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Darkroom Prints

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Finally managed to get some prints made. Having bought an enlarger over a year ago, problems with the blackout arrangements kept delaying things. Nothing that special:

Hitchcopse pit, in 645 medium format from last September:


And a couple of different versions of a 35mm shot of Lady of Legend on the turntable


The second with a somewhat longer exposure,


All were scanned at 300dpi, and then resized, no other processing beyond what VueScan does by default.

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Interesting: I've never done my own printing - when I've used film I always got the prints done at Jessops!  
I have seen a demonstration at my camera club though and it's something I'd like to try at some point.
The longer exposure shows on the last image - the blacks on the engine are noticeably better.
I think the scans would benefit from a tweak of the levels, just to bring the left side in a bit as there are no true blacks.

(Or would an even longer exposure when printing do that?)


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Well done you, for having a go at what many photographers were forced to do, if they wanted to develop and print their own films......I recall that as a ten year old in 1948 being shown into the photographic darkroom at my Auntie Maggie’s house. It was just her darkened scullery with a red light bulb.

Her lodger, was a very keen photographer, I watched with fascination how rolls of film were developed then set into negatives ....then after they dried how selected pictures were made into prints via a complicated looking enlarger.

But I was glad to be let out because the smell of the chemical solutions used weren’t pleasant at all....it never appealed after that.

But I can fully understand the passion of a keen photographer if he/she could ignore that.


Wonderful work, I really admire your perseverance and results James.


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Thanks Hatter & Fuji.

3 hours ago, FUJI said:

But I was glad to be let out because the smell of the chemical solutions used weren’t pleasant at all....it never appealed after that.

I think that modern fixers (it is the fixer that smells) are probably less malodourous than they used to be (though having not started processing film until about 3 years ago, I don't know how much).

The main intent yesterday was to establish a workflow and find any weaknesses in the setup -- I think a second safelight is in order as it was almost impossible to see what was happening in the developing tray and moving it nearer to that end of the kitchen would have left it too dark around the enlarger.

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My darkroom days were around 40 years ago - I used to commandeer the bathroom every Sunday night and anyone wanting to use the loo had to wait until an opportune moment for turning the light on.

Good to hear you're still doing it the 'proper' way, James, be sure to post your results.


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I must admit, I used to enjoy developing and printing my own photographs way back in the day, I think the last time was in the mid to late 1980's and only in black and white. I always found the trickiest part was loading the film into that hamster wheel contraption in the pitch black before you put it into the dev tank. There was a place in Blackburn, until a massive fire destroyed the building a few months back, where you could still develope and print your own B/W film images.

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