I have to wear gloves from the time I start the prep work to the end of developing because for some reason the papers and films respond to my skin chemistry as though it has been exposed, even if it hasn't been. Little black finger/thumb prints on the edges. Took me a dickens of a time to find gloves that worked well and were easy to tell if they were clean and dry, didn't stick to the media, etc.
Embrace **it! **it. . .just another name for fertilizer. . . Grow baby Grow!
Hi Aggie. Frank here from the Volquartz LF workshops. I use tongs and I limit myself to as little exposure to the photo chemistry as possible. I recommend this to you as well because you are a wonderful darkroom worker. I have a friend who, like yourself, was excellent in the darkroom. She also was 'hands on.' She now has contact dermatitis. Simply waving her hands over a tray of developer will cause her skin to open with oozing sores that last for weeks. It has forced her completely out of the darkroom. Such a loss! It would be a shame that anyone who persues our craft should be forced to stop for lack of such a simple precaution.
Good light to you!
Frank (the other french prostitute)
I make efforts not to get chemicals on bare skin so that means tongs and/or a glove. On the occasions where I touch materials damp with chemical liquids, I dip my fingers in water (as a token wash) and dry.
Aggie, like Frank I have heard of a similar story. A (female) photographer who had to stop all activity in the darkroom because of bad hand sores due to the chemicals. She never had any trouble before, the sores suddenly developed. She was told that such an allergy can "build up" in the body, and suddenly become a nuisance. So the fact that you don't have any skin problems at the moment, may not mean that you are safe for the future.
I only use gloves with aggressive chemicals like selenium toner, and when I am warned that the chemicals will stain my fingers. Mostly I just work bare handed and use tongs on RC paper, bare hands on fiber. I _do_ very frequently rinse my hands, even in between touching the developer, stopbath and fixer, and like you I wash them thouroughly after a darkroom session, and use a _good_ hand cream.
The worst I ever suffered from are chapped hands.
Well I've got a package of latex gloves and I've got a nice pair of green chemical gloves. I don't use either unless I'm mixing something up. The reason for using tongs with the trays is to stop all the chemicals mixing together. With tongs I know the prints go from developer to stop to fix. If you use gloves do you use a new pair for every single print?