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Christopher Walrath

Photographic Rule No. 9

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by , 09-27-2009 at 05:59 PM (940 Views)
Number 8, if you recall, was to always extinguish your subject. You are instructed to read previous blog for a real hoot.

Here is my rule number nine.

Finally got back into the darkroom (read: microscopic downstairs half bath, even more so for one with my generous girth) for the first time in a couple of months for a printing session. Decided to do things a little differently. I have been looking at the work I have done the last two years by guessing at negatives so, that's right, I churned out 25 contact proof prints.

I got the exposure right with a couple of test prints from a good average sheet of negs and settled on 2.5 second at f/3.5 w/o carrier inserted and enlarger (Fujimoto Lucky 60M) to full height. The short duration kinda surprised me. So, I went through my neg folder, chose the 25 rolls and placed about 30 sheets into my paper safe. I exposed one neg sheet onto one sheet of photographic paper. I then insert it into the safe emulsion face down (paper stock side up), take everything below it and shuffle the pile on top of it. This way, when I get to a sheet of paper and I do not feel the emulsion side up I know I have reached the end of the internet. I expose 25 sheets and return three to their home in the Arista box. Go outside for a smoke. Come back in and get to work soupin'.

As I am rolling along, I get to print number eight. I open the paper safe. Now, with only one exception, I have done this once during EVERY printing session since I started in March.

Photographic Rule No. 9


Yep, opened the safe, brain engaged letting my consciousness know that there was an unusual amount of light ambient for this stage of the process and shut the safe tight and how. It was only open for a portion of a second and, fortunately, all of the exposed proof sheets were tunred face down. I cannot distinguish whether even one was more than marginally fogged and that would have been on a burned side through the transparent plastic sheets.

This happened in May when I printed my Round 17 Postcards and I only had to reprint two sheets (4 cards). This happened again in July cutting a productive printing session short by ruining about ten sheets. I don't have to be dropped on my head too many times before I get it, but I do occasionally require a good contusion or two before proceeding.

It was a great day, all in all. Now I can see just what it is I have been doing for a change.

From Milton, Delaware.
Where the intraverts look through their own viewfinders and the extraverts look through yours.
I'm Chris Walrath.




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