How often do you play in the dark?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by brummelisa, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. brummelisa

    brummelisa Member

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    So, how often do you enter the dark mystery place and bring out art :smile: ?
    And how many copies do you do and how many negatives do you use?

    Me, I usually develop only during the weekends and my darkroom-period goes from September to April. I usually only photograph during the summer and develop during the winter.

    I tries to develop each weekend and I only manage to use one negative per day (I don't have the strength to stand in the dark for a whole day) and I often develop three copies (one for me to put on the wall, one for the model and one in spare in case I will ever show my images in some fancy New York Art Gallery :smile: )

    So, how often do you play?

    / Marcus
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Except to load 8x10 sheets of film into the Jobo drum, I don't play in the dark much. I get to play in relatively bright light (60W bug light) making platinum prints or carbon prints. I aim for one short night (5 hrs) and one long night (8 to 10 hrs) a week.

    Vaughn
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I checked my darkroom log and I have 105 entries for the last 24 months. So, 4.3 times per month on average. I usually wind up printing 1 to 3 different negatives in a session depending on how difficult they are to print.
     
  4. yardkat

    yardkat Member

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    Not often enough. I like to be able to print once a week, but right now it isn't working out that way for me. *sigh* Hopefully in a few weeks my schedule might clear up a little bit and I can get down there.

    As far as how many negatives I print in a session, it really depends on how difficult the negative is, and whether or not I've printed it before. Generally once I've settled on a printing scheme, I might make 5 finished prints of the same negative. One for me, one to drop, one to screw up in the bleaching/toning phase, one to get funny drying marks on, and one that just won't look right for whatever random reason.

    I'd put a winky face there to indicate that I'm joking, but I just realized that I'm not really. :wink:
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    It comes and it goes. There's that work / family / life / passion balance to consider...

    Sometimes I print several times per week, other times only once or twice per month. I have a very severe backlog of negatives to print, so I'm going to do a lot of printing and very little shooting this upcoming winter.

    I usually take two rolls or a few sheets with me into the darkroom, and I just go with the flow. Some days are good, others are bad. On a good day I'll come out with seven or eight prints of different negatives, with about half ending up as keepers. On a bad day I get nothing after 4-5 hours. The important thing is to keep trying, I think, not only to be persistent, but it helps keeping the skill alive. Practice makes good, they say.

    I'm currently simplifying my approach. Two films, one developer. Four papers, two paper developers. That's it. No more, maybe less. That should help me get into the darkroom more often and keep me from thinking about paper choice too much.

    I also do my proofing with a scanner. I find that I end up studying each negative more carefully that way, and I end up choosing which negatives to print much wiser. But I may step away from that and do contact sheets again, just because it's so incredibly boring.

    I'd say on average I probably spend eight hours per week in the darkroom.

    - Thomas
     
  6. Jerry Basierbe

    Jerry Basierbe Member

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    Not nearly enough. Other than processing some negatives a few times this summer I haven't been in the darkroom since before June.
    Normally I like to get down there about twice a week.
    Hopefully I'll be getting back to it real soon.

    Jerry
     
  7. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I used to get in the darkroom 2-3 times a week... how did a whole month pass? :surprised:

    Last time was the end of August... very productive - I got three finished prints. :D

    Cheers,
     
  8. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    I am playin in the dark today---I try to get in a few times a month. As far as printing numbers--it just depends. Like to day I am just printing a bunch of negs that i keep sayin "i need to print" I my go back later an give one or two some serious attention. I tend not to get in the darkroom too much in the summer---it's too hot around here. My tap water runs 78F in the summer and 62F in the winter. So I mostly play in the dark in the winter. I normally have tons of film to develop in fall, I have done 30+rolls and 25 sheets since it has cooled off.
     
  9. mealers

    mealers Member

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    All depends on the weather. If its good weather then I'm out shooting 4x5, if its too windy then I'II do some printing.

    I usually just pick the best 2 or 3 negatives and try to get the best out of them as possible.

    In total I probably spend around 15-20hrs per week in the darkroom.

    Time fly's bye when I'm in there!
     
  10. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I try for once a week in the winter, less in the summer. Just spent three hours there Saturday. Worked with three negatives, and have several prints each, some of which hit the circular file.
    I intend to selenium tone these, so I made several.
    Next time I'll be working on liquid emulsion on watercolor paper to see what I can do. This is a new thing for me.
     
  11. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    ...as often as my wife lets me!
     
  12. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    If it's just me around here, then I get in there more. I try for at least once a week at night, but sometimes add a few during the day. When I print, I can usually get 2 or 3 negs through with work prints OR 1 with some crappy ones and one or two final prints. My usual workflow is to have 3 or 4 negs lined up that I want to print and I'll do basic quick workprints of each to see how they look the next day. Then I have a starting point for each when I get back in to do a really good one. If I have an awesome night, I might get final prints from 2 or even 3 negs (I've sometimes lucked out and had some that don't need fiddling).
     
