT
Scouting Trip Update For Eden Falls in the Arkansas Ozark's - Part 2 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/scouting-trip-update-for-eden-falls-in-the-arkansas-ozarks---part-2 In the first article, I discussed the location and hiking information for Eden Falls and my plans to expose some large format color films.  Today, I share my experiences post the hike and my plans in the future when I return in prime conditions.  

The trip to get to the Lost Valley Trailhead was easy and straightforward with good roads the entire way.  I made a pit stop in Harrison, Arkansas to get a few supplies at the local Walmart Supercenter.  Harrison is a sizable town with a full range of supplies and amenities, so if you need something for your trip, you should not have any issue locating it in Harrison.  The drive from the Walmart parking lot to the trailhead took about 40 minutes.  I was driving in total darkness at around 5 AM with fog and rain, so the drive should take considerably less time in better conditions. 

Upon arriving at the trailhead, which has ample parking for many vehicles, I checked out the facilities.  There were very clean restrooms with running water and flushable toilets.  I was a bit surprised to find running water at the facilities, and the restrooms were also very clean.  There is a picnic table near the trailhead that is tucked back under the forest understory that would make for a peaceful and relaxing time.  

The trailhead is at the end of the parking lot.  There is a map of Lost Valley Trail and the four waterfalls that you can explore.  The creek runs right next to the parking area and right in front of the starting point for the trail.  At times when the water levels are high, it may be challenging to park and gain access to this location.  

The hike took about 40 minutes to reach the base of Eden Falls. I took frequent stops along the way to explore areas of interest.  The total hike is approximately 1.15 miles from the trailhead to the base of Eden Falls, so the round trip hike is about 2.3 miles.  The first 75% of the hike has a well maintained and flat surface which I would rate very easy and accessible for small children, older adults, and even handicapped persons as well.  Once you start getting closer to the canyons, the trail changes drastically and I would rate the last section of the hike as moderate.  Meaning, it probably isn't suitable for most small children, older adults that may have balance or mobility challenges, and it definitely is not handicap accessible.  There are series of rock stairs that you have to climb to get access to the canyon and falls.  However, even if the first 3/4 mile of the hike is all that you can do, it is still a worthwhile and very peaceful hike where you are surrounded by the forest.  The trees should be absolutely stunning in the fall season, making the hike even better.  I had light rain during my hike and I barely got any water on me at all because of the dense understory of the trees.  

LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY UPDATE

The conditions were not suitable for me to expose any film on this trip, however, I gained valuable information for when I return in ideal conditions.  Using the Viewfinder II application on my iPhone, I was able to hike around the base of the falls providing me with many different perspectives and focal length renderings.  I now have a very solid plan on where I want to expose some sheets of film and which lenses I want to use.  The information alone was worth the scouting trip. 

While I was a little disappointed to not be able to expose any film, I now know that I want to expose some E-6 slide film for sure.  I went into the hike thinking that I would probably be exposing some Ektar color negative film, but after I experienced the area first hand, I plan to return with some 8x10 Velvia 50.  I have a case of Velvia 50 in my freezer and I treat it like gold because it is so expensive and difficult to acquire.  The 8x10 Velvia 50 large format sheet film is only available from Japan and it is very expensive.  This scene is ideal for Velvia 50 and I can see the slide film in my mind right now laying on the light table  The hike is suitable for lugging 8x10 gear to the waterfall making this location even better.  For the more difficult locations, I always hike with my 4x5 kit first because the pack is only 20 lbs vs 45 lbs.  Some of the weight can be trimmed from the 8x10 kit if I bring only one lens and a couple film holders, reducing the weight to the mid 30's.  

Because of the height of the canyon walls around the falls, the entire scene is under very ideal lighting conditions in the mornings in particular.  The biggest challenge will be finding a time when the wind is very minimal because I found a small tree at the base of the falls that is going to add that special X factor if I can be there when the tree is in full autumn colors and the water is flowing.  This small tree will likely shake in the wind, so I need a time when things are relatively still so I can create my exposures.  It could take several years to get the ideal conditions on film.  This is something the average person probably doesn't understand.  We often work for years to find and wait for ideal conditions to create our photographs.  It takes a lot of time, money, and patience to make some of these photos happen.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) 4x5 chamonix chamonix view camera ektar landscape photography large format photography provia velvia http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/scouting-trip-update-for-eden-falls-in-the-arkansas-ozarks---part-2 Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:07:39 GMT
Scouting Fall Color at Eden Falls in the Arkansas Ozark's - Part 1 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/scouting-fall-color-at-eden-falls-in-the-arkansas-ozarks---part-1 It is hard to believe that is mid-August already and time to start doing some scouting for fall colors in the Ozark Mountains. On the trip today, I am headed to the Buffalo River Region in Northwestern Arkansas to hike Lost Valley Trail and photograph the canyons, cliffs, and waterfall at Eden Falls.  I am hiking with my 4x5 large format camera today because this is the first time to hike this location.  If the location is worth the extra effort, I will return with my 8x10 large format camera during prime fall colors.  

