Some of you may have seen my Facebook post a few days ago about finding a lab while at my annul convention that prints on real black and white paper and develops in black and white chemistry. Why is this making me salivate, let me explain.
As a photographer, one of my fondest memories was when I was in the darkroom. The amazement as you watched your image emerge on a piece of paper in the chemistry. It was magical. I loved it so much, I bought an enlarger in college and turned my teeny tiny bathroom (6′x5′) in my apartment into a darkroom at home so I could continue working. (Thank god my roommate was patience, it was our only bathroom.)
A real black and white image these days is very valuable. In the last 12 years I have been at photographic auctions where I have watched a real black and white print sell for twice as much a giclee or digital print 3x it size. And I am not shy, so I asked someone what made it sell for so much more. It was a nice image but so was the digital/inkjet print. I was told, “it is because you know it will last forever.” Enough said.
In a black and white photographic print an image is made by the oxidation of silver grains suspended in a gelatin mix that makes up the paper emulsion. Black and white prints have been produce since the 1800′s and those images still exist. A real black and white print also offers rich blacks and creamy whites with no color cast like you get in a digital black and white print.
Don’t be fooled by a company calling it True Black and White. Ilford, a large company that produces photographic paper (this includes the paper that the real b&w images are printed on), created a digital paper called true black and white that is printed and processed through digital technology. It is still a digital print. What I found that made me so excited is a company that turns your digital file into a negative to expose the black and white paper and then hand processes it in black and white chemistry. Hence a real black and white print.
I am send my first test images off this week and I am super excited to see the results. Follow me on Facebook to find out the results.
Sorry no pictures this week…but you can check out our Facebook page to see pictures from our Annual Dog Days event.