7 Tips to Better B&W Film Photography. (From an old school photojournalist.) Tip# 5.

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Tip#5- What about the proof?……Say Whhaaat?

I remember my ‘old pal photog.’ Say,” Don’t  mess around with the dodgin’ and the burnin’- ya don’t gots the time- do it this way and play later!”

•Place ant negative ( what ever size you’ll be printing) in the enlarger.Set it for an 11×14 print and focus it. Now, mark that location on the enlarger – so you can find it again.
•Take out the negative – put back the negative carrier – place your contact frame or your piece of 11×14 glass in the center of the light that is cast down on the easel.
•Stop set at f-8.Turn enlarger off, set timer to 3 seconds(lights are off except for safe light) place your paper face up(shiney side up) on the open proofer.Lay the strip(s) of unexposed* (but developed and fixed) the dull side down (emulsion side) on the paper. Close or cover with the glass – give 3 second exposure.
  *If you shot Tri-X – use unexposed Tri-X for the test.
•Cover right side of the film about an inch with cardboard Give 3 second exposure.Continue to move an inch- give 3 second exposure until you reach the end of your film.
• Develop,stop,fix your paper.
•You’ll see gradations of light gray to jet black across the strips of film.
•Pick out the 1st. One to match the next one in blackness.(like tests before- Min.exposure to produce Max. black.)
• For your 1st. black strip- if time is under 9 seconds – close down 1 stop- retest.
•If it’s over 24 seconds – open  1 stop – retest.
• Fix,wash and dry.Find the first black strip again.
• Keep careful detailed notes safely somewhere…:-).
• Now, make your actual proof and use the correct exposure settings that you have written in your notes.

Tip # 6 Don’ t waste your time correcting a proof! !

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