Lost Valley Trail is located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, near the Boxley Valley Historic District on Hwy. 43 and is one of the most popular trails within the Buffalo National River area. It is a beautiful hike along a creek bed. It has cliffs, waterfalls, a natural bridge, and a small cave at the top of the trail. Trailhead coordinates are Lat:36.0101739, Long:-93.3745693. 

Tip - bring a headlamp if you intend to go into the cave, and wear clothes that you won't mind getting dirty so you can explore the waterfall inside the cave!

LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY INFO

This is my first fall season scouting hike this year, so I am excited.  It is still summertime in the Ozarks, so I wanted to pick a day when it would be overcast, and even a chance for light showers.  I use the Weather Underground application on my iPhone to research local weather conditions (temperature, humidity, dew point, cloud cover, etc.).  

I am hiking with my Chamonix 4x5 large format camera, and I am taking two lenses with me.  Based on research and experience, I decided to hike with my 72mm F5.6 Schnieder Super-Angulon XL and my 150mm Rodenstock APO Sironar F5.6 lenses.  The 72mm lens with a 35mm focal length equivalent of about 21mm will provide me with the wide angle perspective that I plan on using, and the 150mm lens is close to a normal perspective, which I like to keep with me at all times.  I will be using a polarizing filter for the waterfall and I plan to expose a couple sheets of Kodak Ektar color negative film and a couple sheets of Fuji Provia 100 slide film.  I expect the Ektar to perform really well in this location, but I will have to wait and see how the film looks after I develop them.  

My Burton backpack weighed in at 19.5 lbs (8.84kg) fully loaded.  This is a very manageable weight for any type of hike, thanks to the lightweight of my Chamonix 45-F1 view camera (3.4 lbs/1550 g).  

In the second article, I will share more details about my experience, and I will show you the films that I exposed and developed.  

LOST VALLEY TRAIL TO EDEN FALLS HIKING INFO

Lost Valley Trail leaves the parking area and gently winds up the box canyon passing beneath groves of American beech trees. The trail leads you to an emerald-blue pool of water with an 8-ft waterfall flowing out of a small opening in the bluff, known as the Natural Bridge. The trail continues up stone steps, winding along the Clark Creek drainage giving way to a massive 200-ft bluff shelter, known as Cob Cave.

The gem of the hike is Eden Falls. The picturesque Eden Falls cascade's 53 ft over towering cliffs offering visitors a firsthand view of what the Ozark Mountains have to offer. Visitors can either loop back around to the main trail or continue on a spur trail to the peak of Eden Falls. The trail leading to the peak of Eden falls is rugged and steep; visitors should use extreme caution when taking this route. The trail winds up the bluff line to a 200-ft cave and then gives way to a 25-ft waterfall inside. A flashlight and some agility will be needed to view the waterfall in the cave. The trail ends here at the mouth of the cave.

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) 4x5 chamonix chamonix view camera ektar landscape photography large format photography provia http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/scouting-fall-color-at-eden-falls-in-the-arkansas-ozarks---part-1 Sat, 12 Aug 2017 17:22:39 GMT
Darkroom Digest: Stop Baths - Water vs. Acid http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/darkroom-digest-stop-baths---water-vs-acid Mixing the chemicals together for a new B&W film developerMixing the chemicals together for a new B&W film developerSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

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In this article, I thought it might be helpful to compare water versus acid-based stop baths and open up the conversation with other photographers.  

I should first cover the basic function of the stop bath.  It should be obvious, but I will cover it anyway.  The function of an acid stop bath is to stop development as completely and quickly as possible.

There is a relationship between development times and the stop bath that should be briefly mentioned, whether we are discussing film or prints.  In this article, I focus on black and white film development.  The shorter your development time, the more critical the stop bath becomes.  The longer the development time, the less likely it is for the performance of the stop bath to have a visible impact on your intended results. 

STOP BATHS - WATER VS. ACID

There are advantages and disadvantages to acid stop baths that darkroom photographers should be aware of include:

  1. When you are using an alkaline developer and move your film in an acid stop bath, unwanted pH variations are likely to occur.  
  2. If you black and white film developer contain carbonate, an acid-based stop bath can cause unwanted pinholes in some films.  It is important to perform tests with non-cortical films before working on anything serious. 
  3. And the most important concern for me is that acid stop baths can cause swelling of the gelatin in some films which can lead to loss of image quality.  

On the other hand, when you use a water stop bath in place of an acidic stop bath, it can create a different set of circumstances that you should be aware of.  

  1. It should be obvious, but when you place your film in a water stop bath, development does not immediately cease development.  
  2. In fact, the developer becomes very dilute in the water and the first place it exhausts is in your highlights, but it will continue to develop a little longer in your shadows.  This may not be a bad thing, just something to be aware of.  
  3. The biggest benefit of a water stop bath vs. an acid-based stop bath is the sharpness-enhancing adjacency effects that will occur.

