Week-18-Project Development.

FMP-Book Prints.

This week have been working on printing images for my book. I will be hand printing 12 images into 5×7 prints.  Used my time on the refresher printing course at the Labs at Santa Monica College to do this.

SMC neg prep area and print washing and drying, final week.  Photo by: Pierre Chemaly

This was week 6 and the last day of the printing refresher. I completed the series yesterday for the book. (3 weeks work) at SMC on Sundays.  I use the facilities there to get equipment I do not have in my own dark room, plus it’s nice to get feedback from other printers, regarding my prints. I take them home let them dry overnight, then rewash and dry on my dryer at home.

I did the work in Ilford paper, and really like the look. So of course, I’m going to print my FMP on Ilford all the way It seems that the contrast and the very deep blacks of the images lend themselves well to the  look of the images, so I will be printing the series for my exhibition on the Ilford Fiber Base paper.  This printing refresher every week as well as my own darkroom work has been very beneficial to my printing. I have finally achieved the level of making a print, that I feel is on the level of any professional or professional printer.

I had the opportunity to use the Macbeth Densitometer TD-504 to do density readings on my negs to see that they are in range from clear base to max density. I like to keep my highlights and shadows well within range, so I overexpose the negative and under develop it to give a slightly lower density of the highlights with good shadow detail as this helps printing in the darkroom, that way I can keep my printing lights somewhat consistent.

So far it has been working well, and my exposures and development of my negs are just where I like them to be. The D-Max is 2.10 (TEST STRIP) Actual on meter reads 2.12, so it’s accurate to 1/200th, close enough for me, plus the test strip may not be new. My max destiny on my negs were around 1.30-1.40, Just where I like it, and compensate for density with the VC filters to increase the required contrast.

Clibration test on the Macbeth TD-504 Densitometer. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly
Kodak B&W test strip 6017 in the Macbeth Densitometer. My negs on the left.  Photo by: Pierre Chemaly










Home Darkroom Printing:

At the home darkroom I have printed some of my final images, 11×14. I have finally decided to go back to Ilford Fibre Base, so a lot of them will be reprinted. I have also changed the stop bath to a citric base from the ascetic base, less smell and less irritation for me. I have added a fresh air vent to my darkroom so this has made a huge difference.  This week I will be printing all the images for my Pop_UP exhibition on November the 14th at the Hollywood Sculpture Garden.


5×7 Dry with curl. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly

Finishing 5×7’s at home.

The prints were brought back from SMC, I allowed to dry, of course the fibre paper curl set in. So I resoaked in filtered water, sometimes I use distilled, give it a good soak and rinse, squeegee, and dry on my dryer.

I made 18 prints over the past three weeks.  These are for the book. I will use them also to do the final edit for my pop-up exhibit, it will be nice to see the prints on ilford paper in a smaller size and then get my series together, better than looking at cheap paper prints which I have done before.

5×7’s soaked in filtered water/sometimes distilled. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly
Squeegeed after the soak,ready for drying. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly







Above the prints soaking in filtered water, it also serves as a final wash. The water where I live is very hard, even though it aids in removing the hypo, it can leave mineral on the surface of the print (even though, I have never experienced any residue) once the print has dried. However, as I am going for longevity of the print, I archival was, use hypo clear, do the residual hypo check, and not I will do the residual silver check to make sure the prints are properly fixed. I do a 2 bath fix for a minute each. The test is done with Sodium Sulphite, 2 dropped on the print and if there is a change in the image, there is resiual silver and it’s not fixed enough. I found some Sodium Sulphite at Sammy’s camera last week. I bought some paper there as Freestyle Photo was out of stock. As a result of that, I saved $10 on the paper, it was cheaper, so I guess I will buy there from now on, and I found a small bottle of sodium sulphite.

I was going to order it from the Photographers Formulary, but found out it has to ship via UPS or Fedex instead of USPS (some safety reasons) but this added $22 dollars to the shipping, plus a weeks wait. I would have bought it, but luckily a bottle was available at Sammy’s so overall I saved over $30, so as I was close by to Canters my favorite Deli, went for lunch and did some reading/research of my new book: “The Photograph as Contemporary Art.”




B+W Analysing Process: https://www.paulwainwrightphotography.com/biblio_files/silver_conf_a.pdf


Week-10-Project Development.

