Monday, April 9, 2012

A session in Darkroom

Yesterday I was in darkroom and take some photos about my print procedure. I want to tell about it by these photos.

1) First of all and most hard step is choosing a negative for print.

Before the digital, we spent lots of time on the light table. Generally frames were chosen over the contact prints. I was generally selecting from directly negative. Nowadays I am scanning all my negatives and I select the negative by using computer before the print day. I try not to decide the frame at the darkroom because it is very time consuming.
In this picture you can also see my archiving technique and equipment. I am using Kaiser's glassine negative filing sheets and Kaiser's filing binder. Also I am numbering each sheet and take notes about the contents of the sheets. Thus I can easily find what I look.


Selected image for printing is yellow framed. It was taken at Edirne in 2006. Film is Agfa APX 400. It was a sunny but fogy day. For this reason there was a high contrast light. 

3) I am using Kaiser VPM 6005 Multigrade head enlarger. It has both diffuser and condenser in it.

There is a yellow wheel on the middle of the enlarger seen above photo. This wheel is multigrade wheel and you can easily adjust multigrade filters. In addition this filter system is changing continuously therefore you can adjust between whole number.

4) I adjusted masking frame for the appropriate paper size. Also I focused the image by using a focus finder. By the way I selected Ilford Multigrade FB Glossy paper and paper size was 24x30.5 cm

5) Time to test print :). When you work in same darkroom and with same enlarger, you can easily estimate the exposure time. I used to darkroom and enlarger, for this reason I can easily estimate approximate exposure time. In test print I just cut some pieces and put them important sections of the print. I generally prefer to work at around 40 seconds as exposure time. I feel comfortable at this exposure time in the means of burning and dogging. 

I always dry test prints for decision. It is very important because there is big difference between dry and wet print. Most of darkroom user are using microwave for drying test prints. I am using hair dryer for this job. It is smaller and movable than the microwaves. Also you can dry almost everything such as your hands. Moreover, I am using it to heat the developer.

6) After getting test prints I decided to print at a grade between 1 and 1.5 as shown below.

7) And the final image hanging on the wire.

8) Generally I prefer to print 3-5 edition in a session.

9) At the end of the session. I printed 2 different image with 3 edition. Also I tested some old paper which are hanged at the end of the wire below photo.

10) Other photograph that I print at this session. 

10) Dried prints. Below two photos taken under the daylight condition.

All session was take approximately 4 hours included preparing solutions, printing and cleaning.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice report.

    Thanks for sharing, it push me to print again !

    All the best