Making your first print.
Make a test strip
1 Prepare your chemistry. Like film development , temperature should be 20 C. If not you will have to adjust process timings to compensate.Also , as with film development, avoid cross contamination of chemical solutions. Arrange your trays in order; dev , stop ,fix.
2 Position your negative in the negative carrier. It should go in emulsion side down, the matt side, with the edge numbers to the back. Ensure the negative is clean.
3 Place a sheet of paper, either a sheet of printing paper or paper of a similar thickness, in the printing frame to focus the image on. You can use the back of an old print. Don't open your pack of printing paper as you still have the light on.
4 Turn out the light.
5 Position the enlarger head to form an image roughly the size you require.
6 Open the enlarger lens to its largest aperture to provide a bright image to focus. You will probably have to resize and re-focus to get the exact size you want.
7 Turn off the enlarger and ,under safelighting, place a fresh sheet or strip of printing paper in the printing frame.
8 Close the enlarger lens down 3 stops, about f8, for best performance and to compensate for any focusing errors.
9 Cover approx 4/5 of the paper with the black card and expose paper for 5 seconds.
10 Uncover paper until approx 2/5 is exposed then expose for 5 seconds. Repeat until you have exposed all the paper. You now have a sheet with five exposures on it. One of 25secs, 20 secs, 15 secs, 10 secs and 5 secs.
11 Slide paper face down into developer and rock tray gently for 10 seconds. Using tongs turn over the paper . Grip the edges. Continue development for 1 to 2 minutes rocking tray intermittently. Check the developer instructions for exact times.
12 A few seconds before the end of development lift out the paper and allow excess developer to drain.
13 Slide paper into stop bath and rock for 30 seconds. Lift out and drain.
14 Slide paper into fix rock intermittently for 1 minute then lift out and drain.
15 Wash in running water. Resin coated paper will wash under a running tap in a few minutes. A brief wash will suffice for test prints as they are destined for the bin anyway.
16 Look at your test print in good light. If all five exposures are to dark you will have to repeat the above steps but with smaller lens aperture/larger f number . If all the exposures are to light you will have to repeat the above steps either giving a longer exposure each time or using a larger lens aperture/smaller f number.
17 What you want to end up with is a series exposed strips that range from too dark, to , too light.
18 Pick the exposure that you feel will give the best print. If none match you can choose an in-between value.
Make a print
1 Under safelighting place a fresh sheet of paper in the printing frame. Expose for your chosen time.
2 Process as above.
3 That's it.
For accurate process times/temps etc. always consult manufacturers instructions
Remember photographic chemicals are poisonous . Be extra careful if you are working in a kitchen and any utensils you use preparing chemicals can only be can only be used for that purpose.