Weeks Agenda:

  1. Go back out re-shoot ‘fences’ with film ‘IN’ the camera this time.
  2. Finish off the 3D camera roll and develop it.
  3. Create the images and prepare two files to send off to Bowhaus to make me LVT’s.
  4. Prepare to teach class Friday and Saturday.
  5. Do research on Mural Prints, getting ready for my printing workshop on the 17th and 18th (Week 11)
  6. Work on website www.pierrechemaly.com
  7. Go down to Hollywood to Freestyle Photo to purchase some film and Kodak HC-110.
  8. Darkroom work, start printing.

Went back out and retraced my steps to re-photograph some of the images I missed by not having film in the camera, it’s nice to be reminded -once in a while- that I am not perfect. This time I could think about the images more than the first time. There is something about re-turning to re-photograph something a few days later. Used on roll of the expired Kodak Tri-X 5063 form the 1978 100ft roll. I will develop in D76, I read online that someone had developed it using Kodak HC-110. I have not used this developer, however it has a restrainer, and he mentioned that even though the film was from 1973, the restrainer cut the base fog way down. So I will develop with D76 and if Base and fog is too high, I will develop the next roll with Kodak HC-110.

Developed the film at 68°F Kodak (Tri-X 5063) Developed as recommended by Kodak for 8 minutes. (look for the Tri-X 5063, there are other emulsions listed as well with different developing times) Used stop bath for 30 seconds, Fixed with Kodafix 1:3 for 5 minutes. Washed for 10minutes final rinse with photoflood (Kodak brand) use photoflood as recommended 1:200. Too much will cause a oily film on the base and emulsion.

Exposure looks very good. Good highlight and shadow detail. The base fog is high, however, I am VERY happy with the results. These negatives will scan very well. I think my next roll I will expose at 250ASA instead of 125 and I will decrease development time down to 7minutes from recommended 8.  I will also buy some HC-110 and see if the fog level goes down. I hope to do some analogue fibre based prints later on to see how the negs will print with a high base fog.  Very exciting. to see images on film that expired in 1978, I was 21 when that film was made. What a time warp. Digi people have no idea what they are missing.


Went down to Freestyle photo to buy some HC-110, this developer is  no longer available in small quantity, and the litre bottle is around $35, I decided against it, as I will use split grade printing and with this method, any negative can be printed, I use mainly two developers, Kodak D-76 and Rodinal. If I run out of D-76 I use the Rodinal, it has a very long shelf life, so an open bottle can last two years, as a backup/emergency it is the ideal developer. I also use their paper developer for the same reason (it’s shelf life opened/unmixed is very stable)  and will be using the paper developer this week to make some test prints. (which I bought in Dec/Jan 2019. I am highly considering making my own prints for the FMP. So split grade testing will be made this week.  I bought some film HP5+, and 25 sheets  of Foma (8X10) 111 a bright, double weight, fiber base paper to run some tests.


Contacted Bowhaus, spoke to Joe, he makes the LVT’s. I sent in two files (large TIFF format) to have the LVT’s made for the Mural Printing Workshop this week end. Turn around is normally 10 days, however they will rush it and get them done by Wed/Thurs of this week. (I will have the LVT’s made with a black surround,  D-max) so that I can have a white border around the image, because I consulted with Andrew the instructor, and he mentioned that with the Mural Prints there is no cropping.

A high density around the image, is therefore crucial, this way it will print a white border and I will crop by almost filling the frame with the image, then the d-max of the neg around the image will act  as the easel, giving me a white border.

It will be interesting to see how Andrew determines the correct exposure for the negative for such a large print (48×70) inches. I will see if he uses split grade or not. Paper at that size is very expensive, so there is no test printing, by the time one makes the print it got to be well exposed, either using test strips, or other methods.


Taught the workshop Friday and Saturday. 4 students.

Teaching the basics of the camera: Photo Pierre Chemaly ©

Taught the basics of lighting, 3 and 5 point using LED and Tungsten continuous light. Used the BMCC 4K camera where they could light the actor then film them. Each had the opportunity to light and film the actor. By then end of the workshop, they were setting up the camera, lights, making images and packing all the equipment away.

Settting up the light panel LED. Photo: Pierre Chemaly.


My website is moving along. I like the simple clean approach, simple to navigate with a limited amount of information on the page.  And even though the design is simple, it is difficult to get the images in WordPress to function correctly. So I have the basic website set up in the form I like. [Side navigation] A lot of artists/ photographers like this for some reason, and I do as well. maybe it’s from reading: Eyes move left to right?  So text on left, images on the right.


