Exploring The Paper Negative

Exposing light to light sensitive paper is another was in which we can make a photograph and I find it interesting to see what results can be obtained.

The way in which I do it is very simple and in some cases by trial and error.
I start by loading some darkroom paper into the camera, any film camera will work but I usually use the 5×4 camera.

The next step is to figure out what ISO to use so I usually load up 2 sheets of paper into a dark slide and then make 2 exposures, one at ISO 3 and another at ISO 6 and make test exposures under the lighting I am going to be using.

Both are then developed in a tray of weak Ilford Multigrade developer and developed by inspection under the red safe light. For indoor exposures I usually find that ISO 3 is pretty close.

The next stage is to actually make some exposures at the chosen ISO and then develop them by inspection. I usually pull them from the develop when I think they look right. 

After this, the normal stop fix and wash is done and then you can either scan or contact print them which ever you want to do.

The following photographs were exposed on some old 1989 Fibre based paper which has started to lose contrast, no good for enlargements but not bad for paper negatives. 

On this particular paper, I still used ISO 3 but gave an extra stop of light due to the fogging on the paper.

Fibre based paper is not the best for scanning because of the way it curls when dry so what I do is tape the paper negative to a piece of glass and then lay it emulsion side down on the scanner glass. I make sure the negative is in the path for the High Resolution scanner lens and choose Transparency in the scanning software.

Spider Plant Paper Negative ISO3
Paper Negative ISO 3
Zeis Ikon ISO3 Paper negative
Paper Negative ISO 3

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