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  1. #1
    Rob Skeoch's Avatar
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    No darkroom, looking for a solution.

    Right now I have a great darkroom.
    I have an 8x10 enlarger, one for 4x5, and a Leica V35 for 35mm.

    I'm thinking of shutting it down.

    What solutions have you found for getting access to a darkroom once you shutdown the home darkroom?

    -Rob
    Rob Skeoch
    This is my blog http://thepicturedesk.blogspot.com/
    This my website for photo supplies...
    www.bigcameraworkshops.com
    This is my website for Rangfinder gear
    www.rangefinderstore.com

  2. #2

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    There aren't any good solutions IMHO.

    You would have to look around and try to find a foto club. Other solutions could be ingratiating yourself with a local college or evening school other than that you're stuck like me (but I photograph relatively little).

    I used to have a 35 mm darkroom (enlarger, trays, the works even a small dedicated space). After a move I had to shut it down and sell the enlarger as I simply didn't have the space. Now I'm on a hybrid solution: Film + film changing bag + Aldi film scanner.

    The pros: It doesn't take up space and you get the marvelous quality of film negatives and the pleasure of playing with chemicals and you're still tied into the limitations of film that will expand your art

    The cons: It's not a darkroom and you're stuck in a semi digital workflow with all it's pitfalls of "computering out of it" to compensate for sloppy artistic work and craftmanship.

    But it is a HUGE space saver and the lower operating costs (esp. with small volumes) and ease of operation makes it a good but amputated bet - make sure you get a huge changing bag though (but you probably already got one)

  3. #3
    lns
    lns is offline

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    Why shut it down?

    I can only say that every time I want to print I have to set up and take down a temporary darkroom in a basement bathroom. It probably subtracts an hour from my limited printing time. Plus, I have to use a tiny bathroom sink and use an enlarger that's about two feet off the ground. I would love to have a real darkroom. Especially with your equipment, which I could only dream of.

    I hope you can keep the darkroom. Even if you're not using it now, you could always return to it. Other solutions are really compromised.

    -Laura

  4. #4
    David William White's Avatar
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    I don't suppose there would be anything at the paper?

    I can't imagine how you'd make out without a darkroom -- your large prints are simply amazing -- but I guess you could satisfy yourself with contact prints. If you do shut down, I'd come over and cart away the 8x10 beseler...just to be helpful, eh...
    Considerably AWOL at the present time...

    Archive/Blog: http://davidwilliamwhite.blogspot.com

  5. #5

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    seriously Rob ? don't make us come over for an intervention. would it be too intrusive to ask why you're considering this course of action ?

  6. #6
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    If not forced to shut down by a move into living quarters where you can't set up the equipment or else getting out of the analog business for some reason, it seems really crazy to let go of a good place to work. With all the enlargers you could possibly want.

    The only serious thing would be if you do alternative processes and only need to soup the film and the rest goes on in less than dark conditions. But then you need at least 5x7 in my opinion.

    Give this a second and a third thought before you shut down.

    My solution to not having a darkroom at home is to share one, 25 minutes bus ride away. It's expensive, creaky and not always to the standard I'd like. But I have no other option if I am going to do wet printing of small and medium format negatives. If I wasn't able to do that, I'd do only do alt processes (LF) or give up photography.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  7. #7
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    There are not any great solutions unless you are a student (or alumnus/alumna, in some cases) of a college with a nice darkroom (i.e. one with private rooms). Rental darkrooms are too expensive, and you are limited to their chemicals and the way they are maintained. If you are going to shut down your darkroom, I suggest you become or befriend a student at a local art college.

    Here in L.A., at Cal Arts, alumni can pay a $100 per month fee for access to the school's darkroom, which is rather nice. (There are private rooms with their own sinks, a 51 inch Kreonite, a horizontal 8x10 mural enlarger, etc.)

    Is it possible to downsize to just the 4x5 enlarger in order to keep your darkroom?
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  8. #8
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    It would kill me to get rid of my darkroom. It took me almost 20 years after high school to get one. Of course, this is about you, but the fact that you are looking for a "solution" implies some ambivalence. I would solve the problem by eliminating it and keeping the darkroom.
    Jerold Harter MD

  9. #9

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    Is this a trick question? Please elaborate.

  10. #10
    Obscura26's Avatar
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    Hey Rob, not too far from you is the LATOW Photographers Guild and with your membership you have access to a their darkroom located at the Burlington Art Centre.

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