First posted 28 September 2010
I have just written a technical review of the new Harman Direct positive Paper for Black and White Magazine here in the UK. The piece will probably be in the January issue, but I thought I’d like to share my enthusiasm for it here.
The paper comes in RC and FB versions and is pretty high contrast if used straight out of the box, though a pre flash will bring the contrast down dramatically, as seen in this test shot;
For my test I loaded a 5×4 darkslide with a sheet of the FB paper and pulled the darkslide half way out. I preflashed the paper in camera by exposing through a sheet of white paper (this needs to be metered correctly, -see upcoming magazine article), then I pulled the darkslide out all the way and did the main exposure. As you can see from this example, the pre flash makes a huge difference to the tonal range.
Because of the short latitude of this paper, a good, reliable hand meter is recommended. An incident reading will give you the quickest accurate reading, though a spotmeter could give more information once the range of the paper has been established using your own developer.
Always use fresh developer, Only develop under red safelight and don’t turn on the lights until the print is fixed.
The paper is really great for photograms too, as you can see from this image of a jar.
When used in camera, it produces images which are reversed left to right and for portraiture this is often flattering to the sitter as they always see themselves that way in the mirror, so they view these images as being more accurate.
I intend to do a lot more with this paper, I think it has a lot of potential. I hope they consider producing a lower contrast version in the future if this is at all possible.