Bowhaus Culver City CA, Photo: Pierre Chemaly ©

Went down to Bowhaus and picked up my LVT. The film negative of the file looks fantastic. The image is on 4×5 sheet film the contrast is very good between the highlights and the shadows, the image was printed with a d-max border as requested, and the images will print with a white border.

4×5 LVT’s Photo:Pierre Chemaly ©

While at the Bowhaus, I saw some very big prints 50″x75″ of the work by David Yarrow  who does wildlife photography.   Even though the digital ink jet prints look very good, it’s not at the level of an analogue print just yet for me.  So, having looked at these prints, helped me make up my mind to proceed with silver gelatin printing, and to print my own images for the FMP.

LVT machine at Bowhaus. Very few of them remain working. Photo: Pierre Chemaly ©


Went down to Freestyle Photo in Hollywood, bought some 120 Bergger film, will be doing some image making this weekend for my next 1-2-1 with Dr. Wendy. I bought a 100 sheets of Ilford Multigrade Fibre Base 5×7 to start fine tuning my printing skills in my dark room. While at Free Style, I saw a 16×20 B+W print by master printer Marc Valesella, It was printed on Ilford Warm Tone Fibre paper and the image looked amazing, I will most probably use this paper for my FMP prints, however I will still be running tests on both Ilford paper stocks, to see if I like the white or the warm tone.


Booked my Bungalow for Saturday night in Silver Lake, close to Downtown Los Angeles where I will take the mural printing workshop on Saturday and Sunday. I look very forward to printing my images on photographic paper and see how they turn out from the LVT.


Did analogue printing this week with the Ilford Paper bought from Freestyle Photo.  I did some tests earlier with RC and the quality of the medium and the surface texture is just not the same. I know this, but tested anyway. RC is a good student paper to practice on nothing more.  I will therefore print all my images on fiber base paper. The only problem is to get them flat. Without buying a very expensive press this is going to be a challenge. I did contact Marc Valesella, to ask him what his method is as I have seen his work. Very flat for a fiber print.

Exposure test. Ilford Multigrade fibre. Selected f8@9seconds. Split print at 2.5 seconds #00 and #5 at 5 seconds.  Photo: Pierre Chemaly ©
Final Print. Photo: Pierre Chemaly ©



3D did not get to process the 120 roll of 3D images this week. I will get to it next week after the Mural Workshop this coming week end.


I applied to the Los Angeles Art Association for membership, had to send in an artist statement and 5 images. I did that and received an email that I had been juiced and accepted into the LAAA as a member. I will pay the dues, and find out if I can have my FMP at the Gallery 825 on La Brea. The heart of the arts district, where I have been visiting galleries with my Art History Class at UCLA.

A few images I sent in:

The Tree of Wisdom and Courage. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly ©
Between the Dream and the Deed. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly ©
Escape the Shadow. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly ©

The last one I created this module. I will be printing this one in the Mural Workshop this coming week-end.


Kodak Development Chart for Tri-X 5063 http://wwwuk.kodak.com/global/en/service/faqs/faq0034.shtml

Freestyle Photographic Supply: https://www.freestylephoto.biz

David Yarrow https://davidyarrow.photography

Marc Valesella http://www.marcvalesella.com/index.html

Week- 9 Project Development.

This past week, I have been shooting, developing and scanning, 35mm and 6×6 film. This process of image making is very time consuming. I have decided to do the project in analogue instead of digital for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I like having physical negatives of my work, there is something very satisfying about holding a concrete image in my hand instead of looking at 1’s and 0’s. Secondly, while at Paris Photo, a lot of the analogue images where on show, and were selling well.

I have been working with another old 35mm camera I have, made by Kodak. The advance mechanism is faulty, and sometimes advances half a frame, or double exposes the image and I don’t find out till its processed and scanned. I like the surprise of the image, not quite sure what I will get. It gives a very interesting effect when I shoot a working camera with one that works randomly or intermittently.  It’s so much the antithesis of digital “chimping” I like the fact that I may not even get an image at all. Also like the fact that it’s created in camera as opposed to in Photoshop.

1/2 frame advance. © P. Chemaly


Double Exposure. © P. Chemaly

Secondly, I am very comfortable with this now, compared to when I started the MA. I was shooting a lot more digital then, and got really upset if I lost or missed an image. However, now, I figure I will go back, or wait till something similar comes around, or deal with the fact that it’s gone for good. I have become a lot more patient and accepting in my practice.

I am toying with the idea if punctuating the images with the “faulty” images as they seems to stir a lot of interest, and quite honestly, I like the way the images look. They satisfy my on a lot of levels, primarily, that they are unique.