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How do you print a negative image?

Eric Schkrutz , Oct 29, 2003; 07:24 p.m.

When looking at my contact sheet and then the negatives i noticed that i like how the negatives look much more than the "positive" images. So is it possible to print the negative image, or in other words an enlargement of what is actually seen on the negative.

Also how do you print transparencies on black and white paper? Is it the usual b&w printing process or different?

Thank you very much, Eric Schkrutz


Tim O'Brien , Oct 29, 2003; 07:30 p.m.

1.) Make a large film positive using lith film or duplicating film, then contact print the positive onto your everyday paper.

2.) Use a slide duplicator and TMax 100 film to make positive B&W slides and use them as your negative to enlarge to printing paper.

Transparencies? Color? Same way... use a slide duplicator and a color balanced light source to take pictures of your slides.

tim in san jose

Jim Vanson , Oct 29, 2003; 09:46 p.m.

Here's a fast way that gives interesting results.

Make an ordinary print of the shot you want on RC paper -- a paper without writing on it's back (some brands have the manufacturers name written all over the backside of the paper). The print must be the same size as the negative print will be. This will be your paper negative.

Process the paper negative as normal. Let it dry completely.

Under safelight conditions get a fresh piece of paper. Place it under your light source, place your paper negative on top of it emulsion side to emulsion side. Then expose and process as you would a contact print.

The newly exposed print will give you the negative look you want.

Plus: You'll need to use teststrips under your paper negative to figure out your exposure for the print...the exposure times can be quite long depending on the thickness of the paper...therefore I usually make the exposure with the lens at f2.8 or f4.

Stephen H , Oct 30, 2003; 01:05 a.m.

You can also use the paper negative to contact print another positive print.

One advantage to doing this is you can use pencil on the back of the prints to lighten (marking on the negative) or darken (marking on the first print) selected areas of the picture.

Joe VanCleave , Oct 30, 2003; 12:06 p.m.

Eric, if you're into something a bit off-center, try a hand-built LF box camera, pinhole or otherwise lens, and paper negatives as film. Each negative will be one-of-a-kind work - no printing required.

There's also the possibility of doing reversal processing of photo paper. I've never (yet) tried this, but I may at some time in the future. Graded papers may work better for this.

The basic idea is to partially develop, stop, flash expose with light, bleach the print, redevelop, then stop, fix, rinse, etc. The flashing uses the partially developed negative image as a mask to produce a latent positive image underneath. The bleaching removes the partially developed negative image on "top" of the emulsion; the second develop step develops the positive image underneath.

I suspect there's lot of process control calibrations required to fine tune this process into a workable methodology, and it may not work with all papers.

Good luck.

Chris Waller , Oct 31, 2003; 05:05 a.m.

You could try shooting on Agfa Scala b+w transparency film and then printing from that.

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