B&W Prints

Print Production

My production of B&W prints is quite limited.  Contrary to what one might expect, exhibit-quality prints cannot be mass produced.  Each print must be done individually by hand.

During the course of a darkroom session I normally produce a duplicate print so that, if the primary print is damaged or ruined during processing, matting, or dry-mounting, I have a back-up to use. This means that, generally speaking, there are only two production prints made per negative per darkroom session.

Print Processing

There are several steps involved in the production of exhibit-quality B&W prints.  A summary of these steps is provided below:

  1. Clean Negative and Glass Carrier
  2. Place Negative in Enlarger
  3. Determine Appropriate Size
  4. Select Orientation and Crop Image
  5. Adjust Focus with Grain Magnifier
  6. Analyze Highlight and Shadow Areas
  7. Select Initial Paper Grade or Filter
  8. Stop Down Lens
  9. Set Timer & Place Paper on Easel
  10. Expose Test Strip
  11. Develop Test Strip
  12. Repeat Steps 9 through 11
     (Until a Base Exposure Has Been Determined)
  13. Set Timer & Load Paper in Easel
  14. Expose Work Print
  15. Develop Work Print
  16. Repeat Steps 13 through 15
     (Until the Previsualized Result Is Achieved)
  17. Set Timer & Load Paper in Easel
  18. Expose Final Version of Print
  19. Develop Final Version of Print
  20. Repeat Steps 17 through 19
     (To Produce a "Backup" Print)
  21. Place "Final" & "Backup" Prints in Wash
  22. Open Lens & Go Back to Step 1