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Slide 1
Don't Miss Out!

Peter Eastway's inspirational photography book, full of ideas and techniques - guaranteed to improve your photography. Take $30 off with coupon code TNT30
Full details and sample pages available here.

Slide 2
Great Landscapes

Peter Eastway shares his capture and post-production skills in an extensive MasterClass. Learn at your own pace, online or download. And take 50% off with coupon code NEWS2021

Slide 3
The Ideas Library

Four times a year, Better Photography magazine will give you an injection of ideas, inspiration and techniques! Support us by subscribing now - and get immediate access to our archive of over 50 magazines!
Get 40% off with coupon code BPFORTY

France, 1999, Canon EOS 3, Canon 24mm T-SE lens, Agfapan APX 100
1/125 second @ f11, ISO 100, tripod-mounted, no filter

Tim Rudman mastered lith printing. In fact, Tim is a masterful photographer in all aspects of the art and craft, each of his carefully composed and exquisitely processed prints an invaluable lesson in contemporary photography, whether for the darkroom or the computer.

Tim wrote several definitive books on lith printing and toning. His approach and techniques allowed darkroom workers to produce much more repeatable results, although in my experience, there was still a wonderful degree of variability. Sometimes this variability was a blessing in disguise, but on other occasions merely a frustrating experience!

Lith printing for me was still very variable, meaning I never really knew what the result would be. Used in the graphic arts and pre-press industries to create tonal dropouts and line art, it wasn’t really designed for pictorial photography with shades of grey. However, if you pulled (removed) the print out of the developer solution at precisely the right moment, you could produce results with remarkable tonality.

Of course, it wasn’t quite as easy as it sounds. First you had to mix the developer to the correct concentration. Then you needed to keep it at the correct temperature. And with each print you put through the lith developer, its potency changed, meaning the next print would be a
little different.

Pulling the print out at just the right time was a matter of inspection. Under a dim red darkroom light, you would peer into the developer tray as you sloshed the lith developer over the print. Nothing would happen for ages and then suddenly, within a matter of five to ten seconds, the print would turn black where it had been exposed. The trick was to pull the print out as the image was turning black, so you kept the mid tones. The best part about lith printing was that the mid tones weren’t grey, they were a range of pinks and oranges, depending on a number of variables. 

Today, reproducing a lith print technique is very challenging. It’s a part of The New Tradition that has been lost unless you do it the old way. Yes, you can create images with a digital workflow that imitate some aspects of a lith print, but nothing I have found to date does it quite the same. Perhaps that’s a challenge for the future.

Need a good read? Like to learn something more about photography? Interested in new ideas? Why not purchase a copy of my book, The New Tradition, which is full of great tales and ideas. It has 100 photographs and accompanying stories guaranteed to enthral you - and you can save $30 on the purchase price right now - use coupon code TNT30. Check out more on the website.

STOP PRESS: We'll keep the special Better Photography Magazine subscription deal going over the holiday season - buy The New Tradition before 31 January as outlined above and we'll add in some 'festive cheer' with a year's online subscription to Better Photography magazine and its archive of over 50 magazines. What a great present for yourself - and hopefully Australia Post has now caught up with its backlog for an expeditious delivery!