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Thread: Harman Positive Street Photos

  1. #1

    Harman Positive Street Photos

    Earlier this week I took a stroll down along Central Avenue, the old Route 66, in Albuquerque, equipped with 4x5 Anniversary Speed Graphic, Ektar 127mm lens and film holders loaded with preflashed Harman Direct Positive fiber paper. Here are some results.


    Zia Motor Lodge:

    (Exposure: 2 seconds at F/22)


    (Exposure: 2 seconds at F/22)

    Alley Door:

    (Exposure: 2 seconds at F/22)

    Shopping Cart:

    (Exposure: 3 seconds at F/11)

    Flying Star Cafe:

    (Exposure: 2 seconds at F/22)

  2. #2

    Harman Positive Street Photos

    They look fantastic Joe, very exiciting and promising medium.
    Sam H.

  3. #3
    500+ Posts jon.oman's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Summerville, SC, USA

    Harman Positive Street Photos

    Great set of images!

  4. #4
    500+ Posts earlj's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, United States
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    Harman Positive Street Photos


    These are all great. The images that you sent to me are wonderful, and will join my growing collection of fabulous lensless images. The fourth one in this set especially strikes me.

  5. #5

    Harman Positive Street Photos

    @Earl; Thanks for the kind comments. I'm glad that your received the direct positive prints. The paper, it's slow, almost too slow for pinhole unless you're shooting on a real bright, sunny day, hence the reason why I'm using this paper more with glass lenses.

    About the last image, my light meter said I could either do 2 seconds at F/22 or 1/15s at f/4.7, the Ektar's fastest aperture and the Graflex's slowest shutter speed. So I tried both. This one posted here (2 seconds at F/22) came out fine, while the 1/15 at F/4.7 was underexposed. I think I'll chalk it up to the curtain shutter on the Graflex is probably off. I really do need a LF lens with working shutter, perhaps Santa will bring me one. Does Santa lurk on eBay?


    P.S.: Almost forgot about the story connected with this last image. There's two folks on the right side of the picture. One of them was taking some kind of survey, with a clip board; their accomplice is standing in the middle. I declined earlier, when I walked by, to take their survey, as I was burdened down by tripod and backpack, and the incessant urge to photograph while the light was good. Then, halfway between shooting the first and second images of this building, she crosses the street and informs me that she "can't be photographed in public," because she's taking a survey. I mutter something about there being no right of privacy in public, and she again repeats that she can't be photographed in public. I just say "ok, no problem," and continue setting up for the second shot. Go figure.

  6. #6

    Harman Positive Street Photos

    All are nice but the shopping cart image is a real show stopper, although the alley door is a close second.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    "can't be photographed in public,"
    Hmmmm......she may be a big Twilight fan and perhaps with the opening of the new Twilight movie she has confused reality with fantasy....... ;D

  7. #7

    Harman Positive Street Photos

    I'm surprised by the dynamic range and wonderful contrast in these. As you didn't even mirror-reflect the images (!), I feel confident that no digital contrast or other trickery was applied. The third image is amazing.

    What's your developer? Also, out of curiousity, what kind of light meter do you use?

    (Love the anecdote too. I do a lot of street photography and find reciting the law to unwilling or irate subjects to be most ineffective. People would rather to be lied to.)

  8. #8

    Harman Positive Street Photos

    @bvy: Thanks for the comment. Yes, I love the contrast of the paper. Combined with its double-weight paper base and glossy fiber emulsion, it's a great medium to display as a finished work.

    Regarding the developer, I'm currently using Ilford PQ liquid concentrate paper developer, diluted 1+15. I find it important to maintain near 68f temperature, and the developer will begin to exhaust itself sooner than, for instance, using the same developer with paper negatives, in which case one need only extend the developing time until the highlights are dense enough; in the case of the Harman Direct Positive paper, you won't get deep enough shadows (they will look pale and faded) when the developer starts to exhaust its strength, even if you extend the developing time. I use 500mL of solution to develop eight 4x5 Harman prints, then will save the used developer only if I have paper negatives to develop, otherwise I'll toss the used stuff, since it will be too exhausted for use with more Harman Direct prints.

    You should also know that I preflash the Harman paper, giving it a preflash exposure that's about 1/2 of what I'll normally give paper negatives. This helps to bring out the shadow detail. Too much preflash exposure will cause the shadows to be too bright and washed out, lacking dark and dramatic tone, while no preflash exposure makes the image too contrasty, with no shadow detail.

    Light meter: I use a Gossen Luna Pro F. I set the meter to ISO 1.6 (my rated Exposure Index for this paper), use reflective metering on the most important part of the scene. If it's a bright subject, I'll set the needle on the meter to +1/2 stop or so, otherwise I'll just use the recommended exposure time directly.

    About metering with paper media, since it's sensitive mainly to blue and UV, you have to get used to knowing what subjects tend to reflect a larger amount of UV light. Metals and water tend to expose brighter than what your meter would otherwise indicate, so it's helpful to be aware of that and expose a bit less for those subjects, otherwise they could be over-exposed. Conversely, earth tones tend to show up darker than your meter would indicate, since paper media is not red sensitive; so if your principal subject matter is earth-toned, it helps to give a bit more exposure.

    I thus far have not done any photography with this paper under artificial light, which requires that the paper be calibrated for a different Exposure Index. And, the spectrum of the artificial light will dramatically affect the outcome. Paper is blue/UV sensitive, while tungsten lighting gives out much less in the short wavelength spectrum, meaning that your light meter will be much less helpful. I haven't tried filtering my light meter through a dark blue filter, although that might prove to be helpful. Someone should try that sometime. There are also various spectra of fluorescent lights available. You'd have to calibrate the paper's exposure for each of these specific light sources, in order to have accurate and repeatable results.

    Regarding the anecdote, one could argue that it's not lying to the public, it's guiding them into the truth.


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