Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Today's photo is an oldie. It's a VanDyke brown print I made in 1994 of a photo taken with infrared film. It was printed from a positive transparency, not a negative, which resulted in a negative print.

Back in 1994, making enlarged transparencies for alternative photographic printing was done using Kodalith film, a high-contrast sheet film which Kodak no longer manufactures. Usually, you would enlarge a 35mm negative onto Kodalith to make a positive transparency, then contact print that positive to obtain the enlarged negative used to make the print. In this case, however, I started with a 35mm negative shot on infrared film, but stopped with the enlarged positive.

Making negatives for alternative process printing is much easier today, provided you have a good inkjet printer and use high quality transparency film.

Infrared film is interesting and fun. It is a B&W film that has increased sensitivity in the infrared, which results in odd tonal shifts and a ghostly appearance. Using infrared film is a little tricky, the camera has to be loaded and unloaded in complete darkness, a dark red filter is attached to the camera lens, and focusing is adjusted to account for the incresaed infrared sensitivity.

The photo was shot in a small cemetery outside of Ann Arbor, MI, on a crisp fall day. That particular cemetery was quite picturesque, with old, leaning gravestones and overgrown trees.

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