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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Exposure of B/W Photographic Paper

    I have currently been working on making my own pinhole camera. I don't know anything about exposure times for taking a picture. What happens if I overexpose? How do I know if it hasn't been exposed enough?
    I'd appreciate any feedback!

  2. #2
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    Re: Exposure of B/W Photographic Paper

    You're just going to have to experiment. I'm sure there are some guides available if you do a Google search, or maybe some of the photographers on our film forum will be able to help (I'm moving this post for you). There are a lot of variables with a pinhole camera - the aperture (size of your pinhole), the type of paper you're using, the lighting on your subject, etc. I think it's too much to expect to get it right on the first shot. If I were you I'd do some tests really close to your darkroom so you can develop right away and dial in your exposure. Then go out and get your serious pinhole photos.

    Oh yeah - overexposure will be too dark and underexposure will be too light. And remember, black and white photo paper is made for printing from negatives. So you're going to get a negative image. If you want a positive you can make a print by contacting the paper negative you made in your pinhole camera.

    I'm sure you'll have more questions but I hope my reply helps a bit. And please share your results! I want to see your pinhole images!

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Re: Exposure of B/W Photographic Paper

    Thanks, that helped.
    I also have a few other questions:
    As for my darkroom, what kind of light bulb should I use?
    If I want to develop photos at a later time, how would I store the already exposed paper?

  4. #4
    Member PWhite214's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Houston, Texas, USA

    Re: Exposure of B/W Photographic Paper

    Some manufacturers require green or yellow. Check the box for specs. I used to do quite a bit of color processing so I learned to do everything in total darkness.

    BTW, you can get 4X5 film sheets for your camera, so you have a negative.



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