Making "fog" effect trough paper negative processing?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Helinophoto, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Subscriber

    Aug 19, 2011
    Multi Format

    Been awed by the "Architect's brother" series by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.
    They used a combination of painting and paper negative process AFAIK and I've been reading up on the process, at least from what I can find around the net, especially the stuff William Mortensen did.

    Now, I do have a suitable negative that I am planning to use for my processing in the darkroom.

    What I need to achieve, is something like this:
    (photo is publicly viewable even if you don't have facebook, so go ahead and have a look).

    This is Fomapan 100 @ 50 in Rodinal, shot with my Mamiya RZ 67 II and an autoknips ^_^

    On the photo you see here, I used photoshop(I know ssshhhhh!) to create the mist-effect and the toning.

    But I originally wanted to achieve the same result using traditional ways, IE. darkroom printing and preferably using paper negatives and manipulation.

    This means that I will have to create fog somehow during my negative - paper positive - paper negative - paper positive, process.

    How do one actually make believable "haze" or fog during that process....?
    The fog needs to do two things:
    - To be fog (duh)
    - To diffuse the lines in the horizon, so that it is a gradual transition from the far-away land towards the polluted sky.
    - It needs to be pretty light in tones, as your average fog is, so I am not entirely sure if I can just "paint" fog in there on the positive...?

    Original shot has normal, overcast skies, but no fog.

    Any good ideas?
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Jun 21, 2003
    Multi Format
    hi there

    i have a few ideas for you but they might not be very good :smile:

    first, rather than using fresh film and fresh paper to do your work
    you might look for something a bit on the out of date side. film fog
    and paper fog might be your friend in cases like this ...
    you might also process your film in a paper developer or film developer that
    increases fog on your negative ... for a long time i got very foggy film, outdated film
    and processed it in spent paper developer ... it is tricky because sometimes you get bromide streaking :sad:
    you might be able to do this with "combination printing" by sandwiching a foggy negative along with your other negative ( or negatives ? )
    to make your final print ... processing the print in a coffee based developer might help with your toning as well,
    coffee sometimes, depending on how strong, and the type of coffee it is + additives in the developer, can give a nice and weird brownish
    greyish silverish tone :smile: ... as for the out of focus sort of thing ... you might have to find the sweet spot with your lens &c ..
    stop down a little bit, and FRONT focus ... so things upto-and a little behind your main subject is in focus and then behind goes out of focus ...

    i hadn't seen the work you mentioned, i love that sort of wacky edwardian - stuff, i hate to say this but it reminds me a little bit
    of thomas dolby's she blinded me with science ( a tiny bit ) but the architect's brother is much more fun :smile:

    good luck !!

  3. OP

    Helinophoto Subscriber

    Aug 19, 2011
    Multi Format
    Thanks for the input Jnanian, very valuable information.

    I've been having my brain on the back-burner all day (working "off-line" on the problem, while I was doing other stuff), trying to figure our how to successfully do this.

    From the scraps of information, the ParkerHarrison's used paint to mask their clip-ins when they merged and manipulated, and they also painted the final prints (as far as I understand, the prints in the series are pretty huge and impressive).

    You can see most of their works from that series here:
    - Very impressive and etheral'ish feel, also sort of a steam-punk-style to the technology the brother uses. =)

    Love the mood and the message, processing....well just about everything. ^^

    I have tried to develop a few prints in caffenol (C-H), it seemed to be pretty low in contrast though, but then again, the prints I tried in caffenol, ironically concerning this thread, was actually taken on a foggy day, haha! :smile:
    I blogged about it here:

    The paper I used for that was "Work", fixed grade 3 paper (RC), something I got with the enlarger i bought's more brown than green really, but it is kind of green :blink:

    I've been thinking if I should just try and scrape off or dissolve the first paper-positive's paper-emulsion with something (terpentine???) at the horison level.
    If I am able to have control while dissolving it somehow, it will most likely give me pretty smooth transitions, then I can use charcoal on the back of the first positive, to "dirten up" the haze, while still looking smooth, along with dodge/burn on later stages.

    I indeed need to tone the print, so the caffenol-tip was a good one =)
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013