UNIT 32 AND 38: The dark room

Yesterday in the dark room I done acetate printing. It is a simple process.

  1. I opened up an image which was relevant to the brief “close ups” and inverted the image in Photoshop. The inverted image was then printed out on to acetate paper.
  2. In the dark room I set up my enlarger. I checked that the light was 2 steps up from the dullest light. I also checked the edge of the pool of light was straight.
  3. I cut 3 strips of photo paper for testing the exposure time. One was at 2 seconds, another was 4 seconds and the last strip was at 6 seconds. Doing this I found that 4 seconds was the best time.
  4. Next I placed down an A5 piece of photo paper. On top of the photo paper was the image I printed out on the acetate paper. I ran the enlarger for 4 seconds before taking the paper over to the chemicals.
  5. First I put the photo paper into the developer chemical for a minute or until the image was visible. I then placed the photo paper into the stop chemical for 30 seconds. After the 30 seconds I put the photo paper into the fixer chemical for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes I took the photo paper out into the natural light to see how the image turned out. I placed the photo paper into water for 20 minutes. Placing the photo paper into water helps wash of the chemicals left on the photo paper. After the 20 minutes I left the photo paper to dry.
  6. Lastly I cleaned the surfaces around the chemicals and put the chemicals away.

Below is the results:

acetate 1

Above is a print I made by scratching on the shiny surface of the paper. I also crumpled up the paper to. I find the crumpling of the paper isn’t effective because I think it has no impact on the overall outcome. I find the scratching on the surface works well because it gives a boarder look. I also think the scratching gives texture to the image because it makes me want to touch the lines. I wanted texture to be added because this links to macro photography because I find macro photography adds texture to images.

Overall I think I left the image in the developer for the correct amount of time because the image is clear and you can make the image out. I didn’t keep an eye on the time because I find the timing is often wrong, the below image is a prime example of this because I left the image in the developer for 60 seconds like you are meant to but the time turned out to be wrong in my opinion because in some places it still undeveloped or needed longer.

acetate 5

Above is a print I did with out doing any scratching or crumpling the paper. I find no scratching or crumpling the paper allows the print to speak for itself which I like because I find the scratching and the crumpling the paper can distract the eye from the image. For my final I may do two versions one with scratching on the paper and crumpling the paper. The second would be a print which isn’t scratched into or the paper being crumpled. The reason why I may do this is to see which version I like best.

I left the print in the developer for 60 seconds like you are meant to but in some areas it is still patchy. I feel like if I forgot about the timings the print would of developed better than it is. Above is a prime of example of how I want a print to be developed.

acetate 4

When I used the enlarger I miss-judged where light would be so the top wasn’t exposed. In hindsight I could of avoided this by putting masking tape around the light pool when I was setting up my enlarger. I think I took the print out of the developer to soon because the image on the print isn’t visible. As I am working under a red light in the darkroom sometimes I find it hard to judge when the print is fully developed.

Again I didn’t scratch into the surface or crumpled the paper up. The reason for this is because I wanted to get use to the acetate printing technique before I got more experimental with the technique.

acetate 6

At bottom of the print is where I miss-judged the light pool. In hindsight I could of used masking tape to mark out the light pool when I was setting up my enlarger. I think I left this print in the developer for to long as the image is dark. If I took the print out a few seconds earlier I think I would have got a good print.

With this print I didn’t scratch into the surface or crumple the paper because I just wanted to focus on getting the acetate printing technique right before doing more experiments with the technique.

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