Stupid mistakes in the darkroom

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jthuet, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. jthuet

    jthuet Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    So I have made my mistakes and i'm sure im not the only one...

    So far is my favorite story -
    A few nights ago i was in there and started to roll the film onto the spool. I also had some beer or 3 or 4 and it was the about the forth roll (so I had been in there for a little while to say the least) and I was marveling at how thin and flimsy the the film was and how hard it was to keep the film going onto the spools (what the hell has Ilford done with the backing)! then i got the end, and I started to marvel at how thick and firm the paper was... then it hit me...


    Humm... So now I have a new rule, dont drink and develop they dont mix.



    So what other stories are out there...
     
  2. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

    Messages:
    596
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    don't use glass-bottomed aquariums as your water bath for E-6

    halfway through processing a roll I dropped something into the tank...glass breaks..and 20 gallons of water at EXACTLY 100F splashes all over the floor...film came out fine, but the floor was a mess

    --------then there's the time I opened the developing tank in bright light right after I had poured out the developer...I got stop in there FAST and never noticed anything was wrong
     
  3. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    Denmark
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    I think I know them all....

    teaching gives you great stories.

    one: a student had to roll up a film on the reel, and the black room was in the darkroom (a room in a room). after a while I thought I had to check on him, and ther he was: standing in the middle of the dark room with his eyes closed, trying to do the thing.....

    on the other hand, I have also experienced un-explanable things...

    explain this: a summer course - we went very early to the beach side at took some pictures.
    one of the students had brought his own film to the course, and as the film was slightly different than the ones we used, he asked for directions on how to develop his film (it was a normal t-max film - we used Tri-x)
    I showed him the developer etc..

    I also kept an eye our for him, and didn't notice anything wrong.

    BUT; when the film was ready to dry, it showed the most beautiful - yet strange film I have ever seen!!

    it came out as a slightly solarized - toned(dark areas was brown - highlights was blue!!) POSITIVE!!!


    it is about ten years ago, and I have still no idea what happened!
    but I'd like to know, as the result was truely amazing!
     
  4. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

    Messages:
    4,124
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My 'standard' mistake in the darkroom is to leave the enlarger in focus mode with the VC filters shut out, and then watch absolute mud come up in the developer. With the price of paper escalating as it is I can't afford to make any of those mistakes any longer!

    But....this week I have finally, after storing a Logan 750 SimplexPlus Mat Cutter for about 5 years, set it up on the excellent print mounting table my wife built and taught myself to cut mats. The initial errors are comical, but I've gotten the hang of it nonetheless. "Aller anfang ist schwer" (I think?).
     
  5. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,378
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Oakville and
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My personal Doh! Confusing the film developer stock solution for the paper developer stock solution and wondering why no images are coming out in the photo paper.
     
  6. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    Bucuresti, R
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Was there a huge difference in working solution strengths between the two? I've developed paper in film developer with no problems.

    (My first enlarger arrived before my paper developer... I was impatient and wanted to have a go right away so figured "what the hell". I can confirm Ilford Multigrade develops just fine in TMax Developer, although it might not exactly be a recommended combination :smile:.)
     
  7. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    It had been some time since I had handled any film in the darkroom so I took the precaution of checking for lightleaks before beginning. After a "fascinating" 10 minutes in the dark, I noted that all was well and began to unload the filmholders. I had the first few loaded into the expert drum and had just opened the next darkslide when my wife called me......on my cell phone.......hanging on my belt. You have no idea how bright a Motorola Razr preview screen is until you have been sitting in complete darkness for 10+ minutes. It also has a dramatic impact on the B+F factor.

    "No, dear, your not interrupting anything....." (BTW, thats why the make a Grade 4 setting on VC paper.)
     
  8. Andy K

    Andy K Member

    Messages:
    9,422
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sunny Southe
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My most recent, and basic, foul up was putting the 120 reel in the dev tank upside down. Came out lovely... except for the underdeveloped centimetre wide band along the length of one side of the roll.
     
  9. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,824
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The cell phone thing, only it was 8x10 sheet film in a tray. She was calling just to say she loved me.
     
  10. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

    Messages:
    907
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Nanaimo, Bri
    Shooter:
    35mm
    When I got my first enlarger all my prints came out black and after re-reading all my books I still couldn't figure what was wrong! The room was light-tight, the developer the right temperature, the MG filters OK... That was when I learned about stopping down the enlarger lens!

    Then there was the time I opened a box of paper with the room lights still on! Luckily I clued in before I got to the black bag which saved my butt.

    - Justin

    -
     
  11. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    Bucuresti, R
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've nearly had the cellphone thing, but always had the presence of mind to stop myself answering...


    ...however, I can't feel smug for long. Not after thinking "damn, need some better music", picking up the iPod I have hooked up to the speakers in the 'darkroom', scrolling through the song list, picking something really good; and then thinking "hmm; iPod backlight..."

    Fortunately, only a sheet of paper ruined.
     
  12. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

    Messages:
    596
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ah...there was the time I was developing my first print of the session...gee...weird no image is appearing...then I remembered I had stored the bottles full of water-not chemicals

    developing prints with water doesn't work...

