Colour Printing Workshop

As I want to do a test shoot with medium format film I decided to do the colour printing workshop so that if I do use film for the final shots I can hand print the final images making the entire process analogue. To start with you need to understand colour so you can use yellow and magenta filters to get the correct colour. I have used the darkroom before so getting the correct exposure for the paper was relatively easy after doing a test sheet, but I have never printed colour so this aspect was new to me. The most important thing to remember is what colours are opposite so when printing you knew what to adjust to get the correct print. The primary colours are red, green and blue and you secondary colours are cyan, magenta and yellow.

Red – Cyan

Green – Magenta

Blue – Yellow

(One thing to remember is that is when printing from a negative you must do the opposite. For example if a print was to Magenta you wouldn’t add a green filter you would add magenta).

Also when adding more filtration you must increase the exposure as the filters will block light coming through


Cheat Sheet

Print to Yellow – Add Blue – Increase Yellow Filtration

Print to Blue – Add Yellow – Decrease Yellow Filtration

Print to Magenta – Add Green – Increase Magenta Filtration

Print to Green – Add Magenta – Decrease Magenta Filtration

Print to Red – Add Blue and Green (=Add Cyan) – Increase Yellow and Magenta filtration

Print to Cyan – Add Yellow and Magenta (=Add Red) – Decrease Yellow and Magenta Filtration

Once you got your head around adjusting the colours It was a case of trial and error to get the correct colour prints. In total I made five prints from one negative to get the right colours. The final print was exposed for 9 seconds, F16, with the Yellow Filter set to 50 and the Magenta filter at 55.

120 second exposure, F16, 52Y, 52.5M


210 second exposure, F16, 45Y, 48M

310 second exposure, F16, 50Y, 55M – Final Print