Yippee! I can print again!
I just finished hacking together my new dark "space". It isn't a room, but merely a curtained of corner of a larger room. I finally got things installed and dark enough that I can print this evening. I still have some light leaks that kill it for daytime printing at the moment. The corner space is unfortunately near a sliding glass door that gets direct morning sun, and I'm still finishing up the light traps at the edges of the curtain.
But for late afternoon and of course night, it works, and most importantly it seems to be compatible with my wife's demands for a low-intrusion space.
First trial prints to appear today! I'll see about getting a shot of it posted at some point. It isn't the ideal solution, but for someone wanting a temporary space that doesn't involve tying up a bathroom, this isn't too bad.
Congrats and good printing to ya!
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
Congratulations and remember that the wee hours of the twilight zone are your best friend! lol I also have too much trouble with sunlight to be able to print during the day as well as the fact that there is too much foot traffic going in and out to be able to have the area to myself. As a matter of fact I think 98% of the prints I have made have been between 10:00pm and 6:00am
A good feeling eh!?
I use my garage for a darkroom (as well as normal usage). My wife made curtains with blackout cloth & velcro to cover all the window spaces ( garage door has 8 windows). Then another curtain is used for enlarger space. The combination makes the enlarger space dark enough to handle film loading & open tank processing. The garage space with utility sink is dark enough for print processing most of the day despite light leaks aroung the door. Blackout cloth & velcro are useful substitutes for those who don't have a dedicated darkroom.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
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Here's my first work print. Had to let my son have the honors of being my first darkroom printing subject. He got to watch the image appear on the paper too - something he'd never seen before.
If you aren't into making your own blackout curtains, I highly recommend these folks: http://www.cubiclecurtainfactory.com/ . They were very responsive. They have done darkroom curtains before, and provide a light blocking valence around the track, as well as adding length so that the curtain drapes the floor to seal out light.
If the light you are blocking is intense, I would recommend doing a double set of curtains, one outside the other, because while it is pretty light tight, the seams can let some pinholes of direct sunlight through. A double layer would catch all that extra light, and give you better options for creating an entry, sealing the ends, etc.
They provide a system that includes curtains, hangers, track, etc.
In my case, the original curtain they sent was a little too short (just barely brushed the floor, didn't drape.) So after a phone call, without any additional charge, they decided to send me another one - and they let me keep the original curtain!
BTW, forgive the print - I didn't do anything to it, including dusting the negative before enlarging! (BTW, that's Ilford MG IV Deluxe RC, at grade 2, from a 35mm Tri-X negative developed in Rodinal as I recall.) The print is not quite as dark as the scan, but this is just a work print. Plenty of good work left under the enlarger to make it right.
Happy printing! =)
Close your eyes to see. This will take a while.