Darkroom Enlarging Paper

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A Look at Darkroom Enlarging Paper

Photographers, from amateurs to professionals, rely on darkroom enlarging paper to develop prints. With diverse color and finish options, you can pick and choose from different styles to get a custom result.


How Enlarging Paper Works

You transfer an image from the film negative onto the enlarging paper. This light-sensitive paper has silver halide crystals in it which turn black when exposed to light. The paper also has a coating of photo chemicals that affect different qualities in the final image, depending on which paper you choose. To develop images onto the paper, you'll need photographic darkroom chemistry essentials such as developer, stop bath, and fixer.

Choosing Photo Printing Paper

Consider a combination of factors when shopping for photographic paper. The main choice is between resin-coated paper, which offers faster printing options, and fiber-based paper, which takes longer to process but will last longer. Another factor to consider is the finish. Gloss is shiny and higher contrast, matte is flatter with lower contrast, and semi-gloss, or semi-matte, fall in between. Whether your photos are color or not is another important factor. Special black and white photo paper is different from paper used for color images. These choices are entirely up to personal preference and what you want your finished photographs to look like.

Other Darkroom Equipment for Developing Photos

In addition to enlargement paper and darkroom chemicals, other darkroom equipment is necessary to develop photos. For example, an enlarger transfers and enlarges images from the negative film. It also helps determine the contrast and exposure of the end images. Darkroom sinks and accessories, such as plumbing kits and faucets, are great options if you want to get serious about customizing your darkroom.

Check out B&H Photo and Video for enlargement paper and everything else you need for developing and processing for the darkroom.