Window in Darkroom door??

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by dferrie, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. dferrie

    dferrie Member

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    Okay, I've got a bit of a puzzler for the guru's out there.

    There is a new youth center being built in our town and there just happens to be a small room that has not been earmarked for anything other than storage, when it was suggested that it could be a darkroom people jumped at the idea. Some the young people really liked the idea.

    But, here comes the problem, the whole center is subject to a Child Protection Policy (as is only right), which would mean that having an adult and young person in the darkroom would be a big no no, which again I think is right for both the child and adult. Unfortunately the room is probably only big enough for two people. It is permitted under the policy to have a child and adult alone in a room if there is a window in the door so that other adults can periodically look in the window to make sure all is alright.

    I'm wondering, if there would be anyway to use some form of red gelatin film on a clear window in the door so that it would be essentially no different than a safe light being on, any ideas?

    I fear that a chance to introduce young people to B+W printing will be lost.

    Thanks

    David
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Instead how about a video camera feeding a monitor and tape on the outside?

    You could stick multiple sheets of ruby lith on the window. Cheap and cheerful but nobody is going to really see anything.
     
  3. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    It seems to me that a dark-enough red filter over the glass combined with dim light outside would work for printing, but obviously not for loading film into a daylight tank. A changing bag could work here. Or a high tech night vision camera with a monitor outside.
     
  4. Jon King

    Jon King Member

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    It seems like it should work. A couple of sheets of Rubylith over the window, or something like that. It might help both the darkroom and any outside viewers not to have hall lights right by the door. There would be less light in the darkroom, even through a red filter, and it would help the eyes of the person outside to adjust a bit quicker.

    Another bit that may help would be to use a red LED safelight. That could allow the darkroom light levels to be quite a bit higher than other low cost safelights, making it easier to see, both in the darkroom and looking into it.
     
  5. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I've worked with graphic arts film in darkrooms with Rubylith covered windows to rooms with white light. Rubylith does fade over time. Jon's suggestion of bright LEDs in conjunction with Rubylith covered windows when printing should satisfy the school's requirement. A film changing bag would permit loading daylight film tanks.
     
  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    "Child Protection Policy"...the reason it probably got put into place is as an "Adult CYA Policy". It is a shame that there is the necessity.

    How about a single layer of rubylith and a darkcloth-like covering on the window. Someone wanting to peek in puts his/her head under the dark cloth to cut out out the outside light.

    Vaughn
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    An adult and a child in the same room must be subject to surveillance? I'd say that's the problem.

    Since it sounds like it can't be got around, I'd second the video monitor. A rubylithed window would be pretty difficult to see into from a bright exterior, so all the molesting might not be thwarted. The video feed would be easier to watch, and could be recorded for court.
     
  8. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Can't you use one of those super wide angle "spy" lenses used in front doors of houses instead of a window? I guess the amount of light getting through there in the darkroom will be negligible, while people outside should be able to have a peek.
     
  9. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    scratch that idea. I say sell prescription drugs out of the closet.
    I doubt a camera is going to be good enough as that would only get a conviction ..not keep a kid safe
     
  10. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Unfortunately, I fear that you are correct. :sad:

    For all the practical reasons already stated, this may be more trouble than it's worth. Having a window in a darkroom that one could actually see through, is a bit like having an open window in a boat below the water line. The video camera is a possible solution, but it may well exceed the resources of a community center.

    Good luck, but if having to have a viewable window in a darkroom door is a deal breaker, I'm afraid you have no deal. IMHO it will cause more real problems with the darkroom than the perceived social risk it is trying to mitigate.
     
  11. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Infrared video camera and illuminator? I don't know cost, but Kodak used to take photos in a coating plant while work was in progress recording an image of the workers and film or paper using IR film.

    Part of me wants to say all this is making more of a threat than really exists. The news media make it sound like every adult wants to molest every child. The reality is that while molestation is a tragic thing that does occur, it is more likely harm will come to a child by an automobile accident while being driven to the youth center.

    If actual risks were the issue, we would insist upon four point harnesses and rollover cages in cars. The risk from molestaion is quite real, but has been unrealistically magnified by the media's response to it's repugnant nature.

    Anyway - an IR imaging system would solve the conundrum.

    C
     
  12. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    I use red cast acrylic sheet in my portable darkrooms and the RV conversion. Works OK for wetplate collodion and I suspect it would be OK for B&W printing as well. It is cheap and could be cut to any size you need. Something like 8mm thick is probably what you need. (I use 4-5mm for my application.)

    Here's a few shots of the stuff in use:

    [​IMG]
    in my portable darktent

    [​IMG]
    outside looking in

    [​IMG]
    in the RV

    I think revolving darkroom doors are also available made out of the stuff.


    Joe
     
  13. dferrie

    dferrie Member

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    Thanks all,

    Plenty of food for thought. While the video feed solution would be a nice one, I would fear that the cost would be prohibitive. The Rubylith/Acrylic sheet and LED safelight sounds like it would be at least worth a try. Having changing bags for film loading is no problem, I have couple floating around.

    Vaughn, in reality a good Child Protection Policy will protect both the child and adult, so there is naturally an "Adult CYA" aspect to the policy, as you say a shame that there is a necessity, unfortunately it is the world we live in :sad:

    David
     
  14. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    David I may have the solution for you which is a wireless baby monitor we have at home. Now that she is gone past that stage I could let you have it. Please let me know if this is ok and I'll dig it out of the attic.

    Fintan
     
  15. dferrie

    dferrie Member

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    Fintan,

    Good idea, is it an audio monitor or does it have video also?

    David
     
  16. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    No its video David.
     
  17. dferrie

    dferrie Member

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    Sounds interesting. Let me get back to you, there is a meeting in the next few weeks about the youth center and I'll run it by them. How much do you bet there'll be something about using video surveillance :rolleyes:

    But it does sound like a neat solution!
     
  18. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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