Darkroom Photography Equipment: Enlarger

Once you have just purchased your first round of darkroom photography equipment, learn how to use and master each piece. Your darkroom enlarger is responsible for making your pictures into larger and different sizes.

Materials You Will Need

  • Roll of Film
  • Dark Room
  • Dark Room Equipment
  • Dark Room Chemical
  • Dark Room Enlarger
  • Photo Processing Chemicals

Step 1 - Understand What Your Enlarger Does

There are several lenses that latch onto your dark room enlarger, making it easy for you to make different sized works of art from the same developed photograph. The enlarger consists of a light source, a piece of material that will hold the negative or the created transparency that has already been developed. Your enlarger must be used in your darkroom.

Step 2 - Add Paper to the Easel

Take the transparency or the already developed film and add it to the easel. Make sure the paper is flat, without creasing or crinkles. You may have an easle that will allow you to physically crop your photograph. On your easle, you will see two flat steel blates. These blades can be placed over your image to crop it. The act of cropping your photograph is simply taking out portions of the photograph or eliminating them from view. It chops the photo's elements before you enlarge it. If you do not have an easle, you can also place the paper directle onto the base of the enlarger (referred to as the table). In this case, hold the paper down with metal strips or pieces.

Step 3 - Focus the Image

Turn on your lamp and focus the image. During this process, use the enlarger lens at the maximum possible aperture. Focus the image by changing the distance between the lense and the film. Adjust the length of the light-tight bellows on your enlarger. This mechanism is geared using rack and pinion.

An electronic timer controls the enlargers lamp. The equipment turns the lamp to the off position when the exposure process is complete.

Step 4 - Choose Your Enlarger Lens Settings

Choose the settings on your enlarger. Set to black and white if you are utilizing and printing black and white prints. Add the color filters, if making a color print.

Adjust the distance from the film to the lense to the distance from the lens to the transparency or the paper. Doing such will give you a variety of enlargement options. The physical enlargement capabilities are constrained by the structure and makeup of your enlarger. It is also constrained by the size of your paper.

Popular Cameras for High Quality Photos: