Snow shots on 10×8

First posted 4 Feb 2009

The picture possibilities today are not ideal, the snow has been messed up on the roads, but not cleared enough to get anywhere. I would like to take the 10×8 out and do some snow scenes, so I’ll stop writing and go and load some darkslides.


I did manage to get out with the 10×8, but it was hard going, the ground was slippy and I couldn’t find a strap for the tripod, so I was carrying a large tripod in one arm, the bag with the 10×8 in the other and a big bag over my shoulder containing darkslides, filters, meter etc.. You can’t get far with an awkward load like that without stopping for rests.

Anyway, enough whingeing, I did manage about 8 shots, which wasn’t too bad. I was a bit short of time because I had to be back to collect the kids from school.

I intend to process the sheets of HP5 in Barry Thornton’s two bath. This gives me a really long tonal range. I got to know Barry just six months before he died. He was a very good photographer and his two books are full of really useful information. The first one was called ‘Elements’ and the second was ‘Edge of darkness’.


Bath A. Metol 6.2 grams and Sodium Sulphite 85 grams in 1 litre of distilled or de-ionised water.

Bath B. Sodium Metaborate 12 grams in 1 Litre of distilled or de-ionised water.

Mix the Metol in about 700 ml of water at 38 degrees C and once dissolved, mix in the Sodium Sulphite and top up to 1 litre with cold water. Do the same with the Sodium Metaborate. Give films around 4 minutes in each bath. In the first bath, the film must be gently, but constantly agitated. In the second bath there is a little agitation to begin with, then leave standing. A slight agitation at 2 minutes is all that is needed to avoid streaking, then leave alone until the fourth minute. Stop and fix as usual.


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