Now that the film has been processed into negatives, we must create Contact Sheets to see which slides/shots are good or bad (if the exposure was correct, or the lighting on the sitter was good or the focus was correct). When working on creating the negative contact sheets, we were able to work with a safelight instead of being in complete darkness.
Negative Contact Sheet Process:
- First you must make sure the enlarger has been switched on, and had enough time to warm before using it.
- Secondly make sure to set the height of the enlarger to cover base of the enlarger instead of just covering the glass negative holder, so that the light will evenly hit all of the negatives on the sheet.
- Thirdly set your aperture accordingly we started at f/3.5 and increased it if we thought it was necessary.
- Set the magenta to 50 and increase it if you feel the contact sheet, lacks contrast and looks a little flat. Magenta increases the contrast of the enlargement but that means the exposure time will be different.
- Set the timer up for how many seconds, you would like exposure to occur we started with four seconds.
- Now that the enlarger is set up, turn of the light in the enlarger. So you can place your negatives and photographic paper: because if the enlarger’s light were still on, it would expose the paper and waste the paper.
- Make sure to have something to hand to block the light on the photographic paper, so we can create interval strips to find the best time for the exposure. Make sure that you move the object along evenly so that you can see each exposure interval.
- Start exposing the photographic paper at the predetermined intervals (we choose 5 seconds)
- Process the photographic paper, in the automatic Darkroom Processor. (If not process the photographic paper, (in the developer (Similar process to Film processing))
- Once it has been processed, choose the preferred interval exposure that you think is correct. Then expose the photographic paper to preferred time.
- If you change any setting you must re-do the testing strip because the exposure variables are different.
Personal Experience with creating Negative Contact Sheets:
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the different processes and steps needed to create pieces of work for this brief. I have found that this went better than processing the film because I was able to see my work environment – as the safe light will not affect the photographic paper. I found it slightly difficult to evenly expose all of the film. This was due to the different lighting set-up and exposures on each film, so while certain images looked fine on the contact sheet other images looked over exposed or under-exposed. I ended up shooting with a magenta level of 80 and exposed my contact sheets for 10 seconds.