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.
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.