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Show us your darkroom?

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I'm not sure if this topic has been covered. I thought it would be interesting to see how everyone sets up their darkroom. I saw a very creative one in the Kodak thread by KM-25 and would be interested to see other creative solutions to working in very small spaces. It would also be fun to see the grand ones.

Thanks

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Well my recent build is well documented here and here.

 

Over the years I have had a darkroom: in a cupboard, under the stairs, a bathroom, a shed, an air raid shelter, a caravan, a tent when in the field and only developing at night with no moon.

 

The most fun though was onboard various Royal Navy ships with a purpose built darkroom - placed as low in the ship as possible. You couldn't waste fresh water so I used to rinse and wash in salt water and only used fresh as the final rinse with wetting agent. If you had a good swell running you had automated agitation!

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I'm ashamed to make you see mine..

Anyway here it is..

 

Pulizie di… primavera in camera oscura! | Gianmaria Veronese Ph*

 

Can I call it "darkroom"??

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That's awesome! I love the way you have little things within easy reach using pushpins to hang them. I am borrowing that idea!

Thanks for sharing! That print is BEAUTIFUL by the way!

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??? your link is broken or something.

 

It's "or something". You have to copy the adress of the link and enter it manually in the address line of your browser. The server refuses to serve requests which are linked from other pages.

 

if you are seeing a solid black rectangle

 

It's nearly solid and nearly black. Let's call it bright black? It also has some dark black lettering on it. Funny.

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yeah, funny.

 

I thought it could be inspiring for the photographers who need some inspiration in getting one set up. I enjoy the darkroom part of photography as I am sure others do. It took a lot of research to get mine set up and I am still learning things. I was fortunate enough to be able to hire builders to put in my cabinets and countertops. I see other handy people who have built things themselves in some very creative spaces.

 

For me darkroom is a form of meditation or my getaway if that makes sense. Anyway, I think it is incumbent on this generation to keep the craft alive.

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My basement darkroom under the stairs. No running water, so after printing I drop the photos in a plastic container and carry them upstairs for washing. I have the stains on the carpet to prove it, but I blame the dog for those.

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My darkroom is relatively small, being a spare room at home and darkened with blinds and curtains for printing. Shown below is the end of the dry side, on the left of which is the developing bin for prints of up to 8*10 inches. The "bin" is a Nova print-pod in a box over which is an extractor fan - shown in the second image. Not shown is a stacked set of trays for prints of up to 16*20 inch. That's it and I have a separate, dust free and light tight cupboard to load film, spirals and to dry film.

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Guest gamincurieux

It's in my kitchen - living alone, there's nobody to annoy with this. That said, I still have to prepare food in here on rare occasions, so it can all be easily & hygienically converted kitchen<=>darkroom as needed. I no longer develop film, this is printing only (used to have a brilliant film drying cabinet though, regret selling it;). The upside-down trays there are on a 16x20inch 3-tray ladder (excellent space-saving thing from Leedal of Chicago, http://www.leedal.com), when set up each tray down sits further out from the one above so you just slip the paper from one down into the next below. I don't actually sit the trays on that side bench there when full of chems, I have a fold-up table set up in the middle of the room there for that - the side bench I prefer to keep clean for paper/negs. The 'enlarger bench' is covered with a sheet of plastic tucked in 'round the edges when not in use - especially important as in fine to hot weather I often have both the front & back door (see it to the right there) open for a thru-breeze, and the air can be quite dusty in these parts, you've got to keep things well covered up. The enlarger has its own cover. There's a thick double-layered black woolen 'theatre' drape there over the entry to the hall going up inside the house, had it made special by a company that does make them for theatres/cinemas, and the back door has foam around the edges that blocks light when closed. The windows have specially made (a company here in Australia that makes them for shift workers in hot bright places, http://www.bedroomblackout.com) fabric-covered foam panels that fit right into the window spaces, same for the windows in the bathroom which adjoins the kitchen off to the left there. I have moved a lot, have had a pretty similar set-up wherever I've been, obviously have to have things like the window panels re-done, which can cost a bit when you add it all up time after time, but who's counting, you do it because you love printing! Now, I might not shoot much film anymore, and really I don't print very often at all, but I say that as long as I possess negatives I want to have a darkroom in which to print them - for me that's non-negotiable. Mm, well, I hope this is of interest, or helps someone who might be thinking of making a darkroom at home. I would just say forget making a darkroom in the bathroom/toilet.... the kitchen is the way to go, it's made for cooking, which is so much like printing

Edited by gamincurieux

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Thank you for sharing your kitchen darkroom! It looks fabulous! Where did you get the safelight cover for the clip on a shelf lamp please? I have clip on lamps like that and would love to have a cover so I can (presumably) use a regular household light bulb?

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...great to see someone else's V35 operating in such salubrious "needs must" circumstances (who needs food, anyway?). Will endeavour to post images from my very cramped set-up in London as soon as I get back there.

 

Thanks for sharing, gamincurieux - and here's to the venerable V35.

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Guest gamincurieux
Thank you for sharing your kitchen darkroom! It looks fabulous! Where did you get the safelight cover for the clip on a shelf lamp please? I have clip on lamps like that and would love to have a cover so I can (presumably) use a regular household light bulb?

 

It's not a safelight cover, rather it's an LED safelight globe inside the clip-on lamp (Page P2: Darkroom - LED Safelights, Developing Tank & Film Hangers/Holders - ProSciTech), yes an Australian supplier but I'm sure you'll find the same somewhere closer to you. As you can see it's pointed upwards, which just seems safer to me as the red light from this globe does focus more into one spot, so better it gets reflected/diffused off the white roof. I have the lamp wired in to the RH Designs Analyser Pro.

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There are some nice set-ups in this thread. I have lived in a small apartment in NYC since the mid 90's and have been shooting digital since 1996. When I was young my father helped me set up a darkroom in a closet of our house. This is where I learned to 'soup' film and print pictures. When I went off to university I used the school's facilities and fine tuned my black&white technique and also learned c-41 film and print processing. Here's my closet darkroom in 1968 that made smells my mother did not like... Jim

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