Sunday, September 22, 2013

Notes on making an enlargement

Use a grain enlarger to insure correct focus.

Focus on the back of a piece of developed printing paper.

Remember to switch over from the white light if you are using an color enlarger

Make test strips on small pieces of paper.

Don't use the print dryer for prints or test strips smaller than 5x7. Use the drying screens for those.

Image selection. You will only make prints from a very small number of images that you take. Select very carefully. Begin by looking at your contact sheet. Double check by looking at your negative under the magnifying loupe. Your image must look very sharp. If it is the least bit blurry there, it will look very blurry when enlarged. Make sure there is detail in the hair (assuming a portrait) and/or other critical dark and light areas of the image.The detail must be in the negative to get it in your print.

Handle film by the edges only.

Don't force anything.

Developer will stain your clothes. Consider wearing grubby clothes or an apron when printing.

Start with a grade 2 contrast filter or equivalent. 

Focus with the lens all the way open and no filtration.

Determine exposure for a lighter part of your image that should have full detail.

Evaluate your prints in ordinary room light only.

Use a piece of white mat board for your test strips and dodging and burning. 

Make sure that your negatives are not flipped when printing. Orient your negative so that the numbers near the sprockets read correctly. Then rotate your negative 180 degrees before loading it into the negative carrier. Check to make sure that any text that may be in the image appears in the correct orientation in your print.

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