If you are interested in the information in this article, you will likely want to read my article: Exploring D-23 Split Bath Large Format B&W Film Development.

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) black and white photography darkroom dry plate large format large format photography metering silver gelatin http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/darkroom-digest-stop-baths---water-vs-acid Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:09:42 GMT
Darkroom Digest: Understanding Silver Halides for Darkroom Photographers http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/darkroom-digest-understanding-silver-halides-for-darkroom-photographers It feels impossible for me to think about darkroom photography without at least being curious about the role of silver halides.

While it isn't necessary to know the scientific details about silver halides to create standard darkroom prints, I think understanding the underlying chemical architecture will make you a better printmaker and open doors you never knew existed before.  

SILVER HALIDES 101

A silver halide (or silver salt) is one of the compounds which are formed between silver and one of the halogens – silver bromide (AgBr), chloride (AgCl), iodide (AgI). As a group, they are often referred to as the silver halides and are often given the pseudo-chemical notation AgX.  

All you have to know about silver halides is that it is the light-sensitive chemicals used in photographic film and darkroom paper.  This might seem a little boring or irrelevant, but you will discover in the sections below, having a clear understanding of the silver halides can help you move into and explore new areas in your darkroom printing. 

Join thousands of darkroom photographers from around the world and receive my exclusive Darkroom Digest articles every Saturday morning at 9 AM CT via my Darkroom Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article.

PUTTING SILVER HALIDES IN CONTEXT

It is fairly straight forward, even for the non-chemist to understand the concept of silver halides in darkroom photography.  However, I want to walk you through a little more detail to help you understand the bigger picture and role of the halides.  

When creating a traditional darkroom print, you begin with an unexposed sheet of silver gelatin paper that is coated with light-sensitive silver halides.  The silver halides (emulsion) is effectively suspended in gelatin which sits on the paper substrate.  

I should mention that silver halides are used in darkroom papers as well as film.  When the silver halides are exposed to light, they are reduced to metallic silver, which forms the image on your film and darkroom paper.  

In darkroom photography, there are three relevant halogens (Bromide, Chloride, Iodide).

You may hear some of us "old timers" talk about silver bromide (AgBr) papers and these were the cold tone emulsions.  

Silver chloride (AgCl) produces a warmer tone and is most famous in Kodak's long-ago AZO contact printing paper, and the remake by Michael Smith, known as Lodima paper.  Lodima is amidol spelled backward.  Michael has a good sense of humor.

There is a new paper from Adox, called Lupex, that is a grade 3 silver chloride paper in case you want to explore this emulsion in your creative endeavors.  As a large format contact printer, I have found that using a silver chloride paper with amidol produces a print that is similar in tonal scale and values to my platinum prints, but with a glossy finish.  By varying the two-bath amidol development bath, I am able to control my tonal values from deep blacks to rich and warm brown tones.  You may have also heard silver chloride papers referred to as gas light papers because the speed of the emulsion is so slow that the historic printers were able to work under gas torches.  

Iodide (I) is used by manufacturers of darkroom papers, but you won't find any pure silver iodide (AgI) papers.  If you like the look of Kentmere papers, it is probably because they are known to use iodide in their emulsions. 

Modern darkroom papers are a mix of halides.  You won't find many silver bromide papers any longer, which are known to work very well for Lith printing.  It is difficult to know the exact iodide formula for the modern papers because most of that information is considered to be the intellectual property of the paper makers.  

Based on my knowledge and experience, I think most darkroom papers today would fall into the chlorobromide emulsion category. As the name implies, they are a mixture of the faster bromide and slower chloride papers. Chlorobromide papers are usually slower than traditional bromides. The percentage of bromide to chloride can allow manufacturers to create either warm or cold toned papers with a variety of sensitivities. Examples of chlorobromide papers include Ilford MG IV and Warmtone, Fomatone MG Classic VC and Slavich Bromportrait.

I hope this was helpful, or possibly a refresher for some of you.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) black and white photography darkroom darkroom digest large format large format photography metering http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/darkroom-digest-understanding-silver-halides-for-darkroom-photographers Mon, 07 Aug 2017 23:56:48 GMT
The Value of Continuing to Create - A Photographers Perspective http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/7/the-value-of-continuing-to-create-a-photographers-perspective I was talking to a young and energetic photographer recently and he asked me if I had one piece of advice for new photographers, what would it be?

After thinking about it for a few moments, I offered the advice that I believe one of the best things a photographer can do is just keep creating.  

I recently wrote an article, The Single Best Question a Photographer Can Ask.  I feel like this new article is connected to that article and both should probably be read in order to fully understand my thoughts. 

The value of continuing to create, even in those times when you might not feel it, has value.  I learned a long time ago that you have to step up to the plate if you even have a chance at hitting the ball (baseball analogy).  

