dark room workshop

Last thursday, I headed to the photography unit to do a workshop with Rachel to relearn how to create prints out of negatives. At college and secondary school, I had previously learned how to use the dark room but as that was a few years ago, I needed a refresher to remember how to use the dark room. In this workshop we created contact sheets from our negatives to understand how long to expose light to the image for our final printed image.

Throughout thus workshop we learnt about exposure, chemicals, the facilities, filters, sizes and types of paper. To start off the workshop, our first particle was to load up our negative film in the contact sheet holder. Due to not having any black and white negatives, I borrowed one strip of black and white negatives from the photographic unit. I loaded up my contact sheet and placed a photographic glossy piece of paper under the contact sheet template and placed the sheet under the projector. I put the light timer to 10 and with a black piece of card, I covered bit by bit each of the contact sheet each of the contact sheet and slowly made the whole of the contact sheet exposed to the projector. By exposing each section pf the contact sheet this allowed me to see what time exposure worked for the image. In my contact sheet, I also added some of my colour negatives into the contact sheet, beside the borrowed black and white negatives. But as colour negatives were thicker, they needed to be exposed for way longer then black and white negatives in order to achieve a clearer and more textured in the image.

After exposing the contact sheet and developing it, I went through the contact sheet and looked at every photo, to see what worked and what didn’t, going through the photographs to work out what I wanted to work with on my final print. Despite the over exposure in some images, I had decided that I wanted to work with one of my colour negatives as I found that the image with all of the people together would be interesting to see in black and white.

After developing my final print, i experimented with different timings, I found that in one timing it made look too light and not show as much detail but in the other timing it made the background too dark but show details at the front of the crowd. Rachel recommend that when exposing the light to the photographic paper, I should take the same black card that i used for the contact sheet and hold it on top of the people in the back of the photo for around two seconds, this would make the people at the back more stand out.

I defiantly found this workshop very interesting and intriguing especially when i have shown my interest in film photography. I liked that there was a more innovative way of turning my colour negatives into black and white prints.


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