Title: Bite Me
Name: blackbarbooks/whiskeypeak and undanewneon
Pairing(s): Zoro/Sanji
Rating: NC-17
Word count: 126,369
Warnings: Blood, Spiders
Summary: No one ever said that pirates fight fair, but if someone bites you in a fight then it’s perfectly reasonable to bite them back. Sanji has to learn that life isn’t fair and nothing else is either but that bad jokes and falling in love certainly makes unlife worth living.
Notes: Beta’d by mistresshasty

Artwork | Story

I’ve been in the darkroom, printing, quite a bit lately. It’s been lovely to get completely lost in the process. 

I’ve started to keep a ‘Diary of Prints’, so to speak. I want to become confident and comfortable with printing in the darkroom. I somehow feel this process has been a missing link in my practice of photography:  the production of something tangible.

From my eye, through the mechanics of a camera, exposed onto film, into a changing bag, into a developing tank, into a negative tray, into an enlarger, onto a piece of paper. My hands on it through the entire process.

When I go into the darkroom, I’ll usually have about three images that I plan to print. I start with a test strip of the first image, my first glimpse of some little scene blooming, almost magically, on paper. I go from there, sometimes making several tests before deciding my initial settings for a full print. I have my first go on a full sheet of paper. Developer, stop bath, fixer. I see the image, though it’s too dark under the safelight to really know what I have. Out of the darkroom and into the kitchen to start rinsing. I look at the printed image laying in my sink. What can I do to make this a better print? I look carefully. Back into the darkroom, leaving the last print to swim for a bit. I adjust the enlarger accordingly and/or physically rehearse any kind of dodging and burning that I’ll be doing. I put a new sheet of paper on the easel and flip the switch.  That’s it -  test strips till I think I know what will make a good print, then, make it better.

I write everything down in the diary. The date, how I’m feeling, what music I was listening to (stephan bodzin and just about any classical music have been the clear winners thus far), how the test strips were exposed, corresponding numbers that will match numbers I mark on the back of each print, how the print was made, contrast filters used, aperture, exposure time, any dodging or burning that was done and how. Full on geekery.

I don’t think the above is by any means a ‘good’ print, but it was fun to make and the unpredictability of a paint brush made it exciting in a different way.

It’s been wonderful, challenging, frustrating, fascinating and rewarding to slowly become more familiar with the process, that I see as both the end and the beginning of a photograph. 

-Ilford Delta 3200 printed on Ilford Multigrade IV RC-