I think it works that way for just about every type of creative person, whether you are a photographer, singer, artist, or whatever.  The more you create, your craft can only improve and eventually, you find those periods of time when things just flow.  I love working during those times when it seems like everything I do just works.  

As a photographer, we have more creative choices today than any time before in history. I think that can be paralyzing at times, because I know I have felt that way.  I always go back to my love of nature and just share the things that make me happy.  You can never go wrong with sharing your inner most feelings.  I hope that people can see and feel my sense of awe and appreciation of nature in my photography.

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) black and white darkroom essay fine art large format photography photography http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/7/the-value-of-continuing-to-create-a-photographers-perspective Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Video - Unboxing My New Chamonix 5x7 Large Format View Camera http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/7/video-unboxing-my-new-chamonix-5x7-large-format-view-camera I thought it would be fun to share the unboxing of my new 5x7 Chamonix View Camera with everyone, so I hope you enjoy the video.

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) 5x7 large format chamonix large format camera view camera http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/7/video-unboxing-my-new-chamonix-5x7-large-format-view-camera Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:23:49 GMT
Applying The 80/20 Principle In Your Photography http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/7/applying-the-80/20-principle-in-your-photography I have been thinking about the core elements that help me achieve high levels of success and I wanted to share my approach with other photographers to possibly help in a way that you might not normally expect. 

The single biggest contributor to my personal and professional success is linked to my understanding and application of the 80/20 Principle. 

The principle effectively states that 80% of your positive outcomes are tied to 20% of your inputs.  In other words, four-fifths of your actions on any given topic are irrelevant and only one-fifth have the ability to make a significant impact.  

Once you are able to get your mind around this, it brings clarity to a new level for most people.  If you think about that in terms of your photography, what are some of the 80% tasks you are doing that are leading to very little positive outcomes?  Find them and stop doing them.  On the up-side, what are the few actions that are producing positive results?  Focus on them and go deeper with them.  

In all of my workshops, books, and quick reference cards, this is at the center of how I develop my training materials.  I analyze the topic, then I deconstruct it in an effort to identify the top 20% of subjects that will produce the 80% of returns for learners.  It isn't always a clean 80/20, sometimes it is even more drastic such as 95/5 or 70/30, however, you get the idea.  

In non-technical areas such as my prints sales, I regularly stand back, look at the sales data and review which prints are in the top 20%.  I try and understand if there is a trend and if the sales data can help me understand my buyers better.  Since I only create prints of subjects that I am excited about and love, it is a win-win for me.  I get clear feedback on which ideas my buyers and collectors like the most and I get to make more of what I already love to create.  

I think you will find a number of ways to apply the 80/20 Principle within your photography and also in your personal life to help you achieve more by doing less and by focusing on fewer things which ultimately leads to higher levels of personal joy and satisfaction.    

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) 80/20 principle 80/20 rule pareto principle photography http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/7/applying-the-80/20-principle-in-your-photography Mon, 03 Jul 2017 12:06:48 GMT
Laying Out Mounting & Mat Options For My New Platinum Histograph Heirloom Panoramic Prints http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/6/laying-out-mounting-mat-options-for-my-new-large-format-platinum-panoramic-prints I get a lot of questions about the presentation of prints, so I thought I would share some background information about a project that I am working on for next year. 

I typically work a year or more in advance on a new project, while I am still in the process of working on my current project.  I don't like to rush things, especially in the area of presentation.  

I will be using my 8x10 and 11x14 view cameras with my 4x10 and 5x14 panoramic backs to create some new large format panoramic platinum prints.  I am in the process of acquiring a 7x17 large format panoramic camera.  The waiting time is several months, so I have to plan well in advance.  

You can view and purchase my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints or my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM from my online gallery.  You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints. 

In the photo above, you will see two formats that I laid out for my 4x10 and 5x14 platinum prints.  I work from the film size out when I design the size of my mount board. Using the 4x10 as the example, I first add one-half inch on all sides because I like a border around my platinum prints so that I can sign and edition them. I also like the float mount type of look.  Collectors want the original prints signed, not just the mat.  After the half-inch is added, I add another 2 1/2 inches for my border around the entire print, for a total of 3 inches on all sides of the original film size.  

My 4x10 panoramic platinum prints are mounted on a 10" x 16" acid-free museum quality board and then my platinum print is corner mounted in the center of the mat board using acid-free corner holders to keep the print in place. Next, I cut my window mat with the 2 1/2 inch borders on all sides and using an acid-free tape, I hinge-mount the over mat and mounting mat board to work as a clamshell unit.  It sounds more difficult and takes more time to type all this out than it does to just do it in real life.  

In summary, I just take the dimensions of my film size and add 3 inches on all sides to determine my mounting board size.  I cut my platinum paper one inch larger on all sides than my film size to give me the half-inch area between the print and the window mat.  So, for my 4x10 prints, I cut 6x12 paper.  For my standard prints, I like using Hahnemühle Platinum Rag paper because it looks natural and it is a beautiful paper.   

You can view and purchase my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints or my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM from my online gallery.  You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints. 

