Before We Begin

Getting Started

The Process

The Process II


Print Drums

Temperature Control

Tips / Miscellaneous



Now that the theory’s been haphazardly trotted out, you’ve built your darkroom, have all of your working solutions mixed up, let’s get to the good stuff! A step by step instructional! For simplicity, we shall assume that the paper size is 8x10”.


1. Prepare your space
You have your processing tube in a familiar place, nearby and within arm’s reach. You have a piece of opaque cardboard or cardstock handy. You have your box of paper at your side. You’ve burned the location of these items into the depths of your soul and will be able to find them when the lights go out.
2. Prepare your enlarger
You have your dust free, perfectly exposed, Pulitzer Prize winning negative inserted in your enlarger. You have your easel properly centred, your projection is in focus, etc. Your aperture is set to a comfortable f/stop. Dial in your starting filter pack. A good starting point (Kodak recommended) is 60M/60Y.            

3. Set up the paper
Switch off all the lights. Open your box of paper and retrieve a sheet. Carefully close the box. Place the sheet of paper in your easel, emulsion side (squeaky-smooth) facing up. Ascertain by feel that the paper is correctly aligned.

4. Make the exposure
Cover 4/5th of your sheet of paper with the card stock. Expose the paper for 3 seconds. Uncover an additional 1/5th of the paper and repeat the 3 second exposure. Repeat this process until the paper is completely uncovered. You have now exposed your first test print.

5. Load the tube
Remove the paper from the easel, carefully and loosely roll it and fit it into the tube. The back of the paper should be in contact with the wall of the tube while the emulsion will be facing the center. Cap the tube and ensure that it is secure. You can now turn on the lights.

This concludes the dry portion of the test print!  Now that your paper is exposed, all that needs to be done is to process it.


Prepare the chemistry. Your working solutions are mixed. You have decided on the temperature you’re most comfortable working with and have taken the necessary measures to keep it as consistent as possible. You have prepared 300ml of Developer and 300ml of Blix for this session.

NOTE: Processing time will vary depending on temperature. If you are working at ~94F, you will be looking at 60 seconds of development and 90 seconds of blixing . At room temperature, times should be doubled.

1. Pre-wet (Optional, but recommended)
Add 150ml of water (lukewarm) to the drum. Rotate for 30s. Discard.

2. Develop
Add 100ml of Developer to the drum. Rotate for 50 seconds. Discard approximately 25% of used developer, and return the remainder to your bottle of working solution. (the print will continue developing until the next step. Discarding at 50 seconds is to account for the extra time it takes for you to transition to the next step.)

3. Stop
Add 150ml of water (lukewarm) to the drum. Rotate 10s. Discard. Repeat once (optional.)

4. Bleach/Fix
Add 100ml of Blix to the drum. Rotate for 90s. Discard approximately 25% of used Blix and return the remainder to your bottle of working solution.

5. Wash
Add 150ml of water to the drum. Rotate for 15s. Discard. Repeat (x6) or until satisfied.

6. Hang to dry
Hang the prints from a line using clothes line clip or some such implement. Wait until fully dry before evaluating the print!



Omar Elkharadly, 2010