    -----

    then once I opened the developing tank right under a lightbulb right after I finished loading it with film...I closed the top really fast then processed the film...top 35mm roll completely black...bottom roll black, but you could sortta tell there had once been an image there

    ---------

    I once took a disposable panoramic camera & removed the mask over the film that makes it "panoramic"...it was just a nice full-frame wide angle camera now...I thought it was a clever trick...except when I developed the film in my old plastic "twirl-to-agitate" tank, I hadn't noticed that I didn't have enough developer...so only half the roll got developed--and it looked as if the camera was still in "panoramic" format
     
  13. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

    Messages:
    914
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ont
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My recent d'oh' moment consisted of me incorrectly developing some B&W film. I used a two part pyro developer (with solution A and B) and after development and fixing, I pulled out a blank reel. I then realized that instead of using alkali for solution B, I used a solution of potassium iodide.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Uhner

    Uhner Member

    Messages:
    1,101
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, not a darkroom foul up per se, but I can’t find the notes from my last little excursion. Now I have a dozen sheets of TXP exposed under various lightning conditions and no way of knowing which is which...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2007
  16. CPorter

    CPorter Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    West KY
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Oh man that really bites! I do all my note taking on a little handheld tape recorder then annotate them later on a specific form I have made so everything is legible and neat---works for me. I do keep a small card to aid in my thinking: basic exp-->filter/factor-->bellows ext factor-->total factor-->reciprocity adjustment.

    My biggest near FU in the darkroom since being in LF was, after being distracted by a short discussion with my wife through the door, to almost turn the light switch on while film is out of the box. Whew!! that was a close one.
     
  17. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

    Messages:
    907
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Nanaimo, Bri
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Oh, another one I remembered. I'm supposedly one the people at the university darkroom who knows what they're doing, but one day I got a whiff out of the fixer bottle and concluded that some moron, obviously not me, had put stop bath in with the fixer. I poured it out and got the fixer concentrate to make a new batch. I then noticed that the scent of fixer is somewhat reminescent of acetic acid...

    - Justin
     
  18. jgcull

    jgcull Member

    Messages:
    911
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    nc
    We added on a new bedroom, closet, darkroom, and bath. First things first - my husband finished the darkroom before the rest so I could get to work in it. One day I left the water running in my very deep sink, rinsing prints as I always do. Some of those little test pieces had clogged up the drain and when I returned, water was running over the edges of the sink, under the door, and right under the walls! Oops... just glad we hadn't put carpet down yet in the bedroom. I've never done that one again and hope I never do!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2007
  19. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

    Messages:
    596
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ya just don't get stories like this with digital!

    "oops I deleted the file" simply isn't as funny
     
  20. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

    Messages:
    5,124
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I was loading 5 sheets of 8x10 into the 3005 Jobo drum. The last time I had loaded the drum I had an 8x10 holder hit the floor, so after loading neg #5, I made sure that my holders were safe. Turned on the room light and thought, "Why does the drum look so different?" It certainly does look different with the top off. I had a couple nice shots of my boys on that film...

    Student-wise, I did have a student develop his 4x5 negatives in the film holders. I do not know why...

    Vaughn
     
  21. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

    Messages:
    596
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was thinking of developing a digital camera...toss it in the dev,stop,fix just for the sheer joy of it

    maybe I should coat it with liquid light first...hmmmmm
     
  22. Toffle

    Toffle Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Point Pelee,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've done the opening the tank thing, flashed my paper with an iPod screen (yep, they're really bright) checked my focus without a safelight, mixed up my bath trays... The ironic thing is that these things happen despite what I would consider a fairly disciplined set of darkroom routines. What really bites is when I spend the whole evening "perfecting" a print only to have the final print stain overnight because I've exhausted the fixer.

    Cheers,
     
  23. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio River V
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I recently developed a few sheets of 8x10 in Ansco 130, 1:1. Amazingly enough, I think they might be printable using a high scale process like platinum.

    Ed
     
  24. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

    Messages:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    Adelaide, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You cant fix film with developer, I found out. I'm not sure how I got them confused, I wrote on the bottles in big giant letters...
    Another time I'd just finished loading a roll of 120 onto the reel and taken it out of the changing-bag, and my mum ran in and told me the chimney of the house was on fire. We got it put out, but it was somewhat surreal.
    I've only been at this for a few years though, I have plenty more mistakes to make.
     
  25. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

    Messages:
    596
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    first few times I used HC-110 I had the dilution waayyyyyyyyyy off...I thought the intermediate stock solution was the normal dilution....images looked horrible

    once in a community darkroom the Fixer Remover was labelled in such a way that I thought it was the Fixer.....I caught the mistake pretty quickly & it didn't seem to mess up the film
     
  26. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

    Messages:
    907
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Nanaimo, Bri
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hmm... in the university's darkroom the hypo clearing agent is simply labelled "hypo". I'll have to watch out for that one, especially when sleepy...

    Another goof up I remembered, on a brief trip to a pond recently I spent about 15 minutes framing, focusing, waiting for wind and people to clear etc... Got everything where I wanted it, pulled the darkslide and got the shot! Except I forgot to stop down. There's a big difference between f/4.7 and f/32. Luckily I managed to get in another exposure and I am just taking a break from printing it!

    - Justin