Everyone gets them: negs
that just won't print. Sometimes, you can see why: they are hopelessly
thin; far too contrasty; or flat and muddy. At other times, they look
fine. You can have plenty of detail, just the right contrast, and still
not get a good print.
Assuming this isn't an option, the first thing to do is to get rid of your preconceptions about paper grades. More than once, I have made really good prints from really bad negatives by going to Grade 5--and graded paper at that, because Grade 5 graded is harder than Grade 5 on variable contrast. (For the technically minded, ISO(R) 35-40 instead of ISO(R) 40-45.) Other times, I've had to go to 00--and here, of course, the variable contrast papers are softer. Prints from overly-contrasty negatives on ultra-soft paper are rarely as successful as prints from thin, flat negatives on ultra-hard paper, but you can still make a perfectly acceptable print, most of the time.
Try Different Papers
Matching Paper And
Check Your Paper Developer
Slow It Down
Try Another Size
- Capture the Beauty of Long Exposures with Your Camera’s Live View Mode and an ND Filter (VIDEO)
- Nature Photographer Simon Baxter Says Composition, Patience & Perseverance Win the Day (VIDEO)
- How to Make Your Images Pop with Bokeh: Why Blurred Backgrounds Can Make or Break a Photo
- Summer Project: How to Put Classic Nikon Lenses Back to Work
- Top Guns: 4 of the Most Popular Photographers on Social Media Share the Secrets to Their Success