Mika Hawley

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Hey all!

Over lockdown, unable to access my community darkroom, I built out my own in my bathroom. Super happy with how it’s worked out for me, and so glad to have the resources on this site to aid the process! I decided recently to foray into color printing for the first time (RA-4) and it’s been going well, but have a couple of questions about viewing test strips/ prints:

-is there a standard lighting setup for viewing your prints to achieve the most accuracy? I’ve been taking them out of the darkroom, into a brightly lit room with a sheer curtain over the window as diffusion, and have generally been happy with that. But now that the days are getting shorter I’m finding myself printing after sunset, adjusting the prints to what I see under lightbulbs (albeit tungsten balanced as opposed to daylight balanced). Then seeing the final prints the next day in the daylight I realize my filtration was wack. If I standardize the process with only daylight balanced light will this help? My main concern is being able to print so that they look good under various conditions, and not only based on one specific kind of light source.
-that being said— I also study my tests/ prints while still wet- I don’t have a hairdryer or other way to dry the prints (or the time/ patience to wait for them to dry before making the final!). How important do you find drying down prints before deciding on filtration/ exposure choices? I got used to the drydown on my b&w paper and am able to make those choices confidently from wet test strips, but is that a harder thing to nail down with color printing? Does the color change with drydown as well as the appearance of the shadows?

For reference, using Fujifilm fujicolor crystal archive paper type II.

Any other advice on color printing for a newbie is welcome!

-Mika
 

webestang64

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When I used to print color professionally I always used a daylight corrected light source to view the prints. All other lighting is going to be "off". And yes, you want the color print to dry before making any corrections for reprint.
There is no way to print a color print to "look correct" in all lighting. I remember a customer wanted everything very yellow so it looked "correct" in his house.

You might want to track down an old color darkroom printing book, they are cheap and plentiful.
 

Rickbb

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A standard viewing booth in a commercial printing shop would be to view prints under a 5000K light and compare copies to the master print under a 4500K light.
 

Linda Haynes

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When I used to print color professionally I always used a daylight corrected light source to view the prints. All other lighting is going to be "off". And yes, you want the color print to dry before making any corrections for reprint.
There is no way to print a color print to "look correct" in all lighting. I remember a customer wanted everything very yellow so it looked "correct" in his house.

You might want to track down an old color darkroom printing book, they are cheap and plentiful.

Agree :cheerful:
 

Original katomi

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Two points
Daylight corrected bulb as others have said
Hair dryer.....aharrrr screem don’t

I will tell you what will happen,( yep I have the t shirt, and the hat) the hair dryer will pump every hair bit of dust and anything else in the air onto the wet paper of your print
 

webestang64

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FYI...I also used color viewing correction filters to help make adjustments. I do not think they are made today but you might try and track down a set. If I remember right looking through the opposite side was for the old long gone Cibachrome printing process (direct from a slide).

JhQ9aJ0.jpg
 

ac12

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The other factor is the intensity of the light.
You need to look at your prints in a similar light level as where it will be displayed.
 

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