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  1. #11
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    I used to routinely pour my cyanide E6 bleach, the most noxious of my chems on a huge nasty weed in the lot next to my garage hoping the poison would kill it. It has continued to thrive more than it's near brethren.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  2. #12

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    I'm afraid I have to draw the line at dumping chemicals on the ground, and that is all a gray water system does. I'm sure this is illegal (and rightfully so, IMO) in all but the most remote rural districts, if not everywhere in the US and Canada.

  3. #13
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanaa
    So, my first question would be (for those who know what the basics are needed for a darkroom) is a bathroom and reasonable place to have a part-time darkroom?? Thank you.

    Hanaa
    Hanaa:

    A bathroom can be a good part-time darkroom, but other areas work well as well. The most important attributes of a darkroom are that you have:
    1) a place that can be made dark;
    2) a room that has space and surface(s) to work on/put equipment on;
    3) electricity available;
    4) means to install/use a safelight (for B & W printing);
    5) healthy ventilation;
    6) reasonable working temperatures; and
    7) access to a reasonably convenient, nearby source of water for washing and cleanup.

    It is very convenient to have running water in a darkroom, but with a very few exceptions (e.g. water baths for fine temperature control of tray chemistry), it is not necessary to have the running water in the area that must be kept dark.

    In many cases, the most important advantage of using a bathroom is not the fact that it has water available, but rather that it often can easily be made dark. The biggest disadvantages of using bathrooms are:
    1) limited source of electricity;
    2) in some cases, limited counter or work surfaces;
    3) difficulty of installing safelights; and
    4) most important, if you only have one bathroom where you live ......

    If you can make it dark, in many cases a kitchen is a better choice (better electricity, more counter space, and it can be less urgent that it be available to others when you are in there).

    For many years, I worked out of a darkroom which was essentually a 6 foot x 8 foot cupboard. It consisted of a walkway and a bench, which was big enough to hold an enlarger and three trays big enough to hold 11x14 paper (developer, stop, fixer) and a shelf below the bench with a fourth tray (water - prior to transfer to HCA and then wash outside). The source for running water was a few feet away - a laundry basin outside the dark room, which was convenient for washing film or prints, as well as mixing or disposal of chemistry. I would mix my chemistry in batches and store it in large glass bottles.

    I would load the film onto reels and into the light tight tanks in the dark, and then the rest of the film developing process would take place out in the light - usually using the top of the washing machine as my work surface.

    For printing, the enlarger was at one end of the work surface, and the trays were on the rest. During setup, I would just pour the stock chemistry from the bottles into a large graduated measure, and then from the measure into the trays. If dilution was required, it was not particularly difficult to fill another large graduated measure with water at the sink outside, adjust the temperature appropriately (using hot and cold water) and pour it into the appropriate trays.

    The only disadvantage of working this way was that it was slightly more awkward to dump out the trays when I was finished with the session. Generally, I would just carry the full trays out to the wash basin and discard the chemistry down the drain. Given the size and weight of a full tray, I generally avoided printing anything larger than 11x14, although if I dispensed with stop bath, I could squeeze 16x20 trays on to my work surface.

    The laundry basin was then available for cleanup. A bucket of water and fresh cleanup rags on the work surface, and everything could be put away, ready for the next session.

    If you are willing to work with tube processing, you can succeed with much less space in the "dark" portion of your darkroom. I haven't gone that way, because the experience of watching the image emerge in the developer is a thrill that just never gets old for me

    If your darkroom is temporary, it is a realy good idea to keep all your "stuff" in one or more plastic bins. That way, everything can be stored together, and setup and tear down goes much quicker.

    In any event, have fun!

  4. #14
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Take a look at David A. Goldfarb's darkroom (On page 6 of the Darkroom Portraits thread) and then look at his personal gallery.

    That says it all about what can be done in a tiny bathroom/darkroom

    Picture's worth a thousand words.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  5. #15
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loopy
    I work in a lab that does color only, can I use their silver recovery??
    If the fixer is treated before disposal, there's no reason you couldn't. Unfortunately, many/most color labs use silver recovery to allow recycling and replenishing fixer, rather than sending it to an outside disposal (or so I'm told), and adding B&W fixer to the mix might make for a very, very upset boss if it changes the fixing characteristics.

    At a minimum, you'd want to ask the folks in charge of keeping the chemistry healthy. If the recovery unit isn't directly connected to the lab's fixer tanks, you might also ask about using it when it's not in use with the lab's own chemicals -- as long as it's washed out afterward, there shouldn't be any significant transfer of your waste into their system (though you'd almost certainly be giving them the silver in that case, instead of recovering it for you own reuse).
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  6. #16
    OldBikerPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanaa
    Hi! I had a couple questions regarding the darkroom. I'm planning on turning my bathroom into a part-time darkroom. ... <snip>... And secondly-- how do i dispose of the chemicals? Hanaa
    I have used a bathroom for low volume color printing (20 10x8/month) with good results. As your volume goes up the need for a dedicated facility increases.

    I tip my used chemicals into a pvc tray out of doors and let them completely evaporate, collecting the dry residue from time to time and taking it to a public waste disposal point.

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