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.

Photo credit: denisesanjose

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.

Cover photo: Grow

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