Week 20: A lesson in printing


Spent a week in Montana at a B&W Photography/Printing workshop led by Nathan McCreery, and hosted at the Photographer’s Formulary. We focused on shooting and printing B&W film. The Photographer’s Formulary has a full darkroom at their facility with professional grade printers.  Learned a new way to shoot using the zone system and a spotmeter, developed many rolls and sheets of film, and made this print.

The biggest lesson learned here is that making a good negative to print is much harder than making a negative that scans well. I’d been pretty happy with the results from scaning my negatives the last couple of years. It was only when I tried to print some of these that I realized that they weren’t actually exposed as well as I thought. This experience has gotten me to realize that I need to be more careful with my exposures and need to make physical prints more often. I hope to share prints rather than negative scans for the remainder of the 52 rolls project.

Specifics: Mamiya 6 Rangefinder, 50mm wide angle lens, Kodak T-Max 100 film, developed in Formulary’s FA-1027 developer, and printed on Ilford pearl RC paper (its why the scan has some modeling in the sky). I plan to keep working on this image.




3 thoughts on “Week 20: A lesson in printing

    • Actually the fault is mine. The paper i printed this on has a textured surface. I hadn’t realized when I printed it that it would show up so strongly. I’ll make a scan of the negative and put it up there for comparison.


  1. Very nice. I agree totally that you can learn a lot in the darkroom about your exposures. looking at contact sheets, which are of course made with the same exposure time for each image, was a revelation to me. I would love to learn more about printing from the masters as you have done :-).


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