I'm going to be writing about my printing process and how I display my photographs in my film work. Film is something that I fell in love with the first time I printed in a darkroom. My favorite has been doing black and white film and making silver gelatin prints, but lately I've been doing color film and some alternative processes stuff. For those of you that don't know what alternative process printing is, it is using a variety of older printing techniques that use raw chemicals to develop a photo! I'll probably do a separate post on that later! Anyway, out of all the processes that I've learned so far, black and white is still at the top. Printing in a darkroom is such a fun thing! Although it can be frustrating too. Frustrating because some days it's just really hard to get any prints you like! If you don't know much about photography or only about digital then I'll give a quick little lesson about printing in a darkroom. If you know about this you can just skip to the next paragraph!
You start by shooting your film and getting it developed into negatives, whether you do it yourself or send it off to be developed. I know how to develop black and white film but not color for instance. In the darkroom you have a set up with large trays of chemicals and an enlarger. Your enlarger has a place for your negative to go inside, a timer, and a lens. This is the machine that projects your image larger than the negative onto paper. You put your paper underneath and figure out what time is best to get the perfect exposure! The light shines down on the paper and now it's time for chemicals! I wont get into all the details but you have to develop your paper in a chemical, usually Dektol, then move it to another chemical that stops the photo from developing, then onto a Fixer which removes all the undeveloped silver (silver is what makes the paper light sensitive) Then you wash your print so it's nice and clean and you're done! Obviously this usually takes a few tries and lots of variables. I hope I didn't get too confusing!
Printing is great, I could spend hours in a darkroom. Everyone has a different way that they want their work to look, and that starts from the time you're shooting to printing to mating your photographs. I like to print 4"x6" prints because I use 35mm negatives so I like to get more detail from the negative by not enlarging it so big, besides I think it looks more modest having smaller photos. Also, if your photos are smaller, people want to get in close and look at them! I like to have all my photos a little dark with some contrast, really bright whites and really nice blacks. I cut my own mats and even do the window inside myself, then I buy these nice and affordable 11"x14" frames and call it good! I like having simple frames so it doesn't distract from the work itself!
Any questions about printing or film photography? How do you like to present your work?What did you think of this post? Comment in the section below!
Each month I will be posting a Photo of the Month! Also I'll try to work in any requested posts or things I find interesting to post! Enjoy!