  13. ChrisC

    ChrisC Member

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    I've been in there to load film into developing tanks fairly often, but I haven't done any printing since before Christmas last year. I've just been too busy with uni.

    I like to develop my film as soon as possible after shooting otherwise it just never gets done cause I hate looking at piles of film that need developing knowing it's gonna be a drag to do. I'll usually develop after shooting less than 5 rolls. I'm really hoping I get some time and motivation to do a lot of printing over summer.
     
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  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    imy days don't let me shoot or process very often,
    and after i cook / eat dinner each night, i am usally too sleepy to do
    darkroom work. :sad:
     
  16. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    I'm in there almost every evening...now pulling out art? That's another question.
     
  17. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Hunt down an old Phototherm on that big auction site. They make popping a roll of film in so easy and consistent it's amazing. Admittedly you do have to figure out a good work flow for yourself, but once I had it down - took a few months to work out my personal quirks - I can throw a few rolls of film in the soup in nothing flat. If I were to take leave of my senses and shoot 40 rolls one Saturday morning I could have the whole bunch developed and hanging in a few hours and still spend 65% of the time doing something else while the machine runs.
     
  18. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    I'm two months into a new sel-imposed program

    In the dark EVERY friday night for a few hours. Printing only, as I usually have enough time to run negs as they come out of the camera.

    I still only manage to turn out 4-6 prints nightly. It doesn't seem to matter whether work or final prints, that seems to be the work flow rate.

    I still have a back log of printing....maybe going to 2X weekly!
     
  19. ooze

    ooze Member

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    3-4 times a week. Recently I've decided against counting the number of prints I get out of a session. That mindset puts an unnecessary stress on an activity I cherish. Therefore, these days I aim for a single good print, then I close the session.
     
  20. Kvistgaard

    Kvistgaard Member

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    Once a week on average. Not as often during summer, just can't bring myself to spend time in the darkroom when it's lovely weather outside. I tend to let unprocessed films pile up, which is a stress factor, but like most other people I have real world obligations like work, children, wife, friends to consider as well, and my egotistic pastime tends to get pushed down the ladder.

    I try to limit myself to 1 or 2 negs per DR session - took me a while to figure out that it's not about quantity, but about quality. Also, in terms of learning something from what I am doing, limiting myself to 1-2 negs usually means I get away with a few new insights (and sometimes even with a couple of prints that are good enough to hang on the wall chez Kvistgaard:smile:).
     
  21. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Not nearly as often as I'd like to.
    35 years ago it was money that limited my photography, both in terms of the quality of equipment and quantity materials I could afford. These days cash isn't an issue (thanks partly, of course, to the d*****l revolution which has left us with so many second hand analogue bargains) but unlike 35 years ago, other responsibilities and commitments make time the most precious commodity for me.

    Steve
     
  22. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Not often enough. I have to convert my kitchen into a DR if want to make prints. If I had a permanent DR I would probably be in their three or four times a week.
     
  23. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    B&W I rarely do now. Maybe every few months if I come out with something that needs enlarging. I mostly play in the dim light, coating paper and exposing it and the 4x5 negatives to the UV light and washing it in the sink. That's more likely to be at least once a week on average, some rare weeks nothing, more often 2 sessions a week.
     
  24. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    As many others have stated, I don't have enough time to do all I want to do. I can usually get into the darkroom twice a month, sometimes more, but not often these days. If I could, I would print every weekend, but that's not likely anytime in the foreseeable future.

    When I am in there, I tend to print anywhere from 5-8 negatives (despite the growing number that have never been printed) - some get a first printing while others have been printed before and have been sitting out for study for a week or two so that I can get into them before working on a final version of the print. Most of my negatives end up going in two to three times before I get the print that I want, and in between sessions I study what I've gotten so far and consider what still needs to be done to get where I want to be with them. If find that this allows me to get a better print that if I slog on through the same couple of negatives for hours on end. A fresh eye if you will.

    - Randy
     
  25. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    I get into my Darkroom regularly to dev film as I only need an hour in the evenings for this. Printing is a different story, I probably only do that once every few weeks. I have to get better organised and allocate a full evening per week to printing.

    Peter
     
  26. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    For the last 7 months my darkroom has been in the basement of my friend's house. They gave me a key so I could use it as much as I like...usually 3 or 4 times a week, 4 hour sessions. Unfortunately, my friends have just decided to sell their house. (insert here sounds of weeping and sobbing...) So now the clock is ticking...How does that old saying go? All good things must come to an end? Bummer. After reading all the posts above I realize that I've been very lucky to have had the time and the place to print. As for how many real keepers (fine art) per session? I'd say none, my husband would say everything. I fill the circular file very regularly and with enthusiasm...how else am I gonna get better?
    (bathroom darkroom here I come!)

    Kathy