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Vivitar VI Enlarger


"Vivitar VI Enlarger with Dioptic Light Source"
Client: Vivitar America
Designer: Rusty Kay
Photography: Peter D'Aprix

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"Vivitar VI Enlarger with Dioptic Light Source"
Client: Vivitar America
Designer: Rusty Kay

This was a tricky shot that took 5 days to work out, test and finalize. The brief was to show how the enlarger Dioptic Light Source worked. The light is generated well away from negative allowing for a cool area at the film plain so that the negative would not buckle and pop as often happens with traditional enlargers.

We have to show the path of the light as it traveled from the light source, was focused through a series of condensors then reflected down by a mirror and refocused onto a "light pipe" that then radiated the light evenly and with no heat onto the negative.

This was before PhotoShop was even thought of. So I shot the enlarger normally on 4x5 film bracketing the exposures and running an exposure test at the lab. Once we have the best exposure, I then multiple exposed film with black card over the front of the enlarger with cut away slits backed by tracing paper to create an appearance of the light path. When the two different paths (white & red) were determined with the tests, I exposed the whole enlarger film thus burnging the light paths into the previously exposed film.

Today, we would also use several exposures but finish the process in PhotoShop which would speed up the process. But there are many visual images that can be made using film and multiple exposures that cannot be duplicated in PhotoShop that will look the same.