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) analog photography black and white darkroom fine art large format photography platinum platinum printing platinum/palladium http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/6/laying-out-mounting-mat-options-for-my-new-large-format-platinum-panoramic-prints Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:06:55 GMT
Hahnemühle Platinum Rag Paper Has Proven To Be an Outstanding Paper http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/6/hahnemuhle-platinum-rag-paper-has-proven-to-be-an-outstanding-paper Making AP Platinum & Palladium PrintsMaking AP Platinum & Palladium PrintsSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.

Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
Paper choice is critical in the platinum printmaking process, arguably, more than all other photographic processes.  That may sound like a bold statement, but since the platinum print is the most archival of all photographic processes, the weak link in the process is the paper for skilled printers. 

I have been printing with Hahnemühle Platinum Rag Paper for almost a year now and I have made over 100 prints so far. Some of the key characteristics of my paper choice besides archival performance includes exposure range, texture, and color (tonal values).  

You can view and purchase my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints or my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM from my online gallery.  You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints. 

If my paper choice can't provide the archival characteristics I need, then nothing else really matters.  Hahnemühle Platinum Rag is 100% cotton, has no optical brighteners, acid free, and it is uncoated.  These are key elements that I believe a good platinum paper must have.  Hahnemühle Platinum Rag is a substantial paper at 300 gsm and has some sizing which allows me to easily make consistently high quality coatings with my very expensive platinum emulsion.  I coat with a brush and this paper is well suited to my coating style.  

Getting ready to use Hahnemühle Platinum Rag with platinum sensitizer I have extensively tested Hahnemühle Platinum Rag from an exposure range perspective because it is critical that my paper can take advantage of platinums very broad tonal range.  I am able to make pure platinum prints with none of the issues often associated with pure platinum.  I think it is a combination of the paper and my choice of development chemicals and my printmaking methodology.  I am able to vary the tonality of my prints from classic pure platinum monochromatic to the warmer tones associated with palladium.  I find that Hahnemühle Platinum Rag warms up with just a single drop of palladium and the midtones are very smooth and gradual.  I love having the ability to make pure platinum, pure palladium, or platinum/palladium prints with this paper. 

In addition to exposure range, tonal values and density are important because I feel these aesthetics are the heart of the print.  I love showing my platinum prints to people that have never seen one before.  

The average person has no idea what they are looking at beyond the idea that it is a photograph.  It is a joy for me to watch someone look at the print and slowly start asking questions because they have never seen a platinum photograph in their life.  Most people instinctively know that what they are looking at doesn't look anything like a modern digital photograph.  Watching them realize they are looking at something very special makes all my hard work worth it.  

Enjoy the video below where I share some of my artist proofs.  I created pure platinum, pure palladium, and platinum/palladium prints on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag to explore which version I liked best for my project. 

You can view and purchase my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints or my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM from my online gallery.  You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints. 

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can view and purchase my limited edition Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints or my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM from my online gallery. You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

Follow me on my St. Francois Mountain Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Print Project where I am photographing the St. Francois Mountains that were formed by volcanic and intrusive activity 1.5 billion years ago.  By comparison, the Appalachians started forming about 460 million years ago, and the Rockies a mere 140 million years ago.

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) fine art print platinum platinum print http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/6/hahnemuhle-platinum-rag-paper-has-proven-to-be-an-outstanding-paper Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:41:40 GMT
The Single Best Question A Photographer Can Ask http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/6/the-single-best-question-a-photographer-can-ask

I have been reflecting recently on the last thirty years of being a photographer, and I discovered some things about myself that I suspect will apply and help other photographers.

Depending on some variables, in can be very easy to get caught up in chasing photography for a variety of unproductive reasons. For example, it can be easy to pursue subjects or topics that you think others will approve of or even just simply enjoy.  Based on personal circumstances, it can be incredibly easy to chase subjects based on financial drivers because you think the market will compensate you for your efforts in a particular area.  

I’ve noticed in other areas of life, unrelated to photography, that if people remain true to their original vision, often all of the things that we build up as problems, just tend to work themselves out.  Human beings have a very special skill that helps them transform small problems into mountains and rarely are they logical or true.  

In a society where it appears that success can be won in a day or week, it is, unfortunately, warping reality.  Success, however you choose to define it, is typically the result of consistent focus and hard work and being prepared for when an opportunity presents itself.  

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Success can have many faces, not just money, and it frequently comes as a result of many years of hard work and dedication to the basics.  If you look closely at successful people in any field, often you will find they are willing to do the small things that others are unwilling to do on a consistent basis.  This holds true whether you are an athlete, marketing professional, or a photographer.  The truth is that achieving your definition of success is linked to your ability to do the right tasks on a daily basis that forms the foundation for bigger successes.  It isn't some secret "thing" that will unlock the elusive success that has been escaping you.  Success is hiding in plain sight.

