Starting again with b & w and hand tinting : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

In college I took several courses in b & w photography. I loved it. Fifteen years and 2 kids later I'm wanting to get back into b & w. I also want to get into handcoloring prints. I need help with film and paper. What should I use? Yes, I'm already signed up for several classes and I'm planning on building a darkroom.

-- Janice McMeans (, July 20, 1999


Janice, There are sooo many great papers and films on the market that trying to advise you of one to start with is tough. I would suggest starting with whatever your instructors see fit, being that they will be probably expect different things. Hopefully, they will have you use something forgiving in the beginning ( like tri-x film, and resin coated multi-grade papers ) and then encorage you to explore areas of photography, printing, and shooting materials that are at your level (since those will be the most beneficial to your learning and results). If I were personally starting over, the book "Better Picture Guide To Black & White Photography" by Michael Busselle is what i hope were recommended to me. I encorage you to think for yourself in your endeavors. Take in what the instructors teach you, but with a grain of salt. Remember the instructors don't know it all, and you are the one who has to be happy with your work. Joy with your art, Sean.

-- Sean (, July 20, 1999.

Janice, I do hand-tinted portraits professionally under the trade name Kidsnappers. I have found that Ilford XP-2 Super rated at 200 makes wonderful negs. My 16x20s from 35mm look like medium format. If you want to process your own negatives, I recommend Ilford Delta 400 for speed, or Delta 100 for finest grain and sharpness. I think the XP-2 Super at 200 is actually finer grained than Delta 100--certainly very close.

For hand tinting, use a fiber-base matt paper. I use Ilford Warmtone Multi-grade fiber base in the matte finish. This surface will take the paint very well. If you want the convenience of an RC paper, there is only one that takes paint well--Kodak P-Max RC Art Paper. It has a tooth like sandpaper. Any kind of gloss paper and RC surfaces such as pearl will only cause you much frustration.

-- Dave Jenkins (, July 22, 1999.

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