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  1. #1

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    3-hour darkroom session, two good prints

    Argh. I know I'm an incompetent boob when it comes to the darkroom. I spent three hours last nigth in my bathroom darkroom trying to get a nice print or two made. Too uncontrasty. Too contrasty. Forgot to stop down the enlarger after focusing, got a really nice dark print. Miscellaneous errors in judgement.

    Show of hands please? Am I the only one who spends hours trying to get two prints right?
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  2. #2
    Barry S's Avatar
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    Are you kidding? If I can get two prints I'm happy with in a three hours, I'm a happy camper. On the occasions when I do make more than six prints in a single session, I usually wish I spent more time and only made a couple. It takes me some time to figure out split-grade printing times and get the dodging and burning right. Unless you're in the darkroom every few days, it takes a lot of time to set up and clean up--let alone printing.

  3. #3
    Bill Mobbs's Avatar
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    Yes .........Yesterday spent 4 hours making two copies of just one print. Of course they are wonderful prints. ..................
    "Nobody is perfect! But even among those that are perfect, some are more perfect than others." Walt Sewell 1947

  4. #4

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    I usually think one good print in about an hour and a half is doing well, so two in three hours is about right! It takes me about 20 mins to set up for a printing session, and 20 mins to clean up, so that's a bit less than an hour a print, and that would be rushing.

  5. #5

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    Sounds about right to me. Getting what you want on the paper is time-consuming.
    Colour is a real bear for me. I do Kodachrome slides to Ilfochrome paper with
    an Omega B22xl enlarger with filter drawer. I can spend three hours just
    getting the filter pack correct. Why not just scan ? Because after all the time
    messing around you get a final print with deep pesonal satisfaction, but
    that's just me. Best regards,
    /Clay

  6. #6

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    Your pace sounds good to me. I've spent whole days in the dark and gotten little to show for it. Sometimes you just go 0-4 at the plate, sometimes better.

  7. #7

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    Not a bad ratio. I've spent 10 hour days in the darkroom before to only have 2 portfolio-worthy prints. By that ratio I should have had about 6. Don't sweat it, without the pain of having an off day you'd never be able to appreciate those days when everythihng just works so smoothly and precisely in your favour. As your quote suggests "nothing worth doing is ever easy".

  8. #8
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Hey, at least you learned a lot and you ended up with good prints!

    I usually split my darkroom sessions between quick and good. Sometimes I just need to have a stack of prints from my last negatives. So I look at my contact sheets, eyeball the exposure based on experience, and process in batch. I have a lot of prints, but they are only "good enough." I use them to judge composition, subject, etc etc. My processing workflow is very consistent now, so I can pretty much print an entire 35mm roll decently without constantly making test strips.

    Once I'm over with those, I have another session, where I try to do my best. I usually work with fiber paper then, and do all the careful fiddling I need to.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

  9. #9
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Two in one evening, that's speed, :o I normally take a week to do one.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  10. #10
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    Show of hands please? Am I the only one who spends hours trying to get two prints right?
    No way! Stuff happens, and sometimes (often) it takes a while. I've spent at least 3 hours on just one print a few times.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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