Most of the Bestiary is printed and ready to go to Albany but there is always a slightly better print to be made or a new image. Into the darkroom! First, I had to figure out how to set up trays for 20X24 in sinks designed for 11X14.
Rough, but it actually worked pretty well. 1X2 sections balanced on old plastic beakers.
Dev, stop, on the far side, then across to near side for fix and water hold. Used this side for second fix and toning, then switch out to two wash trays. I've got some metal trays that would be stiffer but didn't seem to need them. Trays actually have a slight tilt toward the sink side.
Enlarger complications. My ancient Omega E was wall-mounted in my old darkroom but back on it's baseboard in this space. It doesn't have enough column to make a 20X24. (180mm lens on it.) Instead of the old cold light round Omega head it has a newer Modern Enlarger Lamps head...one of the last and only 5X7 heads Cemil made. It's terrific with filters under the lens. Next to it is a long-column Zone VI Type II. The Z6 original variable head is useless, dim and the color and brightness vary across the face. I replaced it with an Aristo system, driven by a Zone VI timer. It is so complicated and dim that you just can't use it, but it will run high enough to make 20X24s and larger. Enlargements run into the minutes....and minutes and minutes. I finally set THAT side ahead and plopped the Modern Enlarger Head on top of the negative holder. Then I had to clamp and rig up a bent-wire holder for filters under the lens. Its an awful Rube Goldberg contraption....but it prints great. I had a nice Nikkor 210mm on but switched to the 180. No problems except the awful head moving controls on the Zone VI. God only knows how much I have spent trying to get that Z6 enlarger to work and it came down to a LED head and baling wire. Moved the LEKTRA timer over. So I have a 1950 timer as well. At least it works so you can quit worrying about the enlarger and PRINT.
But they always need something. Dodging, burning, pre-fog.
Needed a big bug and the curator picked this one.
Never-printed negative of Praying Mantis on a bayonet.
Never printed Jay.
Had to make a decision between these two.
This one gave that impression of being a PERFECT print when the light hit the fix. Just the right amount of highlight in the coffee cup and open shadows.
Unprinted. Looked just right when I was done. Very delicate in the fingers.
Evil-looking Copperhead that actually bit my nephew making eye contact. Love making 20X24 prints.
After some spotting, flattening, signing, inventory list, off to Albany with 95% of the show, about a month in front of delivery time. Opening Feb 27th, 2016.