Welcome, once again, followers and visitors to my blog and another update in my photography diary. This week I have been experimenting with photograms and trying to understand the processes involved. here are some further notes to assist with the process. Bluntly put just trying to remember!
The darkroom was lit with a safelight red dome that does not fog paper so it allows you to see what you’re doing in a room that would otherwise be totally dark.
Printing paper is coated with a light sensitive emulsion and is used to expose the items on to make the photogram.
It is important that the chemicals are at the correct temperature. The temperature of the developer is the most important part but, unlike film, one can watch as the image appears and adjust the developing time accordingly. Watching the image appear I found quite fascinating.
Unlike film, one can watch as the image appears and time the development accordingly.
One needs to use the correct timings time when the paper is in the developer, stop bath and fixer, although accurate timing is less important than it is with film processing.
The developer reacts with the exposed areas of silver in the paper’s emulsion turning these parts black to form an image.
Areas that receive more light become blacker when developed. Areas that receive no light stay clear. It is the developer that produces a result.
The stop bath contains the acid solution that quickly counteracts the developer to prevent over development of the paper.
The fixer dissolves any unused silver halides that were not developed and stops the paper from being light sensitive.
The chemicals that one uses for development need to be diluted before use. The dilution rate is 1:10 parts water. The chemicals are harmful and need to be handled with great care.
The Development Trays
Three shallow trays not much larger than the prints being made were used to avoid using too much solutions to cover the print.
The trays hold:
stop bath and
fix for processing.
Running water is required to ensure all traces of fixer are removed before the print is dried.
After completing the development process the prints need to be dried. They travelled through the dryer which allows air to travel over both surfaces to ensure rapid drying.
Andrew Johnson Merthyr College
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