Quote Originally Posted by clothesontheline View Post
Hey Polyglot!

Thanks so much for your time and the extremely valuable info you have given me. I would buy the Arista.EDU, but other freestyle supplies are not as cheap as B&H and so I will probably buy from Oriental: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...00_Glossy.html or Ilford, which is obviously a great brand. I am considering buying 25 8x10 and cutting them into 100 4x5. Thoughts? And would gloss be the best for contact printing other than something like pearl?
The Oriental would be fine I'm sure. If you must buy 8x10 and cut it, you probably want to use a guillotine or rotary trimmer with a fence/guide because anything scissor-cut is going to be annoyingly uneven and hard to fit into your cameras. It might also be better to cut it to 50 sheets of 5x8", if only to reduce your work by half! And don't cut all the paper at once; you don't want to discover that your darkroom was insufficiently dark and that you've ruined the whole pack, so pull a couple sheets out, cut and expose them. Then repeat, cutting paper as you require it.

Gloss will give the cleanest result. You may get a slight texture from the lustre surface during contact printing but that's not necessarily a bad thing and it might be quite appealing. It might also make the prints look grainier and/or sharper, depending on where your contact-print light is placed and whether it's diffused.

Quote Originally Posted by clothesontheline View Post
I dont want to use film b/c it is too technical/expensive + I really want the kids to understand the photographic process and film might be too abstract/ out there for them to fully grasp the concept also like I've said before the Image doesn't have to be AMAZING, just good enough for the kids to realize that a good photographic CAN be taken in an easy and makeable way without having to use some extremely techy device where all you do is press a button and a photo is "magically" recorded. However, any more tips to produce the best possible photo with the method of contact paper printing would be helpful. Would the filter idea be the best?
Film isn't any more abstract than a paper negative, they're both negative images on a support. The film is clear and has better performance for image capture whereas paper has a bunch of additional complications (the contrast control), though I agree on price. If you talk to people here or on LFPF, you might be able to score a small quantity of cheap green X-Ray film if someone living near you has it spare (it's about $40 for 100 sheets of 8x10, you would probably do fine with 20 sheets of 5x8" therefore 10 sheets of 8x10" for about $5). I'd be surprised if you couldn't get a small donation to play with as there are plenty of people keen to get kids involved.

I'd donate you some film but the postage from Australia makes it quite uneconomical and I don't have anything orthochromatic.

Quote Originally Posted by clothesontheline View Post
My friend got back to me on his photo supplies and unfortunately he didn't have a red safelight( or developing trays(the two things I really needed). Is there any place on here where I can post to find out if someone who lives in my area would let me borrow some of their photo stuff? My friend said "I have an enlarger, filters and a couple of lenses. I have a timer (for the enlarger) and a 35mm developing tank. I have a couple of clips to hang film to dry and an easel." Would any of this be helpful in the project. I can send you a photo if you want.
Yes, borrow his filters. Try using the #0 filter for making the exposure and when contact printing. Borrow the enlarger timer and use that to get consistent times when making the contact prints. The easel might be useful for contact printing, but a slab of glass will be far better.

Use old icecream tubs or plastic buckets for trays. I refuse to believe you can't scrounge an old red-LED bike taillight either.