Proof prints

I have been printing everything on 8×10 fiber based paper and find my working methods slow. Since using print drums is my preferred option due to ventilation issues and I want to proof more of my negatives, I thought I could increase my work flow and reduce problems with ventilation by printing small format prints in trays. A 5×7 tray will give off much less vapor than 11×14 or larger, so I may try printing on 3.5×5 in these small trays. The papers in that size seem to be exclusively resin coated, so processing and washing them will be very fast. This will give the opportunity to produce proof prints for much more of my work, and an added benefit is the paper is cheap. My fiber paper will be reserved for the best images and the smaller prints will probably scan just fine. For about $27 I can try it out. Stay tuned and I will let you know what I do.

UPDATE 04/20/16

It turns out my darkroom is large enough and my printing sessions short enough that fumes have not become a problem when printing in trays. I now comfortably print as large as 16″x20″ and find tray development much faster and easier than print drums. My sink is small, so 11″x14″ is easiest when it comes to washing and so far I produce few 16″x20″, though I like the larger size best.

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