If you over-develop a print significantly, you are much more likely to encounter safelight fog if your safelight(s) is/are close to being unsafe.
For beginners, I suggest developing a print for the exact mid-point of the manufacturers' recommended times. Then, as a comparison, develop two more identically exposed prints from the same negative - one at the minimum manufacturer's recommended time and one at twice the "mid-point" recommended time. Most likely you will learn from the comparison of the three results.
Note that different papers and developers will result in different recommendations.
My personal target time is the maximum time recommended by the manufacturers.
Why do some people on APUG suggest to beginners in photographic processing that they read Ansel Adams? This is a bit like suggesting that those who wish to take up woodwork study Thomas Chippendale.
Why not? Those books were written with the beginner in mind. If you want to get better at anything studying the work of those with more skill is a good way to do it. If they have written books or made videos, even better.
I don't know of any two books; The Negative and The Print that are as comprehensive as the Adams series. Many excellent illustrations to show the beginner what a good negative or print looks like. Should we assume that newbies are complete dunderheads or are incapable of understanding a good textbook? These are books that are worth the investment whereas simpler ones are soon worthless as one becomes more experienced.
Originally Posted by cliveh
Personally I think "The Negative" is one of the best books of it's type and a must read, "The Print" is OK as well but less important as the key is getting good negatives in the first place.
Yes, but how much photographic experience/time had you had before you read this?
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Here's an update, as requested by a member via PM:
1. Paper size, brand, and type.
Ilford MGIV RC Deluxe Pearl
2. The developer brand and dilution.
Artists Premium Paper Developer 1:9 at approx. 78 F
3. The filter used.
None - I have two blue filters, but didn't know what they were for so I didn't use them.
4. Exposure time and lens aperture.
30-40 sec at f8
5. Enlarger and light source. For example, Bogen T35 with condenser head (which is the kind you have, except that you didnt specify a condenser head, which it likely is).
I assume it is a condenser head - how do you tell the difference?
Thanks for all the help so far! I'm going to try to track down copies of "The Negative" and "The Print"...
Also, I wanted to add a word of thanks to those who said you can't overdevelop - I always assumed that the quick change of the paper would keep happening if I left it in the developer. I guess I'll try some of those blue filters (any idea what they are? They aren't labeled - if it would help I could post a pic of them).
Also, I'm pretty sure the negatives are ok. I could post a pic of them, too, if it would help. What would be the best way to take a pic?
Thanks so much for all the help! I still can't get over how awesome and helpful everybody on APUG has been... :)
You need to get a set of the Ilford multigrade filters. By hook or by crook, get them somehow. You NEED them.
Ok, I guess I'll track one down. Anybody have a spare to sell? :)
eBay is an option too, I guess.