MAKING A CONTACT SHEET
Remove the easel
(place to the back left side) and put the glass in place
enlarger to height where the square of light just surrounds the glass (about
20” enlarger height)
Set the f / stop
to the brightest light
Set the timer to
30 seconds (depending on the height of the enlarger)
Make test strips
to find the proper time
sheet of photo paper emulsion side up on the baseboard
on top of the photo paper (emulsion down), lay the glass down on top
Press the button
on the timer so the enlarger exposes the paper
Remove the photo
paper from under the glass and take it to the sink for processing
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING A
Make sure easel
is in place.
your contact sheet carefully, place your chosen negative in the negative
carrier with the shiny side up and the image upside down to you. (the numbers
will be at the back of the negative carrier)
clean your negative if necessary. (take it outside to the light…use dust
brush and air compressor to clean)
Put the negative
carrier securely in the enlarger.
Make sure the
f/stop is wide open (go to the smallest number, brightest light).
Raise or lower
the enlarge to set the amount of enlargement. Generally, the lower the better.
Turn the light
on using the flip switch on the timer.
With the easel
in place, focus and compose. (As you focus, reset the easel position to make
sure that the easel crops into all edges of the picture.)
Turn off the
light on the timer.
Make a split
time test strip using increments of 20 seconds, 2-3 times, so that you have
20, 40, and 60 seconds represented on your test strip. Note: This can be any
increment you want. If your negative is light, try 3, 6, and 9 sec. Or, 30 use
seconds increments if the negatives are extra dark (very white on your contact
sheet). These are just examples.
Process the test strip in the chemicals.
Place the print in the developer so that the print gets wet evenly.
Leave the print in for the entire time so the highlight areas will
When the test
strip has been in the fixer at least 30 seconds, you may study it in white
light - when you have discovered the unit that has a truly BLACK black and yet
the whites have not begun to go gray, return to the enlarger.
Set the timer
for the time you feel is correct according to the first test strip, expose a
second test strip for the single time.
Expose a full
sheet of paper using appropriate time, being careful to place the paper up
against all of the black tabs.
Write down your
exposure time on the log sheet, even if you are done with a print.
most common mistakes made in the darkroom are:
Be sure to initial the back of your paper lightly with a ball point pen
Leaving negatives in the enlarger
Forgetting to turn the filter ON after focusing and composing.
Paper fog. Photo paper may only be opened under "SAFELIGHT” for about 5-8
minutes before it will fog. White (normal, fluorescent) light will cause the paper to turn black and
Always do a new test strip at the beginning of a new day…even with the
info from your log sheet, you still need to do a test strip.
Get the print right on a test strip. If your initial test strips are
small, do a final test strip that is significantly larger.
You MUST leave your prints in the fixer for the correct TOTAL amount of
time. The “30 second” time is for test strips only. If you want to keep your
test strip, you need to put it back in the fixer. The “1-minute” time is for
inspection only of your prints. You must put the print back in the fixer. Not
fixing long will cause the print to turn yellow in a few hours, days or months.
Please leave the darkroom cleaner than you found it returning any materials
borrowed to their proper place.
Remember that darkroom time is wonderfully odd - but you still need to get to
your classes on time.
In an effort to make
follow the "No paper
left behind act"...I will bring photo paper to you at your station...and WATCH
you put your name on it.
Enlarger Height Note: For the normal lens (50mm, 35mm negative), the following
heights are the minimum to make the indicated size:
8x10 Horizontal or Vertical = 12"
8x10 Vertical of a horizontal image =
5x7 Horizontal = 9.5"