Problem with making a grayscale using photo paper and an enlarger?

i tried to make a grayscale on a piece of cardboard by covering all but a portion of the photo paper and setting it under the enlarger light for 1 second, and then moving the cardboard to let a bit paper more be visible, repeating the process a bunch of times so i should have ended up with a paper in decreasing shades of black with the last portion being white. however, when i put my photo in the developer the entire thing was black, what did i do wrong?

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  • 10 months ago

    So you didn't put a negative in the enlarger? Your enlarger lens exposes print paper to white light but is as flexible as a camera lens in allowing control of the print process, it can be stopped down probably between f2 to f8. Your attempts at a grey scale print are valueless with the lens open and no negative in the printer. You should be aiming to stop down a couple of apertures so your finished print can be exposed for 10 to twenty-five seconds. With experience the longer time can allow you to dodge in overexposed sections or reduce under exposed areas. Each negative must be tested by a range of exposures because of over or under exposure or over and under development, since each problem will impact on the density of the negative.Eventually your photos will become pretty uniformly exposed in camera, in development and in print.

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  • John P
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    I presume you fogged the paper by not handling it in a suitable safelight (red, or orange, etc as specified for that type of paper). It is unlikely that you overexposed the paper so grossly at one second that you pushed it straight to black.

    Did you handle the paper in safelight when you opened the packet and put the paper under the enlarger, and until it had been in the fixer (after the developer) for about 10 seconds? If you handled it in white light at any stage before it was fixed then you fogged it. If you opened the packet in white light you fogged every sheet in that packet at least at the end you opened.

    There, I think all possibilities are covered, except, of course, the possibility that someone else has already fogged the paper before you got hold of it. Was the packet sealed when you got hold of it?

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  • Sumi
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    This could be caused by a variety of issues:

    1) Your paper was fogged. Was the paper exposed to daylight? I once had a new pack of paper ruined because some moron in the next enlarging stall decided to turn on the enlarger without a lens so that he could read something. Take an unexposed piece of paper and put it in the developer. If the paper stay white, then it's not the paper, but if it turns black, then you know that the paper was fogged.

    2) Your aperture was set too wide open so that even a 1 sec exposure was too much. Close the aperture down to f/11~f/22 and try again.

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  • qrk
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    Did you see the gradient while the paper was developing? If not, your paper was exposed to light before you created the test strip. Take s strip of unexposed paper and develop it. If it turns black, your paper is bad.

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  • Alan
    Lv 6
    10 months ago

    First --- Develop a snippet of unexposed photo paper for 90 seconds in developer solution. This should turn out white. If white, now experiment exposing a snippet using the light from the enlarger stopped down to f/11. Play with the time of exposure, developing each snippet for 90 seconds. Your objective is to find the minimum time of exposure that delivers max black after 90 seconds of development. Once found, divide the exposure time by 10. Now expose a strip, uncovering a step each 1/10 of the time needed to produce max black. Good luck!

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  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    Question belongs in the header. Repost and try again.

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