Hello and welcome to Larry Galliford Photography blog. I hope you find the various topics listed below useful and helpful.
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About 12 months ago, I changed from using Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (I hated Windows 10) and decided to learn and install Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon 64-bit edition as a replacement operating system. Obviously this meant that my existing licensed versions of Adobe Lightroom 5.6 and DXO Optics Pro 10 would no longer work. Therefore, after taking some time out trying different software packages and learning them, I've now standardised my workflow using Art, Darktable, Gimp and Rawtherapee, These are all open source and multi-platform applications. Thus available for Linux, Windows and Apple Mac. I really like Darktable the most not just for it's end results in processing, but it's capable of fully using 100% of my fast Nvidia GPU graphics card in Open CL mode thus able to do parallel processing. That means it uses both CPU & GPU at the same time very effectively "Great Stuff".
Here are the respective links to the Linux based software I now use.
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"The secret of getting ahead is getting started" Mark Twain
"Objectives - Start by doing what's necessary, then do what's possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible" St Francis of Assisi
"The most effective way to do it, is to do it" Amelia Earhart
"My powers are ordinary. Only my application brings me success" Isaac Newton
"I have not failed. I found a thousand ways that won't work" Thomas Edison
Larry speaking now! It's raining outside but after I finished typing up these quotes, it inspired me to go outside and take this photo. Captured on Rollei Retro APX 100 Black & White film. Processed and printed it directly from the negative in my darkroom - I like the result. Didn't mind getting wet. Worth the effort as it was fun to do. The title of my photo is "Raindrop".
Darkroom Print SCAN_042Raindrops helps clean my wheels!
I purchased from Silverprint UK a couple of boxes of their own special brand of "Proof" Variable Contrast RC paper which has a dead matt-surface which is very unusual (glossy and semi-matt been the norm within the industry). This appears to have been a one-off special purchase arrangement with Harman Technology Ltd (product maker). The same people that make the world famous Ilford Multigrade IV darkroom paper. Been a unique printing paper, I needed to calibrate my RH Designs Analyser Pro & ZoneMaster II devices to accommodate aiding correct exposure timing and contrast settings. Therefore, I've come up with the following figures as a guide after some experimental testing which I wanted to share, should anyone else be using this setup in their workflow.
The testing was done with an LPL 7700mx colour enlarger set for using standard Kodak scale "Yellow & Magenta" enlarger filters as listed in the RH Designs product user manual or see this link: http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/html/filter_settings.html for different enlargers.
Now, let's get started.
Enter calibration mode on your metering device and enter a -12 (minus figure) for all grades 00 through to grade 5. That's about a 1x stop faster ISO paper speed than MG4 paper. When done, enter the contrast range as follows.
Grade 00 = 180 (one hundred and eighty)
Note, half grade steps are automatically calculated by the device and do work well. My figures will give you good starting point.
Please bear in mind that this paper has a totally dead matt surface hence blacks are a little bit weaker compared to Ilford MG4 satin finish, but can be compensated for by adjusting the contrast level figures to suit individual tastes.
Overall, I'm really pleased with this paper, so smooth almost book like. Even Ilford's own MG4 satin has a sheen/slight gloss to it in comparison. The chemistry used for all these prints was Ilford PQ Universal Print Developer, Fotospeed SB50 Stop Bath and Fotospeed FX30 Fixer.
Here are some examples of my darkroom prints made using this paper
Unfortunately, Silverprint UK have now sold out of this paper
I would like to share my enthusiam for a really talented and gifted musician, singer and entertainer named Jonathan Veira who is a bundle of laughs and delights his audiances with his performances. Jonathan will be presenting his one-man show LIVE at St. Peter's Church Maidenhead 7.30pm Saturday September 19th 2015. Bring the whole family and have a really great evening's entertainment.
Tickets: Adults £10, Children £5, Family Ticket £25, Concessions £8.
Available from Sue Stabler 01628-417508 or email: [email protected]
Alternatively contact St Peter's Church Office 01628-784053.
More information about Jonathan can be found at his website:-
I've been spending some time experimenting and printing with the latest version of the Harman produced Kentmere VC Select RC paper which appears to have been slightly reformulated compared to the original Kentmere factory made versions (pre-2008). In a effort to get repeatable results from my RH Designs Analyser Pro (also applies to Zone Master II) as well, I've come up with some calibration settings through trial and error and a fair bit of paper usage. Both of these exposure metering devices are configured to using the standard 1/12 F-Stop mode setting. My tests have been by actual printing and not by any technical method of using a density measurement device, only by visual inspection of dried down made prints comparing VC Select to the same negative printed on Multigrade IV RC Pearl within 10 mins of each other. Grade for grade the Kentmere is about half to three-quarter of a grade higher in contrast compared to Multigrade IV and is about 75-100% faster ISO rated paper speed. I used a LPL7700MX enlarger with Kodak Y/M filter chart. All half grades paper settings are automatically calculated for you by the device.
*** Contrast Values (all positive figures)
*** Enlarger using built-in yellow & magenta (kodak value filters)
On the whole I'm very pleased with these settings, very clean whites and strong blacks but not over-powering. Somehow my Ilford Multigrade IV prints look quite flat and boring now. The new kentmere is much more snappier and puncher plus has a whiter and slightly thicker paper base.
Thanks to Dr. Richard Ross of RH Designs for the use of product photos.
© Larry Galliford Photography