What is a contact sheet?
A contact sheet includes, on a single page, all the the negatives from one roll. These negatives are placed together on photo paper and exposed to light to obtain a contact print. This gives an overview of all the frames and their exposure. It can help you decide which image you wish to enlarge.
To obtain a contact sheet, you place the negatives on the sensitive side of the paper and then press it down with glass. Then, simply expose it to light.
It’s good practice to make a test print of your contact sheet, which will give the exposure time.
To assess the correct exposure time for your contact print, you’ll be looking at the edge of the negative bordering the paper. When the paper and the negative have the same black intensity and you do not see any separation between the edges, this means it is a good exposure time.
With a contact print, you are not making any adjustments, such as burning or dodging, or adding filters to your frames because you want to spot your underexposed or overexposed frames right away.
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When setting up a darkroom, it is crucial to find an adequate space and purchase a good enlarger. Every other tool can be easily found online.
A test strip is a piece of paper with which the correct exposure time for an image can be determined by dividing it into sections of different exposures.
Split grade printing refers to the use of more than one filter when printing your photos in a darkroom, in order to properly expose the highlights and shadow areas.
In many cities you will be able to find darkrooms that you can use. These spaces are often part of a university, college or photography center.
Photographic paper is coated with a light sensitive solution to make it possible to create a darkroom print. Different papers are distinguished by categories such as fixed grade, variable contrast, resin coated, and fiber base.
Work in a fully equipped darkroom. Select a negative, put it in an enlarger and focus the frame. Then expose the image for the correct time on the photographic paper. Finally develop, stop, fix, wash and dry.
An enlarger is a light projector used to make a print of an image that is larger than the original negative or transparency.
Dodging and burning are darkroom techniques used to make adjustments to different areas of our prints. Dodging lightens an area, while burning darkens an area.