What Is Wrong With This Picture?

IMG_0651 WP

It is a trick question. My wife Lisa suggested that I write this post this morning after seeing the print.

This is the first print I’ve made in my darkroom. I made it last night after a bit of testing to get a handle on how my enlarger works. My enlarger, a Beseler 45 M, was formerly owned by the National Hot Rod Association (!!) and has a high wattage light source, so I had to test to see what exposure times and f-stops worked the best for my purposes.

The photograph shown here, of a 1958 Jaguar XK 150, will appear in a post on this blog on Sunday, April 21, at 1:00 am Pacific Time.

I only spent about an hour and a half in the dark, but I accomplished what I wanted, and produced this print (which is flawed, unfortunately). I’ve never owned a darkroom before. In 1971 I took a photography course in college in a small town named Canandaigua in New York State. We shot black and white film, had it developed locally, then made the 40-mile journey to the Rochester Institute of Technology on Thursday nights to make prints in the Institute’s darkrooms.

When I was in the printing industry I did some darkroom work, when necessary, but 99% of that work was producing negatives to be used in the offset printing process.

When The Darkroom @Division 9 opened for business in downtown Riverside a few weeks ago, I met the owner, Dan Kagle, through a mutual friend, Derek Wong, the author/photographer of Straight, No Chaser. I’ve done some work in The Darkroom a couple times to re-familiarize myself with the process. With the generous help of Dan, I’ve slowly acquired the necessary equipment to make prints in my garage darkroom.

There is something wrong with this print, however. It can be seen in the photo above. Hint: it is not the very slight misalignment of the negative in the carrier. As always, click on the photo to view the larger version. 

If you can identify what is wrong with it, leave a comment below. The first person to correctly identify the flaw, will receive a virtual congratulation from me, and several virtual ooohs and ahhhhs from the other readers of this blog. The monetary value of those things = $0, of course, but it might make you feel good for a minute or two…