whiter whites... brighter brights

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Rob Skeoch, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

    Apr 25, 2005
    Grand Valley, Ontario
    35mm RF
    It sounds a bit like a soap ad.
    How often do you go into the whites of your FB print after a printing session and whiten the whites with Farmers Reducer.
    I thought my Calla Lily looked white but once it was mounted on the white matt board it looked dull. I plan to clean it up a bit with Farmers.
    I just wondered if this is common with all of us.
    Do you do this with all prints with a white subject?
    -Rob Skeoch
  2. George Collier

    George Collier Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    Multi Format
    I have done this in the past with Potassium Ferricyanide and hypo, I think, it's been a long time.
    Better solution for the larger problem: Learn how much the paper "dries down" (tendency of highlights to be slightly darker after drying) and adjust exposure to compensate. My personal solution is to use a fairly low wattage bulb to evaluate the print after fixing (maybe 20-40w), in a fixture set into the ceiling above the viewing place, just behind the fixer tray (I never make a judgement in the tray, always looks too light). I drain the print off a corner for a few seconds, place it on a piece of plexiglass at an angle, step back, and view with only this one light on in the darkroom. (I also shield my eyes from direct light coming from the fixture.) After experimenting with the right wattage and distance of the light from the print, I never had the problem again. I probably have drying down, but I'm compensating in the viewing condition of the wet print.
  3. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

    Jan 17, 2005
    Downers Grov
    The paper base if unexposed is as white as it will be. Change to off white matts or use a paper with a whiter base.

    To compensate for drydown, make a print that looks good wet but squeeged with a 30 sec exposure by adjusting the aperture only. Then make samples at 29, 28, 27 26, and 25 sec. One of these will look good dry. 4x5 is all you need. Now you know the percentage dry down to apply to that particular paper/developer /toner.

    If you are math challenged, 27 sec is a 10 % reduction , 28.5 would be 5 % reduction.