View Full Version : Stupid darkroom tricks

Ben Calwell
7-Nov-2006, 06:21
During my last darkroom session, I was contact printing some 8x10 negatives. At one point, I picked up my contact printing glass, and instead of putting the paper into the developer tray, I absentmindedly placed about one-quarter of the negative into the tray, before I caught myself!
It was just a test neg -- nothing important -- but I can't believe I almost dunked the entire neg into the developer tray.
I've got to start turning my darkroom fan on more often -- maybe the fumes are affecting my brain.

Donald Qualls
7-Nov-2006, 11:44
Fortunately, dunking the (long since developed and fixed) negative into the developer won't hurt it -- just rewash, treat with wetting agent, and dry as if freshly fixed. Done immediately, it's unlikely you'll ever be able to detect the difference; the only real issue is you'll have to finish printing that negative in another session, because it'll take some time to dry.

Michael Graves
7-Nov-2006, 15:20
Look on the bright side. At least you didn't dunk your box of unexposed paper into the tray.

Mike H.
8-Nov-2006, 15:15
I just hate the absentminded daydreaming that results while you sit around in the black night of the darkroom, waiting for time to pass for one reason or another. You can be a thousand miles away, exploring some really cool photo locations, when you suddenly snap back to reality and realize that the sheet of paper you are exposing was one of twelve that you exposed earlier and, since you are now in the middle of developing, that sheet was supposed to have gone into the developer, not onto the enlarger. Grrr... :mad:

C. D. Keth
8-Nov-2006, 15:57
I have a good case of Mike H's "absentminded daydreaming":

One time I was making silver prints while simultaneously making cyanotypes (since cyanotypes take a good while to expose, I could do other things in the meantime). I finished the cyanotype and put it in D72 and the silver print in water, then stop, then fix...:mad:

I learned an important lesson. Printing processes are like drinks. They are wonderful on their own but should not be mixed ;)