Sunday, March 8, 2015


This week I am going to talk about developing film prints. So after you take your pictures you need to develop the film. You do this by going into a room and turning all of the lights off. It should feel like your eyes are closed even though they are open. So once you have the lights off you open the film canister. In my photo class we use bottle openers. After you have opened the film canister and take the film out you line up your film with a plastic ravioli looking thing. You then wind it back up and cut the end of the film close to the holder it was on in the canister. You do all of this in the complete blackness. The last step before turning the lights back on is to put the wrapped film into this special container. It does not allow light it but it does allow you to put the chemicals in with out having to expose the film to light.

Once you have done all this initial steps you can turn the lights on and start working with the chemicals. So you first put in a mixture of 4 oz of water and 4 oz of water warmed to 80 degrees. You pour it in and set a timer for 8 minutes. While the timer is going to agitate it for 5 seconds every 30 seconds. This I just shaking the container. The developer actually develops the pictures you have taken. It is important to not take the cap off of the container yet. If you do you pictures will be lost. Pour out the developer then you just put water in and agitate it for 30 seconds while the water is in the container. Pour the water out and then put fix in the container for 5 minutes. You again agitate for 5 seconds every 30 seconds. At this point you can pour the fix out and open up the container to look at your prints. If there are clear pictures then you continue on. The next step is to rinse you film off in running water for 2 minutes. The next chemical is permawash you do not have to put the cap back on but you can if you want. You pour the permawash for 2 minutes and again agitate for 5 seconds every 30 seconds. You then pour the permawash out and rise for 30 seconds. Lastly you put it in the orbit bath for only 30 seconds agitating for the whole time. You finally have developed your film.

Now we can actually start making out prints. You need to be in a room with a special light that it will not develop. It is important to never allow to go into normal light otherwise it will just be a black piece of paper cause it was exposed. After it has been in a fix you can then bring it into normal light. So you first need to make a contact sheet. This is making a sort of print but of all of  the pictures that were on you film strip. So you first cut your film to have at most 5 photos per row. You then slide them into these sleeves that hold them in place. So you first set your enlarger to the second lowest aperture setting. You then make sure that the light covers all of you photos. Then you set the timer for 2 seconds. After you have set all of this up you make a test strip. This is when you take a small strip of the paper you are going to print on and see how long you should allow light on it. For contact sheets you use RC 2 paper. With a test strip you cover 3/4 of the paper. Then hit the button and it will expose for 2 seconds. Then only cover 1/2 the press the button. Then do the same thing covering 1/4 and then cover none of the strip. You then put it into a container with developer in it. You leave it in there for 2 minutes agitating it for the whole time. Then rinse it off for 30 seconds in water. Next you put it in fix for 3 minutes. This will make sure the print does not develop anymore. After this you put it in water for 30 seconds then look at your test strip in normal light. You see what line is not too dark or too light. The darkest line would have been exposed for 8 seconds which would have been when you were covering 3/4 of the strip. The lightest would have only been exposed for 2 seconds. Which ever looks the best you set your timer for that long. It will most likely be either 8, 6, 4, or 2 seconds. Depending on how dark or light your film is will depend on how wide your aperture will be or how long you will expose it for. Once you have set your timer for the correct amount of time you expose the whole contact sheet. Using the RC 2 paper you expose the whole paper. Not covering any of the print. You then put it through the same chemicals as the test strip except adding one more chemical. You put the print through a permawash for 4 minutes. Agitating for the whole time. Then put in a circular bath of water for 15 minutes.

After you make your contact sheet you can make a print. You first put one photo you want to print into a compartment that shows just that single photo. You then move the enlarger to size up to the size of the print you want. Afterwards you have to focus it with a focusing reflector. You have to look for it to be granny in the focusing reflector. Once it looks like sand through it you are ready to print. You do exactly the same thing you did for a contact sheet. You make a test strip and then you expose it for that amount of time and put it thought the chemicals. You then have your prints.

Here are some examples of pictures printed in the dark room.

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