Skip to content

Additional Uses For My Ultra Large Format Daylight Tray By Stearman Press

This is a quick note and some photos of how I use my ultra large format daylight processing tray from Stearman Press.

I did a video overview of the tray, which you can watch below if you haven’t already seen it.

In addition to the obvious use of the tray for developing film, plates, and paper negatives without the need for a darkroom, I also use it as a single processing tray in my darkroom when making prints as well, but I want to share a couple of things that I learned in case you try this method too.

Before I share my process with you in the sections below, I wanted to point out that while the tray is 8×20, if you have other formats like 7×17 and others, this tray is perfect for these ULF formats too. Sort of think of the 8×20 tray as capable of doing up to 8×20 and below.

You can contact Stearman Press directly if you are interested in one of these custom-made daylight processing trays.

8x20 Ultra Large Format by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonfineart.com

In the photo above, you see my 8×20 ultra large format contact print in the developer right before I moved it to the stop bath. I hold the tray on both ends, which also serve as entry and exit spouts for your chemistry.

8x20 Ultra Large Format by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonfineart.com

Between each step in the processing sequence (dev/stop/fix/hypo clear), I pour out the chemistry into a dedicated container, as you see in the image above.

But here is a tip that I want to share with you. It is an excellent idea to do a quick water rinse between each step in the process so you don’t carry any unnecessary and undesirable chemistry over to the next step in the process.

8x20 Ultra Large Format by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonfineart.com

You can see in the image above that I use one of my water hoses and do a quick rinse of the tray between each step in my development process.

8x20 Ultra Large Format by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonfineart.com

If you don’t have a dedicated print-washing solution, you can place your water hose on the left entry side of the tray and let the water exit out the right side to give you the desired water flow over the print. To optimize this approach, place a small spacer of some kind under the left side to help the water move to the exit on the right side of the tray.

If you are not already a member of our Free Ultra Large Format Photography Facebook Group, please join a thousand other ULF photographers and us from around the world.

If you are a photographer or interested in learning about analog photography, we have an Analog Photography Membership Community that is the only community of its kind where you can learn and explore analog photography in depth. I also have an extensive training library of video workshops and guidebooks if you prefer to download the videos and books for offline use.