I believe the single best question a photographer can and should ask themselves is “What subjects or topics am I intensely excited about and why do they matter to me?”.  If you can honestly answer this question, it will provide the pathway to your creative plans and always keep you centered and focused on the right things.  I’ve started applying this question every time I head out in the field and create.  I let go of all the rules and no longer think about creating a portfolio of images that others want or expect.  I create prints of subjects that I am passionate about and are linked to things that are important to me such as conservation/preservation of natural resources, how nature improves the health and wellbeing of people, and inspiring people to get outside and experience the joy and benefits of nature.  

I photograph with film in large format view cameras and make darkroom prints of subjects that matter to me.  In a digital society that appears to not place a lot of value on physical prints, I am committed to making handmade prints for people that love and appreciate them.  Why would I do this?  First, because it is my passion.  It is what I do, and I love doing it.  I realized that I would rather create and sell 10 or 15 prints a year to people that want and appreciate them vs. trying to sell more volume based on financial drivers or do it in a way that doesn't align with my inner most passion.  

The reality for full-time professional photographers is that you may have to do other things to earn money to fund your creative pursuits.  For some photographers, that can mean leading workshops, teaching, writing books, etc.  For others, it may mean working a part time job to follow your true passions vs. being miserable producing work that you hope or think others will either purchase or confirm is "good."  

By staying true to yourself, you will always create your best work and all of the other variables that people tend to worry about naturally fall into place over time. I encourage you to deeply think about what you are passionate about and let go of all the other baggage that can keep you from reaching your full potential.  I have lost family members and good friends, and none of them were concerned about money in their final days.  Every single one of them valued their relationships and hoped they had made a positive contribution to the world.  What motivates you, what inspires you, and what matters to you?  If you create photographs that are aligned to these questions, you simply can't go wrong. 

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my learning materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM
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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) artist fine art photography success http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/6/the-single-best-question-a-photographer-can-ask Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:01:05 GMT
Darkroom Digest: Exploring Divided D-23 Large Format B&W Film Development http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/6/darkroom-digest-d-23-split-bath-b-w-film-development What is D-23 black and white film developer and why do photographers use it?

I will help answer those two questions in this article for you, in hopes that you may find a use for it in your darkroom.  

The famous photograph by Ansel Adams "Winter Sunrise from Lone Pine" was exposed on Isopan film and developed in D-23.  "I used my 8x10 Ansco view camera with the 23-inch component of my Cooke Series XV lens with a Wratten No. 15 (G) filter. The film was Isopan, developed in Kodak D-23" - Ansel Adams

As the title of this article suggests, I will be sharing my thoughts as well as my process for using D-23 as a split-bath developer.  When I think about split-bath development, I immediately think variable contrast development and the classic zone system.  

If you are reading this article, then you may be interested in my Introduction to B&W Darkroom Photography video workshop or my Split-Grade Darkroom Printing eBook

In simple terms, Bath A is where the development agent (Metol) is located and in Bath B is where the alkali resides and the remainder of the development is carried out.  In theory, one can change the contrast of their negative by varying the amount of time in Bath B.  But, is this the case for split-bath D-23? Read the details below to discover how this happens with D-23, and you might be surprised by the information. 

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Fresh batch of D-23 developer and some TF-4 archival fixerFresh batch of D-23 developer and some TF-4 archival fixerSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.

Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
I primarily use D-23 for negatives when I want excellent separation of shadow values and brilliant highlights. I can alter my tray development times to increase contrast and density for my platinum and AZO printing, or I can improve my shadow details by altering my development times in the two different solutions.  

I find D-23 to be a very versatile developer whether you and making straight silver gelatin contact prints or enlargements or you need more contrast and density for alternative printing processes such as platinum and AZO.  It is also very easy to mix from the raw chemicals and it has an excellent shelf life too.  

If you enjoy articles like this, you can support this blog and new articles for only $2 per month.  

I have created a short list of why I like D-23: 

  • D-23 has only two ingredients making it very simple to mix in the darkroom and it is highly effective.  It is also very inexpensive to make when compared to buying commercial developers.  
  • D-23 is a fine grain developer with excellent tonal separation, good film speed and it produces very clean negatives.
  • D-23 is incredibly easy to make.  You can mix it fresh from powder every time making it a great choice for any photographer that is not developing on a regular basis.
  • I think D-23 is a good developer to have on hand for large format photographers because it can be tailored to each negative that is developed. 
  • D-23 can be diluted 1:1 making it even cheaper to use. By diluting to 1:1, you can get longer development times which comes in handy when doing development by inspection.  
  • D-23 is a slightly slower developer, which means it has good compensation and less risk of "runaway" highlight values.  I find this useful for my higher contrast scenes and with high-contrast films. 
  • One of the biggest benefits in certain scenarios is my ability to expose my large format sheet film at box speed.  For example, being able to expose HP5+ at EI 400 can be a big advantage in some cases.  

Mixing up some new D-23 split bath developerMixing up some new D-23 split bath developerSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.

Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
QUICK REFRESHER ON DEVELOPER AGENTS

Black and white film developers typically consist of three main components: developing agent (e.g., Metol), alkaline agent (e.g., borax) and a means to delay oxidation of the developing agent (e.g., sodium sulfite). 

Metol along with phenidone (a newer agent) and hydroquinone are common black and white developing agents. Metol is an organic compound and a colorless salt.  Metol is known to be a good choice for continuous tone and has been widely used in commercial formulas for many years before Kodak discontinued it. Metol is a highly versatile developing agent and a standard that I keep in my darkroom.  

D-23 ECO-FRIENDLY SPLIT-BATH FORMULA

Developer (Solution A)

  • Metol.....7.5g
  • Sodium Sulfite.....100g
  • Water to make 1 liter 

Process to Make Solution A

  • Heat 500ml of distilled water to 52C/125F
  • Dissolve 7.5g of Metol separately in small amount of distilled water
  • Add the dissolved Metol to 500ml of 52C/125F water
  • Dissolve 100g of Sodium Sulfite in small amount of distilled water
  • Add the dissolved Sodium Sulfite to the 500ml of 52C/125F distilled water with Metol 
  • Add distilled water to make 1000ml 

Process to Make Solution B

  • Dissolve 2g of Borax in 1000ml of distilled water heated to 52C/125F 

Chemicals to make B&W Film DeveloperChemicals to make B&W Film DeveloperSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

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Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
USAGE NOTES

1 liter of developer solutions can process approximately 800 square inches of film before discarding it.  That would equal about 40 sheets of 4x5 film, 20 sheets of 5x7 film, ten sheets of 8x10 film, and five sheets of 11x14 film.  

In other words, you can mix up one liter of developer for your film development session and process a lot of exposures.  I usually only expose a few sheets of film per outing, so I have more than enough developer for my session.  I use fresh developer for each session and discard it afterward, but I have been testing it after being stored in my darkroom for a month or so, and the results are fine. You can cut the formula by 50% to make 500ml if needed.  

PROCESSING OVERVIEW

I have found that Ilford HP5+ and FP4+ develops to my satisfaction with divided D-23.  I frequently use HP5+ sheet film in my 8x10 and 11x14 large format view cameras and FP4+ in my 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10 cameras. I process my films in trays, either in my regular darkroom, on in my film changing tent when I am on the road. 

If you enjoy articles like this, you can support this blog and new articles for only $2 per month.  

8x10 trays in my film changing tent for film development8x10 trays in my film changing tent for film developmentSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.

Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
I have three trays lined up (Solution A - Solution B - TF-4). When I am working in my regular darkroom, I have another tray of distilled water to place the freshly developed negative before moving to the film washer.  If I am on the road, I just wash my films by placing them in trays and letting them soak and periodically agitate for about an hour until they are fully cleared.  

Based on the contrast of my negative being developed, normal, expanded, or contracted, I vary my times in Solution A and you will notice that my time in Solution B remains constant at 3 minutes.  

Below are my personal development times for FP4+ and HP5+:

  • Normal:  10 min in A + 3 min in B
  • N+1: 12 min in A + 3 min in B
  • N+2: 15 min in A + 3 min in B
  • N-1: 8 min in A + 3 min in B
  • N-2: 6 min in A + 3 min in B

Mixing the chemicals together for a new B&W film developerMixing the chemicals together for a new B&W film developerSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.

Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
Most divided bath developers have the developer in Part A and the accelerant in Part B.  Because of the amount of sodium sulfite in Solution A; your film is actually being developed without the need for an accelerator.  Now that is pretty amazing.  

Then when you move your sheet film to Solution B (borax), this is where the magical compensating effect happens because the developer agent (Metol) is quickly exhausted in the high values (dense areas), and the lower values (shadows) will continue to develop.  This basically means that you are developing for your high values in Solution A and shadow values in Solution B.  This is why I love black and white large format photography so much.  The ability to control every part of my creative process is simply awesome. 

It is possible to use the development by inspection method on a negative by negative basis, or I just put in the time and found the standard times that work for my style of photography that doesn't require the inspection approach.  

You can develop a single sheet of film or multiple sheets at a time using the shuffle method. 

Your agitation method will impact your development times and negatives, so keep this in mind when establishing your development times.  

Story's Creek Schookhouse at Alley Spring & Mill (5x7 Large Format Negative)Story's Creek Schookhouse at Alley Spring & Mill (5x7 Large Format Negative)Subscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.

Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
For normal and expanded development (N and N+), I place a sheet of film in Solution A and continuously agitate for the first 30 seconds and then 5 seconds every 30 seconds for N development and 10 seconds for N+1 until the development time is completed for this step.  I slowly and gently rock my tray for the entire 3 minutes in Solution B.  

The negative to the left is a sheet of 5x7 FP4+ developed for N+1.  The building in the scene is a historic white schoolhouse.  

