Notes on the darkroom


  1. At the enlarger set up the distance, aperture and timer and check the reading at the top for the paper type (RC or VC)
  2. Place the paper, glossy side up, on the base. Make sure the remaining paper is sealed in the box properly to reduce risk of exposure.
  3. On top of the paper, place the film the right way up (check by making sure the numbers go the right way by holding up to the light)
  4. Then place the glass over both to make sure they are secure
  5. After exposing the paper, take it to the developer tray and place in for one minute 
  6. Use the tongs to take the paper from this and drop into the stop 
  7. It is important the the right tongs are used to each tray to prevent contamination of chemicals
  8. After about 30 seconds in the stop, use the tongs to put the paper in the fixative for at least 5 minutes
  9. Then wash the paper for at least twenty mins and dry

It is advisable to do a test strip to find the right exposure. This can be done by setting a time on the light exposure and covering two thirds of the paper from exposure, then covering one third and then allowing the whole paper to be exposed. This means that there are three exposures that can be examined to see how much exposure is needed for final printing. 

  • If any trays are used, wash them
  • Fixative contains bleach
Personal Thoughts
This was my first time doing practical work in the darkroom so I paid special care and attention to what Paul had to say regarding health, safety and practice. I wanted to give the process a shot while it was fresh in my mind, which was successful. However, I do feel that I need many more practices in this area.

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