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.