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  1. #1

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    When your Darkroom has a window...

    The dilemma:

    All areas in the apartment larger than a closet have windows
    Bathroom has one large window
    My way of blocking light from this window must be easily removed and reattached
    I would like it if it didn't leave behind ugly things to look at when the bathroom is busy being used by everyone else in the apartment.
    Setting it up cannot take a significant amount of time. I will be assembling and disassembling my entire darkroom every time I print.

    Has anyone created something that solves the problem of external light on a temporary, repeatable basis?

    Most of my thoughts right now are revolving around a board/blackout curtains cut to size and taped down each time with duct tape, but that strikes me as exceptionally error prone.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    My darkroom has 2 windows, because I don't always want it to be dark. However, I have darkroom blinds that run in channels in both widows, but in the summer some light creeps round the edge. To remedy this I cut 2 sheets of MDF slightly bigger than the windows and these are fixed in place with a couple of wooden pegs fixed to the wall. The thing to remember is that light can't go round corners (only by reflection). In such a way you can have total darkness.

    “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”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #3

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    For close to forty years i have successfully blocked light leaks from the door to my darkroom with a block-out cloth. I stapled it both top and bottom to dowel sticks. The cloth is of course larger than the door in every direction. Above the door I screwed in an "L" hook on each side so the dowel rests on them. To use I just place the dowel across the hooks and unroll. The bottom dowel weights down the cloth and maintains the shape. to remove just roll it up and lift off the hooks. If you have to repair the holes they are small and wood filler or plaster should do it. Other than getting the materials it should take a couple of minutes to assemble and seconds to install and remove.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  4. #4
    aRolleiBrujo's Avatar
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    i posted my thoughts in the wrong section lol

  5. #5

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    Gator board with weather stripping on the edges. Friction fit. Put a knob in it to make it easy to remove. Nothing like a nice tight fit with nothing to get ahold of when you want to get it out.
    Black Gator board is opaque. If the window faces South you may want to paint the outer surface a light color.

    Reinforce the area where the knob goes on both sides unless you like trying to patch things up.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  6. #6
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    My dry darkroom has a large window and I have a flattened corrugated box which is gaffer taped flat that I place between the blinds and the window and then cover with blackout cloth that attaches to the wall with velcro. That blocks out the light in that room.

    The bathroom which serves as my wet darkroom has a window with a semicircular top. I cut a piece of plywood to shape attached darkroom cloth to one side had put two handles on it to make it easier to put in and take out. After the board in inserted I use gaffers tape to spread out and hold the blackout cloth to the wall.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  7. #7
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Get the thick black plastic drop cloth (sold at Home Depot) and a bit of wide masking tape. For bright daylight, you may need to use a couple of layers.

    I use this in my basement, cut to size and then taped along the edges. Easy to pop up and remove, roll it up and use it again later. The blackout curtains also work quite well with some push pins. Maybe cut a piece of black foam core to a snug fit to handle 95% of the work, then drape the cloth over a rod to do the rest.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

  8. #8

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    When I was in college I had a "darkroom" (I use the word loosely) in my apartment. My enlarger went in the hall closet (extension cords are wonderful), and the trays went in the bathroom, which was next to the closet and had a window. What I did when I needed to print was, I hung a very thick dark blanket, folded over itself once, at the end of the hall, and I shoved a measured-and-cut-to-fit piece of thick cardboard into the window frame. Worked perfectly. Made some nice prints there.

  9. #9
    AgX
    AgX is offline

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    "When your Darkroom has a window... " you call it a Studio.
    (I just could not refrain..)



    Another way of temporarily and nicely covering a window would be a board from either plywood or foamboard. Arrested behind two fillets or levers.
    When usingfoamboard, either use black one or a colour of your choice that you cover with aluminiun foil or varnish at the outer side.

  10. #10

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    Oh my word, so many thoughts!

    You all have been incredibly helpful. I will be running the options by my roommates and figuring out what they're prefer as far as general obtrusiveness etc. goes. I have chalkboard paint on hand to prevent reflections. Everything that's been said is helpful in covering all the details. I hadn't even thought of light leaks around the door, just at the bottom, for instance. Perils of a first darkroom, I suppose.

    Thanks so much everyone!

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