Thanks for all the great advice. I took a few bits and tried again this morning.

I used only one 5x7 safelight in the darkroom this morning, and pointed it straight at the ceiling to minimize the amount of light hitting my work area. I also stopped my enlarger down to F/22. I used only the new Ilford MGIV RC Glossy paper for all of these. I was able to lengthen my exposure times and come up with much better results.

(again excuse the scan quality.)


This is a negative that I have tried printing multiple times. Now that I have stopped down to f/22 its turning out.


TestF22 by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr

Based on the results above I chose a 15 sec starting exposure.


15secNoFilter by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr

I felt like the sidewalk and sign were a little too hot, so I added 10 seconds to the bottom half of the photo.


15secNoFilter+10burn by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr

Since I was getting something worth the effort, I decided to try the other negative from yesterday.


TestF22-2secint by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr

Based on the results above, I chose to add another 3 seconds totaling 17 seconds. I also added 10 seconds to the right hand side.


17sec+10burn by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr


And because I was getting results, I decided to try this negative that I have been dying to print for a few months now, but haven't been able to because of the previous issues.


Test by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr

And I ended up with this...


15secexp by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr



None of these are finished prints obviously, but now I know that I can actually get something from them. I'm assuming that I was holding on to the notion that f/8 was the best for enlarging. Somewhere I must have heard that enlarging lenses work their best two stops down from wide open, and I guess I was too scare to try something else. I'm going to continue to read over all the advice given and go back for more practice over the next few weeks or so.
Thanks again!