Bathed In Red: The Darkrooms/Darkroom Processing Fanlisting

Exposing the paper

In order to make a black and white print in a darkroom, firstly you need to expose the paper to white light, through a negative. To do this, you use an enlarger.

An enlarger has a small light bulb in the top (head) of the enlarger, and the negative is placed in a holder underneath this. The head of the enlarger is usually positioned around a foot up from the surface where you place the photographic paper, which causes the image to become enlarged. The futher away from the surface the head of the enlarger is, the bigger the image becomes.

Once you decide on the size you want the photograph to be, you have to focus the image using the lens on the enlarger head in order to get it to be sharp. Once you've done all that, you cover the enlarger lens with a little translucent red coloured filter to stop your paper from becoming fogged, and line up your paper in the beam. You turn the enlarger light off, and then use the timer attached to the enlarger to set the right time to expose the paper with the image. This is usually between .5 and several seconds. You then move the red filter away, and start the timer. The enlarger light will switch on, exposing the paper with the image from the negative, and automatically switch it off again once the time is up.

Once the paper is exposed, it's time to develop it so that you can see the picture and take it out into the light.

Continue to developing ->

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