For contracted development, I place the film in Solution A and agitate for 10 seconds and then 10 seconds per minute until the time is completed for this step.  I then place my film in Solution B and give in just a single rocking motion to ensure the film is below the developing solution.  For N-1, I gently rock the tray for 5 seconds every minute, and for N-2, I don't agitate the film at all beyond the initial entry in the tray.  

After you start developing your negatives and review them, keep in mind the following two variables, and you can really dial in your process for the types of prints that you like to make.  

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If you want to increase the overall density and contrast of your negatives, then extend your time in Solution A.  If you need more shadow detail, process your film in your normal Solution B time, then place the film back in Solution A for 15 seconds, and then back in Solution B for another period of time.  Start with times in the range of 1 to 3 minutes and evaluate your negatives.   

After development, I move immediately to TF-4 archival fixer which effectively eliminates the need for a stop bath and hypo-clearing agent and also significantly reduces my washing times.  I can even develop my negatives on the road in my Harrison Dark Tent which makes this a very user friend solution in my regular darkroom or in my mini-darkroom in my van. 

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

Follow me on my St. Francois Mountain Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Print Project where I am photographing the St. Francois Mountains that were formed by volcanic and intrusive activity 1.5 billion years ago.  By comparison, the Appalachians started forming about 460 million years ago, and the Rockies a mere 140 million years ago.

You can view and purchase my limited edition Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints or my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM from my online gallery. You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints. 

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) black and white photography darkroom darkroom digest dry plate large format large format photography metering silver gelatin http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/6/darkroom-digest-d-23-split-bath-b-w-film-development Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:54:41 GMT
Announcing The Tim Layton Fine Art Angel Supporter Program For Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/6/announcing-the-tim-layton-fine-art-angel-supporter-platinum-histograph As a Tim Layton Fine Art Angel Supporter, you make things possible that otherwise would not be an option for me as an artist.  

Your generous contribution every year is appreciated very deeply. It keeps me creating art and focused on the mission, versus chasing around tasks to earn money to keep the lights on.  

I create exclusive limited edition 1 of 1 fine art Platinum HistographsTM for my angel supporters every year that is not offered anywhere else in the world.  I connect with you to learn about your preferences, and then I get busy creating something special for you.  Feel free to email me directly with any questions.  

You can get started immediately by becoming an Angel Supporter today. 

You can view and purchase my limited edition Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints or my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM from my online gallery.  You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints. 

ABOUT PLATINUM HISTOGRAPHSTM

Tim Layton, photographer, darkroom expert and artistic innovator invented the Platinum HistographTM, inviting you to use your senses to take a step back in time. This visceral experience of holding history in your hands delights history buffs, art collectors, photographers and art enthusiasts with craftsmanship, artistry, and history through a curated collection of fine platinum prints.

DETAILS FOR THE COLLECTOR

Each Platinum HistographTM begins by Tim using a 19th-century style large format film camera and exposing large sheets of black and white film.  After the field work, Tim heads back to his darkroom studio in the mountains and develops the sheet film to the specifications suitable to create Platinum HistographsTM.  Platinum HistographsTM is the most archival of all art mediums because of the inherent stability of platinum and exhibits a tonal scale and rendering of tonal values that are described by many as ethereal and three-dimensional.  Once you hold a Platinum HistographTM in your hands for a personal experience, you will understand what makes them so unique.  

Platinum is one of the rarest elements in earth’s crust. Because of its scarcity and is valued as a precious metal, the price is elevated and its only used for important reasons. Over the last ten years, the price for an ounce of Platinum reached an all-time high at $2,270.50 per ounce. 

Platinum is one of the least reactive metals, and it has remarkable resistance to corrosion, even at high temperatures, and is therefore considered a noble metal. This is one of the reasons why it is the perfect choice for making handmade Platinum HistographsTM to preserve history. 

Noble metals are metals that are resistant to corrosion and oxidation in moist air, unlike base metals. The short list of chemically noble metals includes ruthenium (Ru), rhodium (Rh), palladium (Pd), silver (Ag), osmium (Os), iridium (Ir), gold (Au), and platinum (Pt), with Platinum being more stable than even gold.

By combing the remarkable stability of platinum with a high quality and chemically pure paper substrate, you get the world most archival photographic print that can last indefinitely when curated properly.  

Each Platinum HistographTM is hand mounted on museum-quality mat board devoid of any optical brighteners or other agents to speed up the deterioration process. 

Each Platinum HistographTM includes Tim's original signature, the title of the work, date it was created, edition number, and a certificate of authenticity validating the original artwork.   

THANK YOU

Thanks again for your kindness and willingness to support an artist in the 21st century.  I hope the artwork that I create for you provides a welcomed break from the very busy and fast paced world we live in today.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can view and purchase my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints or my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM from my online gallery.  You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) and art art" artwork black collectible art fine fine art platinum platinum histograph white http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/6/announcing-the-tim-layton-fine-art-angel-supporter-platinum-histograph Sun, 18 Jun 2017 16:21:51 GMT