I have intended to make a short cine film of this, but have never got around to doing it. Perhaps I will in the next year or so.
Originally Posted by sbattert
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
Make sure that you give an example of setting up a temporary-darkroom plus the ease and cheapness of getting hold of an enlarger and so on.
The metallic and unfading nature of a standard black and white print might be good to mention. Then the viewers will be largely thinking of grey results - so take along some prints on both neutral and warmtone, with different developers, different toners, maybe lith too, all in order to show the variety of results that they can achieve. An explanation of why a safelight is safe(-ish) could tie in to a simplified explanation of multicontrast paper.
Make sure that you name and list some producers of the materials - many people think that Kodachrome was the last film made in the world, after the fanfare of it's ending.
The idea, above, of a pinhole camera is excellent. If you have the possibility, a pinhole neg and a positive from the neg (for example both on plain RC paper) illustrates the neg/pos process very well and is interesting in itself. Make a pinhole camera from foamboard or carton and take it along, with a bit of tracing paper in place of the back.
if you want, mention that "modern prints", while there have been tests ... don't stand up very well
i am now vaguely mentioning in code since this is off limits here on apug, that they can have the best of both worlds ..
a electrically generated black and white image can be converted
and then printed ... using the sun to make something that can be done without a darkroom ...
not everything needs to be done in a claustrophobic space filled with mystical chemistry and fumes.
and pre-coated papers can be bought at hobby stores to get their feet wet.
Yes- you could always do a cyanotype, as a proof-of-concept with regards to not needing a darkroom, and no real chemistry. Plus they'd get the magic of seeing the latent image form and develop in water. And that can be done quickly and in room light (provided the room is not lit with fluorescents, which will fog the paper).
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Absolutely. People are amazed that I can reference Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, Foma, Adox, and chinese film as being commercially available. Paper is available from multiple manufacturers as well. Alt process items from multiple manufacturers. Chemicals from multiple manufacturers or DIY. It's an Internet marketplace now, not a retail/brick&mortar market like many older people grew up with.
Originally Posted by MartinP
I'd not spend too much time on it. Chances are they don't even know how a DSLR works or how prints are made from digital files.
Do you have a digital projector? If so, bring it to illustrate the principle of the enlarger...
- The enlarger has a light source, like the projector.
- The image sensor in the projector is like the negative in the enlarger.
- The lens of the projector creates an image on the wall; the enlarger creates on image on the baseboard easel.
- If you move the projector farther from the wall, the image gets bigger; if you move the enlarger farther from the baseboard, the image gets bigger...this is how we control the magnification/size of the image being printed.
- We use the cropping tool of Photoshop to make an image of a small section of the entire frame; we put a small easel under the large image projected on the baseboard, to make a print of a small crop of the entire frame.
- We select glossy or matte paper to print an image in a digital printer; we select different paper surfaces for the darkroom print, too.
- We control contrast via digital postprocessing; we control print contrast mostly using different contrast grades of B&W print paper
- We control brightness via digital postprocessing; we control print brightness via the enlarger lens aperture and via the length of time that we expose the paper to the projected image
I think you've been given some good ideas. After your presentation, gauge the interest you've generated. Invite one (or 2) of the most interested to your darkroom in the near future. Have them leave with prints they've made, so at the next meeting they can say, "I made this myself".
I would stress the hand made aspect of traditional processes and how working in a darkroom is a nice break from sitting in front of a computer all day long. To me, working in the darkroom is play, while doing photography on a computer is work. Use the words: "A darkroom is the ultimate man cave." Any married, male members will be searching the internet for enlargers as soon as your talk is over.