Nicole Small | One on One

Contact Printing Technique

In a previous post:

I had received a post reply from a good friend of mine Robert who had mentioned the idea of contact printing. What is contact printing?

A contact print is a photographic image produced by laying film or paper, typically a negative, directly against photographic paper and exposing the paper to light. The result is a print that is the same size of the film or paper negative.

In addition to that, I thought it would be fun to include the steps with images in case you may want to try it out yourself.

Steps In Creating Paper Negatives to Positives In The Darkroom

Step One: Process and develop your chosen image as a normal print

Step Two: Allow your “paper negative” print to dry


Making The Positive Print

– Take another sheet of light-sensitive paper


– Place your paper negative on top of the new sheet of light-sensitive paper –  be sure you are placing them emulsion side to emulsion side.




– Take a piece of glass and place it on top to flatten them out



– Expose the paper using a darkroom enlarger. But before doing a direct print, I would suggest to start with a test print which will help in determining the right exposure time and will help save on materials. Time will depend on the quality of the paper negative, (thickness of glass too). Knowing that paper is thicker than a film negative, exposure time will be longer than that of an average darkroom print






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