I managed to get some darkroom time on Thursday so I have some initial test results.
Lots of things learned here.
First of all, the dynamic range of the paper is significantly shorter than that of film or even your average digital camera. This meant I ended up with paper negatives that were lacking both highlight and shadow detail. There might be a few ways to work around this, including flattening the lighting heavily and potentially playing around with a different chemistry combo to reduce contrast. Either way the paper is only a temporary measure until I start working on the wet plate process.
Secondly, depth of field is extremely limiting. I was shooting wide open at f/11 because I was worried about not having enough light (turns out, too much) so I think I can safely work around the f/22-45 mark. On the image I printed, the cheek freckles…
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