darkroom V paying

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by bob2, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. bob2

    bob2 Member

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    Im quite new to photography and a darkroom is a long way off but I was curios what the benefits were of doing it myself.
     
  2. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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  3. bob2

    bob2 Member

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    good reason
     
  4. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    For me it is the experience of being totally responsible for the image. I think in many ways I enjoy the darkroom work more than making negatives. To go with the old musician's analogy, to me getting lab prints made would be like writing a song without playing it yourself. There may be better players out there, but the learning and sense of accomplishment of taking an image from beginning to completion is tremendous. I love that I can take 1 negative and create many different versions of the same image, some that hardly look alike! It never gets old seeing the image come out in the developer, anticipating the results of my enlarger hand dance. Also it can be cheaper to make prints yourself rather than have a lab do it, but this is not necessarily so. To me the cost of experimenting is well worth it.

    - Justin
     
  5. bob2

    bob2 Member

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    makes alot of sense.Very much like my tying my own flies for fishing.
     
  6. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    I live in a small rural town. It's quicker (and cheaper) for me to develop my own b/w than to use the car or motorcycle to go to town and wait, or to go to town, drop off film, and go to town again a few days later.

    I get results right away, and I can alter the output / product as well.

    Plus, learning to do my own b/w has made it possible for me to play with push-processing, as well as large-format, and contact printing.
     
  7. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    Another thing is...you can do a million things that a regular lab really can't do for you

    for example, I seeing a beautiful photo in a book of a foggy landscape....one element of the image that really made it work was a bright sun trying to peek through the thick clouds. Well, that sun wasn't in the original photo. The photographer said the image was nice...but it seemed to be missing something...so halfway through the exposure under the enlarger he placed a nickel on the paper. It was the coin that created the image of the sun. Maybe you could find a lab that would do that for you...but would they put the sun exactly where you wanted it? It could take a dozen visits to get it right. But if you're doing it you can adjust everything...

    that's my 2 cents...er...5 cents
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi bob2

    cause it is a bunch of fun ...
    and scary and magical
    to see something appear on film,
    or on what was once a white sheet of paper ...

    john

    ps. i love your music
     
  9. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    Magic happens (and no Hogwarts education is needed)
     
  10. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    #1: Control, control, control.
    #2: Economy.
    #3: Flexibility in developers, paper, and other processes.
    #4: Convenience.
    #5: Control.
    #6: Control.
     
  11. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    I agree with J. It's mainly about control. I've just photographed a wedding, and for the first time in nearly twelve years I'm darkroomless. So I did some test shots last week, and requested borders, and of course half the prints had rebates showing next to the borders. I've just dropped off 14 rolls to them of the wedding itself, and told them if I get rebates again they'll be reprinting. The other quality issue is that they print digitally and digital prints look like shit.
     
  12. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    The near on extensive list is missing one factor so if you dont mind I'll add one more:

    #7: Control :wink:
     
  13. Maris

    Maris Member

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    A crucial benefit for me, and maybe for you also, in doing the darkroom work is indisputable authorship of the photographs that result.

    When you send a negative to the lab that negative is in reality subject matter for what happens next. The guy or girl at the lab photographs your negative with special paper backed film, processes the result, and sells it to you.

    Curiously, photographing negatives with paper backed film has been dubbed "printing" but it is photography nevertheless. And all the control variables of photography apply too. The lab people decide focus, cropping, exposure, development, density, contrast, image colour, and border trimming just to mention a few possibilities.

    Every one who has never made a photograph from start to finish just doesn't appreciate the amazingly arbitrary technical chain between a given camera exposure and the particular photograph the lab delivers to you. It is only through the photofinishing industry's experience in guessing what sort photograph you would like to pay for that they stay in business. I know. I used to do it. Provided I dialled in blue sky, green grass, and made people's faces pale carrot colour nobody complained.

    All of the above can be paraphrased in the words of JBrunner and others: control, control, ........
     
  14. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    different tastes.
     
  15. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    If something is screwed up, you don't have to talk to management or someone behind a counter... and you'll have a good idea on how to fix the problem too (or at least a starting point). I don't know what minilabs can or can't do so I had the joy of trying to explain to a guy behind a counter what I wanted and he was having trouble putting it into words onto the order envelope (machine printed stuff horribly off-centre due to my funky camera spacing with my non-sprocket-hole-counting 1950s camera. People chopped in half is not good!).
    Quicker turn around with high(er) quality in some cases if you don't have a good, reasonably priced pro lab on your doorstep. Or at least it feels quicker because you're watching each step of the process.
     
  16. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I'm assuming you are talking about b&w as most people will send colour out to a lab. It will be impossible for a lab to successfully print your original ideas for the print. You get to experiment with different looks and of course the pure joy in creating it yourself. It's the only way to go...start converting that bathroom!
     
  17. Neil Poulsen

    Neil Poulsen Member

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    It Depends

    It depends on what you're after.

    If you want to have fun with black and white, and you're not concerned about necessarily having fine prints, then a lab will do. I've seen decent results from some Labs.

    But, if you're interested in fine art photography and achieving excellent black and white results, I maintain that one has to process both the negative and the print themselves.

    Your question is about whether one needs a darkroom. I've seen people get excellent results using a Jobo. I suppose, one still needs a dark room for loading the Jobo, though.
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Bob:

    There are some resources around the Vancouver area that do decent B & W lab work, but they are quite specialized, and can be moderately expensive.

    IMHO, there is nothing that will improve your work with a camera, than developing and printing your own negatives.

    Matt
     
  19. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    #8 absolute control!!

    Jim
     
  20. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It is amazing how important one word can be:surprised:
     
  21. matti

    matti Member

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    Just a warning: It can be very quick... I remember my third wave of interest in printing my own, photos when I was about 22. The next day I had borrowed my father in laws enlarger and trays, bought some paper and chemicals, put the things on my bathroom floor, painted the bathroom bulb red and was printing away...

    /matti