Problem with my Pictures


TPF Noob!
Dec 7, 2007
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Alright, I'm not exactly sure where I should post this. I figured I could post it in the B&W sections since I am having trouble with my B&W pictures.

I'm perplexed with this issue I'm having while processing my pictures. I thought at first it might be caused from pictures being lied on top of others in one of the chemicals. But, I better not assume this is right since I know next to nothing. I've scanned some of my pictures to show you what my problem is.



The upper left hand picture was overexposed. But I'm just using it as an example to show you the spots. I was experimenting with polycontrast filters, and I'm aware that it is not the proper way to use them. . . The upper right picture is a picture I am hoping to enter in a contest. The bottom picture is of a bird in flight. I want to enter that one as well. (I'll have to redo them obviously.)
Could you go through your developing workflow?

That is some of the most uneven development I think I've ever seen (no offense intended).
Well, I expose my picture and then put it in the dektol (Isn't that the first chemical?) Then I go and set up my negative while I wait on it to finish up in the dektol. But a few other people are doing the same thing. SO is it possible that the pictures are being stacked in the chemicals?

After the dektol, I move it into the . .. fixer? I' pretty sure that's the second one. Then I move it into the stop bath. But sometimes they get left in the chemicals over the estimated time since I might go ahead and develop another picture.
Little do I know ... sorry ... but from what little I remember from when I was a child, watching my uncle develop his b&w prints, the developing photo (in the developer) should be moved so always fresh developer gets to the surface. Then comes the stop-bath (just water, I think I remember) to stop the developing process, then comes the fixation so nothing can develop any further (despite the stop through the stop-bath). Then rinsing and drying. Do I remember right? I still see the three little basins before me ... and my uncle moving and moving the developing photo.
1) Do not layer your prints in the tray if you can help it. The surface of the paper needs to be in constant and even contact with developer. If you have to layer, then rotate the prints.

2) Agitate. And do it continuously.

3) I dunno if you've left out the stop-bath in your description, but if you haven't, you need to make sure to use one (typically an acid stop bath for RC papers).

4) The only step in this process where you can leave the print for an extended period of time is the wash (in water).
This looks like the contents of my rubbish bin - prints that have been discarded at various stages of processing, mostly unwashed, many partly fixed.

As Max says, agitate continuously in the Dektol during development. After that you can leave prints face-down in the developer, with a cover over the tray (to prevent fogging from slightly unsafe safelights) for a few minutes. I usually develop mine for eight minutes total, but many people disapprove of this practice, and it won't work with all paper/dev combinations. It's worth trying once, just to see the effect. I set up the next print and finish of the previous print during the six minute stand (I have two developer trays for this purpose).

The usual practice is to go straight from the developer into the stop for a short time, then into the fixer. I agitate continuously for the whole time in the (rapid) fixer. Then I rinse in water, and then transfer to a holding tray filled with water - this is the only time I ever have more than one print in a tray. Every so often I take the prints to the washer.


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