I have finally made my first darkroom prints

Yesterday (Tuesday 02-02-2021) I finally made my first ever darkroom prints. After having gathered all the necessary equipment, and procrastinated for three months, I pulled myself together and assembled my makeshift darkroom in the bathroom and got to work.

The process wasn’t entirely smooth as I first had to figure out a solution to my enlargers vignetting problem. You see, when I set up my Durst M601 enlarger for printing 135-format film it creates a heavy vignette even though I have all the correct components installed. Growing increasingly frustrated I started to experiment and finally found a working solution. Apparently setting up the enlarger for printing 120-format film solves the vignetting problem, even when printing 135-format film. I don’t understand why this works but it does.

So after getting that problem out of the way I could start printing. I chose three photographs from my portfolio and printed them on 5×7” Ilford Multigrade RC Deluxe paper with satin finish. First making test prints to figure out correct exposure times and then making the final print. I had to take frequent breaks because of poor ventilation caused by me covering the door with a piece of blackout textile to keep out stray light. When I was done printing I packed up my darkroom and assessed the results of the session. The prints turned out okay, but considering my inexperience I was quite happy with the results.

One of my first ever darkroom prints.

Printing my own photographs was fun and seeing the image appear on the paper during development is really satisfying. This is something that I am definitely going to do more off in the future.

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