Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Direct Positive Paper

Yesterday I asked my daughter if she could help me with something related to photography...
- oh, how long do I have to stand still?
Hah, she knows me very well ;D

I just found a bit of time to try direct positive paper which I have since while.
Due to its very low speed (varies, depends on light condition and desired effect ISO 3-6...) and energy of my young model I had to use studio lights to achieve reasonable shutter speed and aperture. Quite important not only when photographing a child ;)
After setting light to maximum power I got 1/30 shutter speed with f/8. Just about something I was looking for.

scanned print (please click the image to see it bigger)
After that there was a time for a wet part of the process. Very exciting moments as always when it comes to printing.
I choose an Ilford Multigrade paper developer. Luckily I still had an unopened bottle. I didn't expected that after a few months break in printing ;)
Dilution as stated on the bottle 1+9, stop in water and then fix bath in Ilford Rapid Fixer 1+4. Just like with RC paper.
Trays filled with chemicals, safe light ON and after a few minutes everything was done :)
Image itself came out really fast. it was about 20-30seconds. And that’s It.

Pre-flashing  is sometimes recommended for this paper. It gives more grays but also lower contrast so... I didn't pre-flash  :)
I wanted to achieve good contrast which means for me - high ;) and my decision was right.

After all I find it a bit similar to wet plate collodion. It’s the first thing which came to my mind when I saw photograph coming out on developing tray. I am talking here about all idea rather then the process itself which in this case is  much easier and faster. 

 - photograph taken in that way is the only one you have
- the image is a mirror reflection of photographed subject

I love direct positive paper and the way the photograph is made with it. Very reach tones, fantastic details and contrast and also quite short time required to see the result. 
Will definitely use it more often instead of traditional film. 

equipment used:
Sinar F2 with Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 150mm 5.6 lens, 4x5 Harman Direct Positive Paper FB Glossy .

Update 07/09/2012 - You can also have a look at my other post about Direct Positive Paper where I am using it with natural light ;) Click Here Please 


  1. Nice experiment, Artur.Some of the technicalities go straight over my head, but love the resulting contrast.

    1. cheers Andy!
      it's all easy once you go through all the process. thanks a lot for stopping by ;)

  2. Trochę techniki i się gubię, ale zdjęcie piękne:)

    1. dziekuje bardzo Monika :) a technika to tak przy okazji bo bez niej sie nie da ;)

  3. Very good mister. How sharp is it? Dpi wise.

    1. hey mate, dpi wise? you are talking to totally freaked out analogue head! hahaha ;D will check it for you however in that size I can't see difference in-between above print and similar negative. it is really sharp, I mean it ;)

    2. Id expect it's very sharp alright, with such low sensitivity. I suppose you always scan your work at dpi appropriate to material. Type 55 at 3200 or more, same pan f. I have plenty of Foma, which I usually push to 400 and it gives me good negs with nice details up to 1800 dpi. So, where would you put this pretty please? Thanks!

    3. this one was scanned at 1200 dpi (48bits) and I am happy with it. for large print I would go with 2400 I suppose and it would do the job. to be honest I am not scanning in higher res then 2400. even with T55. got really nice 25x25inch prints from 6x6 negs scanned at mentioned res and then squeezed to 600 dpi for print purpose.

    4. Cheers, thanks Artur. I know you are not a big fan of zeros and ones, but I also know you have a good scanner, ,so why dont you use its capability when you archiving your work?

    5. I would say my 2400dpi was always enough even for a big digital prints but maybe you are right. Will try to scan it in a higher res. Will see what the difference is...Cheers Vlad!

    6. There is this sharpening tool if you're using SilverFast, I always use it to check how much details I have on negs and than I set appropriate scanning resolution, obviously as high as possible. Most of negs I scan with 2400 dpi setting. Long expired negs at usually at 1800, and never go lower than that.

    7. yes, SilverFast it the thing I am using. Thanks!

  4. Very inspiring results, Artur.