Thursday, May 19, 2016

Printing and the chemical process

   Once you have mastered using the enlarger machine and found out what time setting is best for your photograph, you are ready to print. Printing a photo is one of the easiest parts of the process. You use your test strip that I mentioned in my last blog and look to see what time your photo should be exposed for. Once you have adjusted the zoom and focus on the machine, you can go ahead and grab a photo sensitive paper from the box in the corner of the darkroom. You place the paper on the blank platform under that machine and click the timer button. The timer button will expose the paper to the projected image. You then take out the paper and go to the chemical table. 
    The chemical table consist of three chemicals. Developer, stop bath, and fixer. These are in shallow square containers and the liquid is clear. Once you have exposed your picture at the enlarger machine, you can drop your photo in the developer. After a few seconds, you will see the paper darken and the picture come to life. After two minutes, you drop your photo in the stop bath for thirty seconds, then the fixer for three minutes. You rinse your photo off with water for a couple minutes when the chemical process is finished. After you have cleaned your photo, pop it into the drier and wait until you see it emerge from the other side of the drier machine. Now you have a unique photograph that represents all your hard work. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

The enlarger machine and it's tools

    In my last blog, I explained the steps to printing out photographs. In this blog, I will go into detail about the enlarger machine and printing. 
    The enlarger machine has many different parts. Near the top of the machine, there is a light bulb, a focus lever, a zoom lever, and a negative carrier where you put your film strip. Near the bottom, there is a blank platform where you put the film paper. 
First you put your negative film strip in the negative film carrier. You put it upside down so it will be projected the correct way. You then turn on the light to see it projected onto the blank platform at the bottom of the machine. Once your picture is projected, you can use the levers on the right side of the machine to zoom into your picture and make it larger.  You then make a test strip. A test strip is a strip of photo sensitive paper that you use to test how many seconds are needed to expose the projected image onto the photo paper. You turn the timer to two seconds and expose your picture to the test strip by pressing on the timer button. The image is projected onto the test strip. Once you have chemically processed the test strip, you'll be able to see what the photo looks like. You can tell which time is good for your photo by looking at the light and dark areas of the test strip. Light areas are classified by the number two. You count by two to classify the shades up from the darkest. You expose your actual picture for the amount of seconds whichever shade you liked most on the test strip is. 

Dark room process.

    In my last blogs, I discussed the process of developing film and making a contact sheet. Once you have completed those tedious steps, you are ready to take your film strips into the darkroom and start printing out photos. 
    The first step in printing a photo is selecting the film strip that you want. You slide your film into the film holder in the enlarger machine. This allows your picture to be projected onto the light sensitive paper when you turn on the light switch. Once you have put your film strip in the negative carrier and put it back into the enlarger machine,  you turn on the light bulb in the center of the machine. You will see your picture protected on the flat surface under the machine. You can use the knobs on the side of the machine to zoom your picture. Once you have focused and zoomed your picture, you turn off the light and slip a square of light sensitive photo paper onto the surface under the machine. You turn on your timer and light. The light will project the image onto the paper and create your image. Your next steps lead you to the chemical bins that are needed in order to end the tedious process.  In the next blog, I will go into detail about the timer, light,  how the enlarger machine works, and the chemical process. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

The dark room/ contact sheet

    The many steps of photography require patience and skill. The next step in printing out a photograph is taking your negative film strips to the dark room, so they can be printed on photo sensitive paper. You first cut your negative strips into smaller strips and place them in a sheet protector. This keeps your film strips from getting dusty and bent. It also allows you to make a contact sheet a little later. After you make sure your film is protected and ready to go, you are ready to use a darkroom enlarging machine and make a contact sheet. 
    A contact sheet is a large piece of negative photo paper (about the size of a piece of loose leaf paper) that you expose your pictures on, so all of them can be displayed at once. The photos come out smaller than usual on the contact sheet due to the lack of space. This method allows you to see your photos so you can choose which ones you want to print . This also allows you to see what exposure times your pictures need. I personally like to take a silver sharpie and mark the photos that I want to print so I don't get confused when I go  to print out my photographs. The next blog will teach you how to make your negatives into beautiful photographs. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Developing film strips

    Film requires a lot of knowledge and skill. There are many rules and processes involved with getting the perfect picture. In this blog, I will talk about the next step in the process. The next step is developing your rolled film strip, so that it is ready to go to the dark room. 
    After your film has been rolled around the small metal wheel, it is ready to be developed chemically. If you followed the last steps correctly, your film should be in  metal can rolled neatly inside. You take your can to the developing sink and begin to follow the directions. The directions are simple and easy to memorize. 
      You first fill your can with water and shake your can in a sideways motion for one minute. After emptying your can, you fill it with a chemical called developer. This makes your photos show on the strips of film. You shake your can with the developer for 7 minutes. After each minute, you set your can in the sink and wait ten seconds to continue the minute. After you are done with this process, you fill your tank with water 3 times and shake your can 5 times, 10 times and 20 times. This washes off excess developer.  After pouring out the water, you are ready to use a chemical called fixer. This makes sure the photos on the film strip are perminate. You pour the developer into the can and follow the same procedure as the developer. You do this for five minutes. When this is done, you fill the tank with water and shake for 5, 10, and 20 times. When the water is poured out , you can open the can and take out the rolled film. You drop your developed film into a bucket of chemicals called Photo Flo.  After 30 seconds, you take it out and hang your film in the drier to dry. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Developing process/rolling film

    Before printing out a photograph, you have to know the many processes involved with black and white film photography.  There are many rules and steps needed in order to create a beautiful photo. Before you take your negative film strips to the dark room, you have to develop them first. I will describe the steps to the first part of the developing process. 
    First, you need to roll your film. You get a black film bag,a metal rolling wheel, a film openener, and a small metal can. You insert these items into the sealed black bag, which looks like a small backpack. You put your arms through the slots on the side of the bag. These slots allow you to roll your film around the wheel and seal it in the metal can without exposing any film to light. after your arms are in the bag , you feel for your film and start rolling it around the wheel. Your film should slide easily between the two metal plates of the wheel. After you have finished, you put the wheel with the film wrapped around it, in the can. You seal the cam with a plastic lid and take it out of the bag. You are now ready to use chemicals to develop your film, so it can be printed in the dark room later on. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

The dark room

I have decided to talk about the dark room for this blog. The dark room is an interesting place where creativity comes to life. The dark room is the place that photographs get printed after they have been developed. The dark room is painted black and has no lighting except for a photo safe light that allows people printing photos to see what they are doing. In the dark room, there are many odd looking machines called enlargers. They hold the strips of developed negative film and project the images on the film strips onto photo sensitive paper. This exposes the photo paper to light, darkening the areas the light hits, printing out the photograph. Photo paper darkens when exposed to light. You can adjust the knobs on the side of the machine to enlarge the picture or shrink it. You can also set a timer for how many minutes you want your picture to be exposed. The exposure time depends on the conditions in which the photograph was taken. Photographs taken in bright light need a longer exposure time than photographs taken in a low light setting.  After the picture is successfully exposed, it is dropped in multiple chemicals that make the exposed areas of the phot paper show. The paper begins to darken after a minute of being in the chemicals, and the image appears. The image is then rinsed off with clean water and placed in a drier for one minute. The unique processes are one of my favorite parts about photgaphy. The dark room continues to amaze me.