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  1. #1
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    I have always wanted to start a community darkroom

    I preface this thread by stating that I have no money with which to start such a project. This is just something I have wanted to do for the last seven or eight years.

    Man, I would love to start a public darkroom. Set up four rooms. Three for smaller formats and one for LF. Thinking, like, three stalls 12' x 12' with two hallways running down each side for two entrances (exits) and the LF room at the back, 12' x 20'. The front would have a 12' x 16' area, a small counter. Couple of chairs. Coffee pot. Couple of prints hanging.

    I had the place in mind and everytime I drove by it for over six years I would think, "There is Broadkill Darkroom." Lots of ambition, no fundage so, oh well. And now it is a dentistry office. And dentists scare the hell right outta me.

    I digress.

    There are no community darkrooms that I am aware of on the Delmarva Peninsula unless there are some at a couple of colleges/ universities. And I am sure there are enough photographers that a darkroom could be justified. I know it would not be a money maker. It would just be a place for the fixer huffers to congregate and ooh and aah. I would love to have a place to gather with others in this way. Be able to show others some different tricks. And learn some in return.

    Ah, just blowing off some steam. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Shoot for some grant money!
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  3. #3
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    I know three guys named Grant and they owe me.

    Keep it light.
    ChrisW
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  4. #4
    John Austin's Avatar
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    Bristol in UK have set up a new(ish) community darkroom and there is one in Esperance in Western Australia - Both were equipped by donation from people wanting space - The Esperance darkroom was donated an embarrassing amount of gear

    If you can find the darkroom space and people to help run it then it will equip itself, unless your local enlargers have all gone to the tip, which I pray has not happened

  5. #5

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    Dear Chris,

    I think it helps to start with the community rather than the darkroom. These folks have been quite successful but they had a core group dedicated to the process. Two previous incarnations failed because one person tried to do it all. The new group has been able to get their message out on bulletin boards and the like and have added to the number of people using the darkroom.

    Send them a note. They might have some good suggestions.

    Neal Wydra

  6. #6

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    I guess you could try being in a city with lots of film photographers who would chip in for the initial fees. Or you could try using kick starter to fund it...
    Dunno how effective kick starter would be, but it may very well help.

  7. #7

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    I've considered the same, but unfortunately found there'd be little interest let alone for-pay. I've found most people who want one, have one themselves or are in school.

    However, I've at times rented out my own personal darkroom to students.

  8. #8
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    why not start with darkroom nights in your or your friends darkroom(s)?
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  9. #9

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    That'd definitely be where I'd start. Open up on weekends, or whenever really. Advertise times somewhere or just do it by appointment. Charge a small fee for use, plus a fee for chemical's/supplies if they don't bring their own. Even open yourself up for instruction if you get a newb wanting to explore. If you get enough interest, then consider getting a different space. Otherwise, you're helping out other people to get into the darkroom which alone is a noble cause.

    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    why not start with darkroom nights in your or your friends darkroom(s)?

  10. #10
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    All good ideas. But I am in a small town and have no local film shooting acquaintances. After all this time you'd think I'd find someone. Apparently I smell or something.

    Keep it light.
    ChrisW
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

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