My Dark-room experiences

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by wheelygirl, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. wheelygirl

    wheelygirl Member

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    Since I'm very new to this portion of APUG--I'm usually in the '35mm camera' forum, I'd like to speak/write of what's happening to me since I've begun using a wet dark-room for my Photography level 1 class in college.
    I'm about to begin my 12th week of a 16-week long semester. When I began this "adventure" within the dark-room on-campus, I was nervous as a new-born kitten!!:surprised: I still get apprehensive of loading the film onto those reels!! The only saving grace I had was to: practice practice practice!!! I am, finally, getting more adept at this 'loading' business; not prefect, but decidedly better!
    In my estimation, the most fun part is to see the image go from what appears, to the unaided eye, on RC paper, as blank to what I had seen in the viewfinder of my camera, while in the development fluid. That's when I feel I am a magician of sorts--or at least an alchemist!!
    Photography so rocks!! :D Long live film photography!!! :D :smile:
     
  2. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    04 Nov 2007

    Wheelygirl:

    Welcome to the wonders of the darkroom. It only get more exciting as you explore different ways of processing and printing. There are so many possibilites. The adventure has only begun, and have lots of FUN.

    Please continue to post your question in this forum, there is a tremendous amount of experience to be accessed. I have found it to be invaluable when I have had a question.

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  3. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    It gets easier as you go and soon you'll be a pro. It also helps to practice in daylight with the eyes closed and to use easy loading reels. My Jobo's are nice for loading.
     
  4. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    That feeling never goes away. In fact, I think I enjoy the darkroom work at least as much, if not not more, than actually taking pictures. To my mind the hand printing and manipulation is a big part of what can elevate photography from a mechanical process to an art form. The more I learn about what the chemistry does and why, the more fascinating photography becomes. Enjoy!

    - Justin
     
  5. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    After 30 years, it's still fun for me! Welcome to the darkroom!
     
  6. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    More fun than ever after 25 years and counting!
     
  7. ben-s

    ben-s Member

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    It's great to hear you're enjoying the darkroom work. I love watching the print come up in the developer. That's the kind of magic photoshop can never deliver.
    Carry on having fun! :smile:
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    When loading film onto a reel there is still a point in the process where I wonder if the film is actually loading or my hand is simply slipping on the edges and I conclude I'll never get there. Surely even 36 frames can't take this long! Only to find that suddenly that I am pulling the cassette into the reel and thus it has loaded and it's time for the scissors, a sigh of relief and a little glow of satisfaction when the tank lid clicks and everything is safe.

    If it was my job to load film 8 hours a day, I might get a little complacent about it but I'd be less excited about the process and that feeling of excitement is one I don't want to lose.

    pentaxuser
     
  9. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I've loaded reels off and on for 25 years. If I've been doing a bunch, it's fine. But I still have trouble if I haven't done any for awhile. Just keep in practice - it gets easier.

    And I still love to see the print come up, too. It really is like magic. Sometimes, I think I shoot so that I can print.
     
  10. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    I still close my eyes when loading film, even when it's pitch black which has caused problems when there's been a slight light leak in the room.
     
  11. hka

    hka Member

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    So do I when loading film I still put my glasses on to see... nothing more than without them...
     
  12. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Congratulations wheelygirl!! So much fun yet to come...
     
  13. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Keep it up wheelygirl, you are now really getting hooked.

    Mick.
     
  14. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I started about 68 years ago see-sawing film through a soupbowl of MQ developer in a walk-in closet in my father's house and making contact prints on Velox paper.

    That eye closing habit is funny. I always have the feeling that if I see a little light and close my eyes, the film won't see it either. I usually works.
     
  15. pauliej

    pauliej Member

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    Is it really as easy as everyone makes it sound? I am an old dog (55 yrs) and would really like to learn this trick of developing b/w 35mm film and prints, and then maybe even move up to medium & larger formats (Holga? lol@me). Is one of these ~$50 developing kits from Freestyle the way to start, or can anyone recomend better stuff? I think I could load the reel in my bathroom at nite (no windows) and then process in the container. My biggest problem is no-confidence, so it's easier to shoot color and take it to wally-mart to process.

    My late grandmother had an old Kodak folder back in the 1910's era, and processed her own film & prints too I think, bless her heart. She had an image of some baby (I think) on a flat piece of metal, not sure how that was done, or if she did it or not. Does anyone know anything about that? I think the metal was folded up some, may have kind of ruined the image, it seems to be flaking off the metal somewhat. I need to try and get a picture of this if I can find it next time I am back home.

    Sorry for the long winded comments. Thanks for all your help and advice.

    As Ansel used to say, Take a picture, it will last longer.

    pauliej
     
  16. Gay Larson

    Gay Larson Member

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    Good luck and keep it up.
     
  17. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    "Welcome to the darkside" as a popular phase here says.

    I always exam the negatives before they finish washing.

    This forum is where I learned all my darkroom techniques, you will find it very helpful.

    Alex W.
     
  18. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    There really is no better place to learn chemical photography than here. Be careful about calling it a wet darkroom. We all try to keep them as dry as we can. My secret is linoleum and good rubber coving. There are days where the film just flys on the reel and then there are days I think I almost need to tray process them because the reels get so twitchy. I have both SS and plastic tanks and several reels for each. Sometimes I keep an extra reel close by if the one I am using is rebelling. So many things can be mastered in a short time. I don't think photography can ever be mastered - there is always something I learn every roll that improves my process, my eye, my technique. There is no end to the experimenting either. Solarization, mordancage, split toning, alt processes, and all of them have their unique strengths with different kinds of images. Try as much as you can and enjoy every minute of it. Even the failures. Ruining an image is like Vu de Je - I feel like I will be here again ...
     
  19. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    There is a process called tintype that you can look up on Google or perhaps on another forum of APUG. Another was Daguerrotype, but that was before your grandmother's time.