Help! Weird burn mark on print photos
Old 03-21-2011   #1
PlantedTao
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Help! Weird burn mark on print photos

It has been over a year since I have been in my darkroom; finally got the chance. Last time I was in there all the prints came out good with solid tones.
I printed two sets of photos this time, it wasn't until I got to the last photo that I noticed a weird burn mark or something on my photos. Seems to be on all... except the last one I did, it is there but very faint. Not sure what is going on.
I looked at the negs under a loupe and I can't see any problems, plus the problem is in both. So could be the safe light or chemicals, but then the problem would not be the same in all???
Any suggestions or method to figure this out?
Thanks
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Old 03-21-2011   #2
nikon_sam
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If it's a sort of brownish stain it could be from poor fixing or not being rinsed properly...or both...
Leave them in sunlight to see if they get worse...
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Old 03-21-2011   #3
PlantedTao
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I will leave them in the sunlight. But it seems strange that this is apparent in the same area of all my prints from that day. The color is not brown. A poor fix or rinse would seem to be random. Correct? I got the same mark on all photos.
The paper was RC and was run through a washer for ten minutes.
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Old 03-21-2011   #4
K14
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That's a tough one. Are all the prints from the same box? Maybe try a different paper or different box of the same. I've yet to see factory defects in paper but you never know.

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Old 03-22-2011   #5
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I'm not sure I see what you mean. It may be my monitor at work. Can you say where it is? Is there a chance that the holder you have the paper in is letting in light, or that something has been placed on it causing a pressure mark?
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Old 03-22-2011   #6
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The mark I refer to is crescent shape dark spot behind the baby and cat, has some other marks coming off of the crescent. On the other photo is oriented different, it is on the side on the cedar chest, but this would be the same exact spot when printing.
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Old 03-22-2011   #7
Gabriel M.A.
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Two things come to mind: either the paper was slightly exposed to some light source, however faint (which wouldn't make sense if they were kept "piled" in the same box), or they were stored with something very heavy on top that left a mark...causing some of the chemicals to concentrate more on them.
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Old 03-22-2011   #8
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Ok.
Seems that I will be in the darkroom doing trial & error to figure this out.
High up on the list of possible problems:
Paper, easel, enlarger lens, trays
Low on the list:
Chemicals, safe light

Any other suggestions or testing method? Thanks!
Jason
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Old 03-22-2011   #9
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Maybe a light leak in your paper safe? That would explain why the last print didn't show the mark. You had worked down into the pile a bit. It's happened to me.
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Old 03-22-2011   #10
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...sometimes exposure flare or uneven developing on the film causes this and even under a loupe is very hard to see if it's slight. An easy way to tell if it's on the film or paper is simply to shift the film around. If the burn follows, you know it's on the film. If it's in a different spot, it's the paper (or chemicals). You could always dodge the spot a bit if it's on the film and it will lighten it up.
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Old 03-22-2011   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedTao View Post
The mark I refer to is crescent shape dark spot behind the baby and cat, has some other marks coming off of the crescent. On the other photo is oriented different, it is on the side on the cedar chest, but this would be the same exact spot when printing.
If I understand what you are saying and what I think I am seeing, the area is oriented with the top of the cresent towards the top of the photo each time. That seems to eliminate a problem with the paper in your storage device.

The next thing that comes to mind is a light source in your dark room or in the enlarger. Does your enlarger have bellows? Check them if so, by removing the lens and taping over the hole. Are there any other light leaks that light might directly hit or be reflected from? Have you checked your safelight housing? What about the lens itself, any problems with the aperture blades, or dirt on the lens?
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Old 03-22-2011   #12
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Are you using fresh developer (in date and mixed the day of the printing session), agitating the prints continuously, and developing to completion? It looks like the prints might be underdeveloped.
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Old 03-22-2011   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcd View Post
Are you using fresh developer (in date and mixed the day of the printing session), agitating the prints continuously, and developing to completion? It looks like the prints might be underdeveloped.
I agree. Was the image coming up real fast in the developer? It looks like you over exposed the print under the enlarger, and then tried to "save" it by yanking it out of the developer before it got too dark. Prints need to be completely developed or the will look mottled like these ones do. Try backing off on the exposure and then developing the prints for the full time recommended by the manufacturer.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-03-2011   #14
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I did some prints this weekend...
no mark.
I'm not sure what the original problem was; but it was either damaged paper from the top of a new box or a small filter slide draw that was interfering with the lens (don't know when that occurred) or poor agitation.
I'm think improper agitation is the culprit. My prints looks fine now
Thanks!
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