The bugs are cooperating, unlike the rest of my work. This little guy was quite friendly as I chased him around my garden while my stepcharts exposed.
I finally broke down and decided to deal with the massive highlight issues I’ve been having with sized paper. I figured it would be fairly easy – download Chartthrob (a free program/script that calculates curves for you in photoshop,) pop a stepchart out, and adjust my basic curve for cyanotype to accommodate the highlights.
Of course, nothing is ever that easy.
First, my step chart to determine the best exposure didn’t work – dmax, or the optimal exposure through my negative substrate, is waaaaay darker than the step chart says I should expose it for. My standard exposure time is 10-11 minutes for the double coated stuff, give or take a few minutes if a cloud mucks things up (if you’re interested, I determined this by exposing until the blue from a raw transparency is as dark as the uncovered emulsion.)
And worst of all, my nice reliable color was so off the wall I can’t really calculate another curve for it.
Needless to say, the 27-odd blocks of pure white are supposed to have varying shades of blue in them. The guide I’ve been following, http://www.inkjetnegative.com/images/RNP/quick_guide_to_making_digital_ne.htm says if you have more than 4 white blocks, you should “refine” your color choice. ::sigh:: Not exactly what I had in mind here.
So, refine it is – time to download the HSL color chart and print a few to pick my color. Then print a few more stepcharts to make sure it’s right, see if the color needs refining again, and back to printing.