Some general RC paper handling questions
OK, cool, now I have my Darkroom up and running, I have some general questions on the best way dealing with paper:
- What is better - cutting stock to size before or after printing? The reason I ask is how easy is the paper damaged either before or after printing.
- Currently I only have Ilford Multi grade Delux Pearl. When doing the final rinse/wash, is there any benefit in using a wetting agent?
- Drying - From my experiences and what I have read here, using a squeegy on Film is something that I have been avoiding. Are the same risks apparent when drying RC papers? Should I dry flat or is there no reason why I can't hang RC papers to dry?
I'm sure there are many other questions, but these are my main concerns at the moment
1) Cut before printing. It's not so much a question of damage, as workflow. It may also increase the chance of safelight fogging if you expose before cutting. The one exception is when you are printing multiple small prints of the same negative. It can save you a lot of time to print, then rotate, and then print again on the other half of the sheet. In that case, of course, you are trimming after processing;
2) I cannot think of any advantage to using a wetting agent with paper - whether fibre or RC;
3) RC is very easy to dry. Here is a suggestion (cross posted from the Postcard exchange 17 thread):
Yeah, I saw that. It made me think of the baby bottle drier that we had. Unfortunately, the drier has been handed down to the next person.
I was thinking of making a drying rack out of nylon fly screen, as per an example I saw in a book, but was wondering whether just hanging was just as good.
The rack is just a shelf designed to be used in a kitchen cupboard - I paid something like $8.00 US in a kitchen supply store.
The only problem with hanging up to dry is the potential for bruising or crimping the print with the clip.
Cut before printing if the size needed is much smaller than the size you have. If only a bit of trimming is needed, it is much easier to do this after printing.
No advantage to using a wetting agent really.
Hang them up to dry on a line with clothes pegs or whatever.
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I sponge dry, RC or FB. A sponge will pull
water from paper and gelatin and in doing
so, not leave any water about.
Photo grade sponges are still available.
I have found house hold sponges to
do well. Dan
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/188.8.131.52 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/184.108.40.206.0)
1) I cut my prints after printing/drying.
2) I don't use a drying aid (Photo Flo, et al.) In the rinse.
3) I hang dry my prints. Takes under an hour.
1) Cut the prints after drying
2) I don't use a wetting agent but I use a sponge on both sides.
3) I am drying in the IR dryer which give high glossy prints and a drying time (after the sponge) of 20 S. But you can also do it with a hair dryer. PE/RC paper will give nice glossy prints dried around 50-55 degrees C. It takes a bit longer but it also works.
An RC print is a photograph on life support. Do two things, tone with Selenium or preferably a short Polysulfide dip, and get Ctein's book Post Exposure.
1) RC paper is robust so cut it at whichever point is most practical. If you are talking for example about cutting 8x10 into two 8x5 sheets for printing then obviously you will need to cut them before processing and if you are talking about trimming the edges to size then it is simpler to do it in room lighting after processing and drying.
2) Do not bother with wetting agent. I squeegee the back side and then the front side on a sheet of perspex to remove surface water and then dry.
3) No need to dry RC flat. As shown in Matt's image they will happily dry upright and will support their own weight (don't try that with fibre paper tho ).
Have fun, Bob.