Wetprinting – paper development

Today it was pretty rainy, at last.
The trees are getting brown, loosing leaves, the grass is yellow. So we are happy with the rain.
So I decided to enlarge some negatives.
At first mixing the developer, stopbath and fixer. I used 1 l of each, a little more would be better next time. Dusting the enlarger, wiping all surfaces, putting my lighttight lids on the window.
Than using a antistatic brush on the negative, putting it in the enlarger try (I used one of my 6*6), emulsion side down.
Than I put the paper box ( in this case a pretty old one) on the base plate, adjusting the enlarger to the overall size. Put the box aside, here came the grain loupe, adjusting and adjusting the focus, than stopping down the lens 3 stops.
OK, lights out and red light on.
I took one of a rather old pack of sheets, testprinting with 4,8,12,16,20 seconds. Developed till the image showed, than times ten (15 sec to first image, 2.15 min dev time), short stop bath, 3 min fixing, best result with 8+ seconds, so I used 10 seconds.
New sheet, 10 sec., chemistry cycle, came out too dark.
Nice pic with 8.5 sec, but I left the paper about 8 min in the fixer and that was too long. I got some stipes I otherwise can´t explain.
But – my about 20 year overdue paper (I got it with the enlarger for free, package from 1968 ) seemed to be good.

Your print exposure time is determined by highlight value.
Once your brightest areas of your picture are satisfactory to you, that is your exposure time. 

Shadows are determined by filter number.
(If the highlights need a shorter time, the contrast is to low. If the shadows need the shorter time, contrast is to high.)
Filter or split tone printing or other paper to change the contrast would be the next step.

Than I just for fun took an old x-ray film, put the enlarger to 0.2 sec – and got a nice print. But due to both sides emulsion the x-ray film is extreme sensitive to scratches. Nevertheless – it is really sharp.

But now, after a quick check on time,  I had to clean and tidy up, thats always quite a job.

Have fun !

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