Introducing Darkroom Dahlia - Large Format B&W Silver Gelatin Fine Art Print
It was a fantastic day in the darkroom. My son and I made this new print using our newly updated 8x10 enlarger.
"Darkroom Dahlia" is a limited edition black and white silver gelatin darkroom print that is available for purchase. You can view Darkroom Dahlia and all of my limited edition black and white fine art prints in my gallery.
I used my split-grade print method on Ilford MGIV Fiber paper for this print and it is selenium toned to museum quality archival standards.
The negative was FP4+ 8x10 and developed in Pyrocat HD 1:1:100.
You can watch the two movies below this text where I photographed the flower, developed the film, and made the fine art print using the new 8x10 enlarger setup.
I grow flowers in my greenhouse, around my darkroom, and all over my land in the Ozark's so that I can photograph them and create artist original fine art prints like this. This particular flower was grown in the front of my darkroom and that is why I titled it "Darkroom Dahlia". Dahlia's along with tulips and lilies are among my favorites.
I used my split-grade method and selenium toned to help enhance the overall contrast and appearance of this print. I am really happy with it and I hope that you enjoy it.
The Dahlia symbolizes:
Dahlia is the name of the genus of these flowers, making it easy to refer to the entire group at once. The source of the name is highly contested. An original story claimed that Carl Linnaeus named the flower after a student with the last name of Dahl, but Linnaeus himself died before the flower was named. It’s unclear where the name actually originated, and some scientists have unsuccessfully tried to change the genus name to Georgina.
The Victorians used the Dahlia to signify a lasting bond and commitment between two people, but modern flower lovers can also buy a potted plant as a celebration of joining a new religion or trying a new healthy habit. Dahlia is often considered a birth flower for August, but some traditions use it as a November birth flower instead. It’s the national flower of Mexico because that it’s native habitat. Some cultures use it to represent diversity since each petal fits seamlessly into the whole head.
CREATING THE EXPOSURE & DEVELOPING THE NEGATIVE - EPISODE 1
MAKING THE PRINT IN THE DARKROOM - EPISODE 2
"DARKROOM DAHLIA" - THE FINAL PRINT
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Keywords: analog photography, black and white, Dahlia, darkroom, film, fine art, Floral Still Life, Flower, FP4, large format, photography, Pyrocat HD
Hi Chris, I get tons of comments and interaction on social media about all this, but thank you for your kind words and your interest. In regards to your questions about 4x5 vs. 8x10 for my prints it does make a difference and there are other reasons as well. I print up to 4 feet x 6 feet and that on a 4x5 negative is a little over 10X and on the 8x10, it is only 4X. That fact alone is reason enough for me. However, I also use my 8x10 negatives for other processes such as contact printing and platinum/palladium, which require the negative to be the same size as the desired print. But, I have made plenty of 40x50 prints from 4x5 and they are very good and a lot depends on your subject matter. I want the absolute most detail possible and by using 8x10 film with an 8x10 enlarger with a cold light head, the results are really unparalleled. I hope that helps. Stay in touch. Tim
Hi, I didn't realise quite how few people were leaving comments. Your content is so intriguing, I expected it to be many more. Anyway, I have a question, but first a little background. I'm a (non fine art) film photographer currently shooting almost exclusively in 135 with a Pentax LX and MX. I do have a Minolta Autocord that I use only rarely, and I now have a 4x5 Chroma camera being built by my friend Steve Lloyd... but have never shot a LF camera in my life. So I do find the content interesting.
My question is, how much difference would it make to your print if you used a 4x5 camera instead of a 8x10? Do you think the difference would be noticeable?
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