Monday, 19 March 2012

Prints to hard or to soft.

High contrast

What are the signs that a print has been printed to hard? The shadow areas are jet black with no detail and the highlights are blank  (the contrast is to great). Assuming that the negative being printed shows none of these traits then it can be corrected by the following:

         Use a softer grade of paper.
         Make sure that the exposure time is correct.
         The paper is in the developer for the right amount of time.
         Don't use a high contrast developer.
Low contrast
What signs make a soft print? It looks grey and foggy with little punch. No contrast. In this case it is almost the opposite to the above.

         Use a harder grade of paper.
         Increase the developing time. If the development time is to short it may cause cloudy spots.
         Make sure the developer is not too diluted.
         Also check that it is not exhausted. 

There are other possibilities:

         Your darkroom may not be light tight fogging the paper creating an overall grey cast.
         The paper maybe to old or has not been stored properly. 

Once you establish what the problem is, the cure will speak for it's self.

Related posts:

Evaluating your test strips
Darkroom fog.