Join Konrad Eek for an in-depth discussion in this video Paper, exposure, and contrast, part of Black-and-White Darkroom Printing Techniques.
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- I've always felt that darkroom printing,…the creation of a gelatin silver print…was a series of choices,…and the first and perhaps most powerful choice…you're gonna make is your decision about…what kind of paper you're going to use…to make your prints.…When you're printing digitally,…all of the work of altering your image,…preparing your image is done in the computer,…and your paper choice is just about…what kind of surface you want it to be.…I typically use a matte surface paper for digital…because it gives you the greatest tonal range.…
When printing in a darkroom, matte surface paper…tends to appear really dull,…and I only use it if I plan on hand-tinting…the images later.…I will typically print on a luster…or a pearl-surface paper in the darkroom.…It doesn't do anything to compromise…the tonal range the paper's capable of reproducing.…Glossy paper is typically just used for…images that are gonna be reproduced later…because it will sit exactly flat on a scanner.…This goes back, even in the days before…digitized imaging, in the old newspaper days,…
First Konrad provides a tour of his own darkroom space, and introduces the key ingredients that dictate how pictures print: paper, exposure, and contrast. He checks a series of images by developing initial test prints, and then explores options for refining the images in the darkroom via cropping, burning and dodging, and adjustments to the development time. When he's finished making prints, Konrad shows how to clean up the darkroom and introduces different paper choices and resources for black-and-white film photographers to explore.