My 25-year dream darkroom
My father was nice enough to build me a workable darkroom when I was 13. It was 3 feet wide by about 5 feet wide located behind the fake walls of our basement. It wasn't much but it started my love affair with photography.
Ever since then I have dreamed of having the best darkroom I could imagine. Well, I finally had the space, time and money to complete my dream darkroom.
Its located in our home office in the basement so its a complete digital/analog darkroom. At this point only the analog side is up and it will probably stay that way.
From a creative standpoint, I use analog for critical portraits and my black and white landscape/street photography. For everything else, its digital.
I shoot mostly in MF. The enlarger is a wall-mounted (finally!--what a difference it makes) Saunders/LPL 4550XLG. Best investment I have ever made.
Enough of the text. Here are the photos of the darkroom (with photos produced in it to come soon).
If any Apug'ers in the Scarsdale, NY area are darkroomless and want to use it, please e-mail me personally. Should be completed in the next two weeks.
What's really sad is that there are two (2) TWO!!! beautiful darkrooms in Scarsdale Middle School which have long since been given over to storage. One is adjacent to a science classroom and the other is adjacent to an art classroom. Too bad for me....I coulda stolen away in either of them for years were they functional and spent free periods at play instead of work ;-)....ooops, did I say that out loud? WELL!!....of course I wouldn't have done that....I'd have spent every free moment preparing for rehearsals and classes just as I always do..yeah! That's the ticket....always working....yeah....
Originally Posted by jeffreys48
Why am I the only messy one?
Hey this is an interesting thread....always good to see how others do their thing and maybe steal some ideas!
The first thing that strikes me about all the darkrooms pictured so far is the tidyness of them, must be an explanation because mines always a mess but I can find things when I need them.
Here's some pics of mine, I have the darkroom split into 2 rooms, I ran out of space and had to add an extension on. Originally I printed with trays, now all processing is done with roller transport machines, this came about through volumes of work I couldn't handle in trays. I only shoot and print panoramics and they get tricky to work with in larger sizes, the machines take all the effort out of it.
Of course that means I only print on RC paper but I do both colour and B&W, about 90% is B&W.
Panoramics take you into odd film sizes and to get the most out of these sizes an odd size enlarger is required. I stretched a 4x5 floorstanding De Vere out to 4x14 and this copes with virtually anything I do. It has a colour head and I print everything with a 240mm Rodagon lens. You'll see on my work bench a paper dispenser which is one of the biggest timesavers I have as everything is printed on roll paper. My standard size is 8x40 so all you do is dial in 40" of paper, push a button and the paper feeds out and is cut to the right length. For long runs I've got a stretched roll easel that will handle 4 foot prints, simply expose and index the next one along.
While all this may sound a bit upmarket I started out loading film in the bathroom and processing in the kitchen sink. Printing was done elsewhere for many years until I could afford to build my own darkroom. A path trod by many others here....I hope it continues!
Claytume, I know what you mean about the clean darkrooms. After a long printing session my darkroom is an absolute mess. Once I'm done I usually can't stand to spend another second in there and just leave the mess and clean it up the next day.
Hmm, i think I'll take a few pics of my darkroom tonight. I just spent two hours cleaning the darned thing, so it's a good a time as any!
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My darkroom is too small to get it all in, even with a 12mm. I thought of doing a bunch of digital shots and stitching them together, but seems like a lot of effort to put into something digital. Just don't feel like shaving off slices of my soul and stuffing them into a CD-ROM drive anymore.
Then, I got what seemed to be a cool idea. I'll just make a pinhole lens for my crown graphic, and get a wide-angle full-circle 4x5 view. That seems like it ought to be cool. It'll take me a week or so, though, to figure out how to do everything in the available spare time.
In my initial research, I've seen what amounts to nothing less than stunning pinhole images. I had no idea you could get that kind of quality with pinhole.
Also -- to avoid having that "freshly dropped bomb" look, I'll have to catch it just BEFORE a project.
Here it comes Gilbert.
Originally Posted by argentic
Some important tips from here
1) At the end of the wet place there is an vertically placed board to dry the baryte prints with a chamois-leather
2) Under the home-made sink there is a place foreseen for other 'baths': a sort of double bottem
3) There are two sinks, one next the other. One of sinks measures 40/60cm and can serve to wash the prints
4) Books are very important in the daily life of an amateur-photgrapher
5) The rotatrim30, a splendid tool.
6) Music is the most important thing in the darkroom!
Last edited by fred; 01-04-2005 at 01:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Originally Posted by fred
Are these sinks stainless steel? Did you make them yourself? Or who/where made them?
Originally Posted by argentic
I let them made by a friend :-).
Indeed, stainless steel.
If you go with a plan to a metal-worker, I think he will make the sink you want.
In fact, now I would already improve the sink. The part at the wall has to be much higher (the triple, 30cm).
In my darkroom I used marine grade plywood sheets (screwed to battens to hold it off the wall by a couple of cm) behind my plastic sink and painted them with paint intended for use on floors. Clear silicone bathroom chalk seals the join between the wood and the sink. Now I can be as sloppy as I like with the water! Worth doing and costs very little.
Originally Posted by fred