Black and white darkroom printing techniques

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black and white darkroom printing techniques

Black-And-White Darkroom Techniques by Eastman Kodak Company

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Black and white printing is obviously fun, and easy to get into.
Eastman Kodak Company

Advanced Darkroom Techniques

Someone emailed asking about leveling up their darkroom printing. He mostly shoots with his phone and makes xerox prints. But me 3 years ago I literally lived in a darkroom. I owned and managed a darkroom rental facility with 5 darkrooms for 8 years. I also spent most of my 20s working in commercial labs, mini labs, private labs, etc all for processing and printing black and white film. When I was in school, we had to turn in negs.

Any photographer who does his own printing will find it worthwhile to occasionally go beyond ''straight'' printing techniques and delve into some of the more unconventional darkroom techniques that can be used to create more interesting prints. Techniques such as diffusion, sepia toning, multiple-images, Sabattier effect, photograms and texturing are all fairly simple to learn, and most will require very little additional investment in materials. Diffusion is an enchancement technique that is often very useful in removing unattractive lines and wrinkles in portraits and for softening contrast in harshly lit outdoor scenes. It can also be used to create a late afternoon or early morning atmosphere in scenic photos. Diffusion material comes in sheets and is available in various sizes and densities at camera shops.

Photo by Martin Brigden. Licensed under CC BY 2. Printing black and white photography in the darkroom is still not uncommon, quote a few photographers still using traditional film photography techniques likely have a darkroom equipped for black and white film. Additionally, chances are that most learning institutions or art centers offering darkroom use are equipped for black and white photography printing and not color. Printing black and white film in the darkroom can be complicated and you may be forced to use limitless techniques to obtain the perfect print, but the core process is fairly simple and only becomes more complex when the use of dodging and burning , filters, dust removal, or other darkroom techniques are attempted. The first step in printing black and white photography is determining the aperture of the enlarger.

Printing black and white photography in the darkroom is still not uncommon, quote a few photographers still using traditional film photography techniques likely.
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An overview of photographic paper

Andrew Sanderson runs through the basics. All that is needed is an enlarger, three trays, a power socket and a red light. The stop and fix you used to process your film can be used for printing, but a different developer is needed for the paper. The developer can be any standard paper developer, which might come as a powder or a liquid concentrate that is mixed to the correct strength before use. Many manufacturers offer darkroom paper, but the brand I recommend you buy first is Ilford Multigrade RC resin-coated paper, with either a glossy or pearl surface.

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