The Unit Method

Many pros use a basic unit of time when they expose their print during enlargement. They set their timer for a few seconds for example, three seconds and they leave it on that setting. Each time they expose a print they turn on the timer for one unit of three seconds. They make a test strip by exposing different parts of the paper to different numbers of units. Thus, a test strip may have, let us say, five regions of respectively one unit, two units, three units, four units, and five units. If...

Making Test Exposures

The answer is simple You make a test, as follows First, position and focus the image on the target sheet. Set it up exactly as you want the picture to be printed. Second, stop down the lens to your chosen aperture for example, ll. Now that you've got an idea of how overexposed and underexposed prints look, let's move on to the Big Question How do you decide on the 1 'best exposure for an enlargement The answer is simple You make a test, as follows First, position and focus the image on the...

Contact Printing and Proof Sheets

Until now, we've discussed making enlargements. There's another type of print you can make a contact print. What's the difference A contact print is made by placing the negative directly up against a piece of print paper, exposing it to light, and processing it. Result A print identical in size to the negative. Why would you make a contact print Basically there are twro reasons First, you may make contact prints of large-size negative, such as 4x5 or larger, to present as proofs to a client....

Controlling Print Contrast

We've talked about determining the right exposure for the print. The exposure determines how dark the shadows are and how light the highlights. In effect, it establishes the distance from the bottom of the staircase to the top. Now, let's turn to the subject of contrast which, in effect, relates to the number of steps in the staircase. Let's look at some pictures to see the difference in the same image when it is printed with different degrees of contrast. Examine the sequence of pictures on...

How to Make A Contact Sheet

Contact Sheet Frame

As shown here, you can cut a 20-frame roll of 35mm film into four strips of five frames each, or a 36-frame roll into six strips of six frames each. Cut a 12-frame roll of 120 film into four strips of three frames each. Some pros prefer to make their 35mm contact sheets on sheets of 8l 2xll paper rather than 8x10 paper. This enables them to more easily fit the entire 36-exposure roll on one sheet. 2. Place strips on frame. Open your printing frame with glass side...

Choosing An Enlarger

Other than your camera, an enlarger is the most vital piece of equipment you will purchase. Choose it with care. In this lesson we want to give you an idea of what to look for and how to choose. First, how big an enlarger do you need Enlargers are designed to handle negatives of different sizes. Some handle only 35mm. Others go up to 4x5-inch negatives, 8x10 or even larger. The larger the negative an enlarger can handle, the bigger the enlarger. An enlarger that can handle only 35mm negatives...

Other Darkroom Equipment

You need to measure and control the temperature of the processing baths. While it is possible to do this processing with all the baths at' 'room temperature,'' often you will want to control the temperature of the different baths precisely, lb measure this temperature with precision you need a photographic thermometer. An inexpensive metal-type of thermometer is shown in the picture on page 6. A bit more expensive, but very precise, are digital thermometers. Either type will do....

Safelight

We've noted that your darkroom should be light tight. This is necessary because enlarging paper is sensitive to most of the spectrum of light that comes from the sun or from lightbulbs. B W enlarging paper, however, is not sensitive to certain parts of the red spectrum. So you can have a dim reddish light on in the darkroom during enlarging, and your paper won't' 'see it. This light is invisible to B W enlarging paper if it is not too strong. As a result, you can keep a safelight'' on during...

The Darkroom

Steps Producing Print Darkroom

In your last lesson we discussed the qualities of a Perfect. Print and you were shown how you could have such a print produced for you by a commercial processor or a custom lab. That's t he way most photographers have their prints made by others. But one of the unabashed thrills of photography is the satisfaction of producing your own perfect, print'' in your own darkroom. That's what this lesson is about How to make your own prints in your own darkroom. Since we recognize that today most...