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Hi!! I did photography my senior year in high school. I really am in love with b/w and now 2 yrs later finally have a chance to get back into the dark room. I can't seem to find any of my notes and was wondering if you could give me any advice about printing or even some really good tips. I want to become a professional photographer and my husband agrees that I have the eye for it. I have entered into a contest and won 2nd place out of 300 photos and art work. Please, I will take all the advice/tips I can get. I appreciate your time. Thanks, Kimberly

-- Kimberly Romano (, January 04, 2002


You might consider looking at my article, "Tips on Printing," at

-- Ed Buffaloe (, January 04, 2002.

In addition to Ed Buffaloe's tips, you may also want to read Carson Grave's The Elements of Black and White Printing. If you're also looking for some guidance on exposure, his other book, The Zone System for 35mm Photographers: A Basic Guide to Exposure Control, is a clear, concise, and approacheable introduction to the Zone System. Good luck!

-- Bong Munoz (, January 04, 2002.

Print and print and print, and read as much as you can. To see your progress, every now and then go back and reprint a difficult negative you thought you had done a pretty good job on. There is a lot of information available, and a combination of increasing your experience and reading from good sources is key. A very good book is Tim Rudman's "The Photographer's Master Printing Course." Read it and then keep it in your darkroom as a resource.

Also, don't be afraid to ask questions and to draw from the experience of others. You may think a question is dumb, but if this prevents you from finding an answer you are the one who will suffer.

The only problem I find is that the more I improve my printing technique, the less productive I become. Fewer completed prints, but much better quality.

-- Jim Rock (, January 04, 2002.

Dear Kim, Start by reading 2 books by Ansel Adams:The Negative and the Print. Go see as many B+W exhibits as you can. If you live in the Northeast go to the AIPAD convention at the Hilton Hotel in NYC in Feb;this is a B+W gallery convention which blows you away with vintage B+w prints made by the Masters. John Elder

-- John Elder (, January 04, 2002.

All of the advice given so far is excellent. My suggestion is to stay with one paper & developer at first to get the feel of printing. Try a variable contrast resin coated paper like Ilford Multigrade or Agfa Multicontrast Classic to start. A good developer is Ethol LPD. It is long lasting and is available in an easy to mix liquid concentrate. Good luck & welcome back! RO

-- Robert Orofino (, January 04, 2002.

Horenstein's books are great. "Basic B+W Photography" got me started years ago. Never took any courses or classes nor did I know any other photographers. This book is real easy to understand and I still refer to it. Save "Beyond Basic Photography" for later. Too much to swallow at the start. There is a lot of information out there and it is too easy to get confused and frustrated. Start with the basics. Stick with one type of film, film developer, etc. If you experiment with different chemicals in the beginning (and it is tempting!) you will not develop a good foundation for comparison. Same with printing. Get used to one type of developer and paper. Learn it and know it like the back of your hand. Once you have become VERY familiar with the results, then and only then should you begin to experiment. I am the type who wants to try everything at once, but someone stressed all of this to me from the start and it has been the best advice I ever got. I used the same film, chemicals and processing procedures for a year before I started to experiment. Now I can (almost!) get exactly what I want out of my darkroom. Best of luck! Ken

-- Kenneth Bruno (, May 26, 2002.

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