Originally Posted by Uncle Bill
Thanks for the plug. I HOPE it's still in print because we've not been told by the publishers that it's gone out of print -- ISBN 1 - 85585 - 812 - 6 (hardback, which may be out of print) and 1 - 84340 - 048 - 0 in softback.
And I'd certainly back your advice to go for RC to begin with.
FWIW, 6x7 enlargers with dichroic heads (handy for printing with variable contrast papers) are really cheap on the used market. Systems for 35mm alone are even cheaper.
Here are some links. Please excuse me if this is the sort of information you already have.
Welcome to the dark. As most here will say, and some already have- it is really not that difficult to get up and running, equipment wise. Check Craigslist-Chicago for darkroom stuff on the cheap- I got easily enough equipment to start two complete basic darkrooms for under $100. Working pros going digital is our gain! You might have to drive a bit to get the stuff, but probably worth it.
As far as classes, in da region, (NW Indiana, for the non-region rats among us) you may want to check out Ivy Tech for a photo course- or maybe Purdue Cal or IUN. Maybe the Munster Arts center offers something.
The non-darkroom aspect of the course will most likely be waste of time, if you are an experienced shooter.
But as already been said- don't be intimidated by chems, either. Might stink up a room for a few hours, and if you're messy, could stain clothes. But mostly harmless. Like many here, my laundry room also serves as my darkroom. Takes 15 minutes to black out the window and door with black plastic and painters tape, and I'm good to go.
Thank you all for the advice and encouragement. Like haris, I prefer learning through trial and error (with the aid of books and the occasional Google search). That said, I agree that a class at a local college would be a good starting point; it saves me from wasting chemicals, film, and paper with simple mistakes and, of course, it's far easier to self-teach when you have some idea as to what you're doing.
I've found some darkroom equipment, thanks to RobLewis. It might just be everything I need for now.
Thanks again, everyone.
glad to help.
*Here's the disclaimer on craigslist stuff- or ANY used stuff for that matter- particularly the enlarger, as it is the most important and most costly of the things you'll need- make sure the head moves up and down the chassis nicely, the lens is in good shape, (should be- since it probably never gets handled- but make sure the aperture is functional), make sure the focusing works, the unit is stable overall, (a wobbly head=useless enlargements) etc etc.
Just about anything else you buy as part of a kit can be replaced or substituted pretty cheaply if it's broken.
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