Sunday, October 31, 2021
New Darkroom Paper
I recently tried a new product from Ilford, new to me at least. It's their MGFB Multigrade FB double weight paper. No doubt it's been around but new to me since I've not used it before.
At any rate, it gave me brilliant whites and distinctive blacks. The negatives I created were on Ilford HP5 (ISO 400) which I dropped down to ISO 100. Perhaps more than what was needed but the negs are very strong. No need for a contrast filter in my enlarger and, at f8, all negs printed around 10 seconds for a 4x5 print. The MGFB was easy to work with and very consistent. The images created were from a custom car show in Flemington, NJ. The negatives and the paper worked together very well. The results were sharp with enough contrast to highlight the details of each car.
Needless to say, the only draw back to FB paper is the drying process and the resultant curl of the final dried photo. Surely there's a better procedure than my hanging the prints to dry but before investing in any more equipment, I'll revert to RC paper which I've used all along. Just wanted to try a "new paper".
If you're a B&W film photographer and do your own printing, please let me know about this film/paper combination or whatever it is that you like.
Thanks - Hank
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
A New Gadget
After many years of shooting, I found something that is making things a lot easier. Often I'd capture an image using a particular filter for a special effect. My favorite infrared film used to be Kodak's HIE which, as you know, is no longer available. To get the best infrared effect required your using a 25 red screw in filter. No big deal until you dropped it when you were finished with it. I had this happen more than once.
Now there is a resolution to this situation, at least for me anyway. I recently purchased a "Rapid Filter System" (manufactured by UURig) from B&H in New York City. Maybe it's been around for awhile but I just noticed it. It's quite clever and vey easy to use. It resembles a circular clam shell. One half screws into your lens while the other half holds your filter screwed in place. When you want the filter effect you simply "close" the clam shell and expose accordingly. When you wish a non-filtered exposure just "open" the clam shell take your next shot.
Ilford SFX 200 has been my film of choice since I can get a standard B&W image (no filter-clam open) and then proceed to create the infrared ones (R72 filter-clam closed). My shooting sequence is first negative at whatever my meter suggests rating SFX at ISO 100 and then (clam closed) for f8 @ 1 second and another @ 2 seconds. This way I have a standard copy of the image and 2 trial infrared copies, knowing what the image originally looked like. That's personal choice helpful to me.
I'd like to hear your comments if your using any kind of filter or SFX film.
Thanks - Hank
Friday, March 26, 2021
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
In 1939, my father was a 25-year-old, Bronx-born amateur photographer who volunteered at the New York World’s Fair, which granted him expanded access to the grounds and a unique vantage point from which to photograph the event. Although numerous popular snapshots and professional photographs of the Fair exist, my father’s images taken in September of 1940 just weeks before the Fair closed, offer a distinct perspective: he artfully captured architectural shots at night with few, if any, people populating them. In spare, striking contrast, his images evoke the solemnity of the time, and conjure the sinister settings characteristic of the period's film noir.
I inherited my dad’s negatives from the 1939 Fair, and have the pleasure of reprinting them in my darkroom as interest in the Fair persists. His images have been exhibited in museums and licensed for use in television shows.
Perhaps his most iconic image was that of the 700-foot-tall Trylon and 200-foot-diameter hollow Perisphere--the centerpieces of the Fair--with a nearly sixty-foot tall statue of George Washington as he faces the future.
I’ve always considered this image to be a winner, and have submitted it to numerous competitions. I most recently entered it into the Vintage Image Photo Contest for the April 2021 issue of Black & White magazine, one of my favorite fine art photography publications. I’m happy to report that the image won!
The magazine is on newsstands now. You can also view this image and all of my dad’s photographs in the 1939 World’s Fair Gallery via the link above to my website.
Monday, February 15, 2021
It was a privilege for me to sign two agreements with COSMOS-POSSIBLE WORLDS which involved using three of my 1939 World’s Fair images. It came as quite a surprise. I was sent continual emails but I didn’t recognize the COSMOS name at all.
After several attempts at reaching me, I did a Google search and felt like a fool. They were the real deal. Getting unrequested emails is a hassle for all of us hence my reluctance to respond. However, now the story was very different.
We spent quite amount of time negotiating price and legal issues. They wanted to pay nothing and I wanted $1 million per photo. Needless to say, we arrived at pricing that was more realistic to both parties yet very lucrative to Webbers.
Our company attorney then advised as to who would use the photos, where they would be used, how they would be used, to what extent would they be used, and how often would they be used, and how long the agreement would last. Obviously, COSMOS had their own boiler form, but with further review, the agreement was accepted by both sides
COSMOS found my website which led to the agreements which led to the finished arrangement. Should you ever become involved in any license agreement, make sure you know what you’re worth (there’s no cookie cutter pricing), make sure you have a qualified lawyer, and make sure you over deliver for your customer.
I may have mentioned this before but if you have the Disney channel then click on National Geographic, then click on COSMOS-POSSIBLE WORLDS, then click on season 1 – episode 13. There you’ll see some of the images that are the results of these license agreements. They’re also available at https://www.webbersphotography.com/c/1939-worlds-fair Enjoy!