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  1. #1

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    It's the little things.. (aka: I heart the darkroom)

    I recently started printing in a darkroom again after a long hiatus. I only printed RC before, but now am printing VC fiber.

    One of the unexpected little pleasures I've discovered is the feel of wet fiber paper. It's so unlike the plasticy RC paper, especially while wet, and it looks really rich once dried. I'm definitely a fan!

    Are there any simple pleasures in the darkroom you guys enjoy? The materials, the solidarity, the process, etc.. Share your thoughts! Long live wet printing

    Chris

  2. #2
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    The smell! When I was a kid, I loved the smell in Dad's darkroom, and that still means creativity to me.
    I agree about the feel of fiber paper, even though I mostly use RC. It's so easy!
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak just did!
    For all practical purposes, they've taken Kodak away.


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

  3. #3

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    I also like the smell of the darkroom. Even though I use a lot of RC paper, fiber does have its feel that I can't resist.

    Jeff

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdunek View Post
    The smell! When I was a kid, I loved the smell in Dad's darkroom, and that still means creativity to me.
    Me too. The smell of fixer is the childhood memory that followed me around for years and eventually played no small part in bringing me back to film. (I'm using TF-4 at the moment, but I may end up going back to acid fixers just for olfactory reasons.)

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  5. #5
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    The magic of watching the image appear on my paper of choice for the session; my nieces loved seeing this happen for the first time just last month - totally captivated! (They didn't appreciate the darkroom smells quite so much. :o)

    Oh well, maybe they'll grow into it........

  6. #6
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozphoto View Post
    The magic of watching the image appear on my paper of choice for the session; ....

    So true. A guy was bending my ear the other day about getting an Epson something or other that prints with multiple cartridges for gray scale. I told him even though my first prints were done about fifty years ago, it's still like Christmas morning seeing an image begin to appear as I rock that tray.

    DaveT

  7. #7
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    Me too. The smell of fixer is the childhood memory that followed me around for years and eventually played no small part in bringing me back to film. (I'm using TF-4 at the moment, but I may end up going back to acid fixers just for olfactory reasons.)
    OMG. I am not alone!

    I compound all of my working chemistry from bulk. So I can make anything I choose. And I still use Kodak's acid F-5 as my standard film fixer.

    Why?

    The smell. I love it. It lingers. On your hands. Your clothes. And in the darkroom itself. I can walk back in a week later and it's still subtly there. Comforting. Reassuring. It makes me feel young again.

    Another smell in the same category?

    Kodachrome.

    Open a new roll while you still have the chance. Pop the plastic top and immediately smell the canister inside. Heaven on earth.

    I asked someone once what their CCD smelled like. They just looked at me with a strained expression, then quickly walked away...

    Ken

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    I asked someone once what their CCD smelled like. They just looked at me with a strained expression, then quickly walked away...
    I have a cow orker who grew up in what was then the Ukraine S.S.R. in the 1970s. On last year's "International Commie Camera Day" (1 May, of course), I walked into his office and unexpectedly handed him my Mir rangefinder in its leather case. After his eyes shrank back to normal size, the first thing he did was bring the camera to his nose and inhale deeply. He said it was the smell of childhood for him.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by DWThomas View Post
    So true. A guy was bending my ear the other day about getting an Epson something or other that prints with multiple cartridges for gray scale. I told him even though my first prints were done about fifty years ago, it's still like Christmas morning seeing an image begin to appear as I rock that tray.

    DaveT
    I was watching a print come out of my dad's printer one day. I must have had a sad look on my face. He asked me if the image was not printing right. I just sighed and told him watching it come out of a printer was no where near the same as it coming up in a tray.

    I miss the darkroom. The smell, the negative image shot onto the paper, the image coming up in the tray, the zone I get into where time seems to stand still and hours go by unnoticed. Anyone ever noticed their whole body rocking as they rock the trays.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    I have a cow orker.
    This gave me a chuckle
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

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