In Lou’s Words: Processing your Prints

Your paper is coated with an emulsion of gelatin and silver crystals that is light sensitive. After making an exposure in your camera there is –––if you’ve given it enough exposure–––an image on your paper that is invisible to the eye that’s called the latent image. In order to make the image visible your print will need to be processed in chemical baths that convert the silver crystals into incredibly small particles of actual silver in exact proportion to the amount of light they received. Therefore, the black areas on your paper negative received the most amount of light, and white areas indicate no exposure at all. In an ideal image you will have a range of tones from black to gray to white. If your negative is too black it indicates too much exposure, if it’s pure white to little.

There are two basic types of Black /White photo paper; one has a resin coated base (plastic) and the other has a fiber base. For our purposes try the following processing times. (You have resin coated paper, I brought some fiber paper as well…we’ll stick to RC Paper and processing times to begin).

RC Paper Processing

Developing Time              30secs – 1.5 minutes

Rinse                                     10 seconds

Fix                                          2-3 minutes

Wash                                     5 minutes

Fiber Paper Processing

Developing Time              2-3 minutes

Stop                                       30 seconds minute

Fix                                          5 minutes

Wash                                     20 minutes