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Emulsion side is usually the print side, but not always.

Before printing , it is important to understand the basics for handling negatives , photographic paper or prints. Avoid damage from light , by following all light-tight procedures , when handling unprocessed film or photographic paper . Take care not to scratch the emulsion o leave fingerprints . One easy way to avoid damage is to wear cotton gloves , whenever handling negatives , photographic paper or prints .

Dust is an important problem , because it can cause poor quality prints and even permanent damage by scratching the negatives . Regularly vacuum the laboratory area , wash the floors and counters to reduce dust problems . In addition , follow all recommended cleaning procedures for printer and processor maintenance .

How to find the emulsion side of the film or paper . To get proper results in routing processing or printing , it is important to know which is the emulsion side , so that the film or paper is correctly positioned on the process or printer . It is also important for quality control testing . Otherwise , test results could lead misleading . The duller side of the processed film is the emulsion side. The lighter side of the unprocessed film and the colored side o the paper are the emulsion surfaces . The other side is the base side . With film processed taped to a leader card , the emulsion side of the negative is easy to find. The area of the negative strip underneath of the tape will be light brown on the emulsion side . The area under the tape on the base side will appear dark brown where the attaching tape has been removed .

Another method of determining the film emulsion side is to look at the numbers along the edge. If you can read these border numbers , you are looking at the base side . If the number appear backwards , you are looking at the emulsion side . Inside the dark box , when taking 110 and 126 film from cartridges , you will find that the film curls naturally toward the emulsion side .

Another way is to make a scratch in the tip end of the film or paper . The emulsion side scratches off easily , while the base side does not .Be very careful to scratch only the very end , so that no damage is done to the negatives .

1. Clean the slide

Make sure the slide and the scanning surface are clean and dust free. Even the tiniest spec of dirt or smudge will look pretty awful when enlarged. Hold the slide by its mounting, being careful not to touch the surface with your fingers. If you need to remove dust, do so with a blower brush (available from photographic stores) or another soft brush. Don't blow on it because you're likely to spray flecks of spittle on it's surface that'll be very difficult to remove without doing damage to the slide.

If the slide is really dirty, wipe the non-emulsion side (see Dictionary) with a lint-free cloth slightly moistened with distilled water. Never use detergent. If all else fails, your local photo lab may be able to clean it for you.

Hint: You can tell the emulsion side of a slide by looking through it. If the scene is correctly oriented - not back to front - you're looking at the non-emulsion side. Alternatively, take the slide into strong light and look for ridges on the slide's surface - that's the emulsion side. Emulsion can be hard to spot so relying on the first method is usually safest.

2. Location, location

Depending on your scanner, you'll need to place the slide in a grid, or in a particular position on the scanner's surface. It's important to pay attention to these instructions because the scanner software will 'expect' to find the slide in that particular place. Never cover the calibration space (see Dictionary) on the grid (if there's one) and always let the scanner lamp warm up for the recommended time - the light colour changes as the lamp's temperature increases which can make a difference to the quality of the scan.

Make sure you place the slide right side up - the emulsion side should be facing the light source, which is usually - but not always - in the lid of a flat-bed scanner or the slide scanning attachment. If you get it wrong you can reverse the image later using image manipulation software, but you risk reducing the quality of the scan.

Most slides are mounted in plastic or cardboard, which means they sit just above the scanner's glass plate. If you can take them out of the mounting without damaging them, you may get a better result because the lens is usually focused on the top of the glass plate and anything above it will be out of focus. If the slide is inclined to curl or crimp when out of its mount try pinning the corners down with a small, flat weight like a fridge magnet. If this doesn't work put it back in the mounting.



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