Window in Darkroom door??
Okay, I've got a bit of a puzzler for the guru's out there.
There is a new youth center being built in our town and there just happens to be a small room that has not been earmarked for anything other than storage, when it was suggested that it could be a darkroom people jumped at the idea. Some the young people really liked the idea.
But, here comes the problem, the whole center is subject to a Child Protection Policy (as is only right), which would mean that having an adult and young person in the darkroom would be a big no no, which again I think is right for both the child and adult. Unfortunately the room is probably only big enough for two people. It is permitted under the policy to have a child and adult alone in a room if there is a window in the door so that other adults can periodically look in the window to make sure all is alright.
I'm wondering, if there would be anyway to use some form of red gelatin film on a clear window in the door so that it would be essentially no different than a safe light being on, any ideas?
I fear that a chance to introduce young people to B+W printing will be lost.
I want to take the photograph I think I'm taking
Instead how about a video camera feeding a monitor and tape on the outside?
You could stick multiple sheets of ruby lith on the window. Cheap and cheerful but nobody is going to really see anything.
It seems to me that a dark-enough red filter over the glass combined with dim light outside would work for printing, but obviously not for loading film into a daylight tank. A changing bag could work here. Or a high tech night vision camera with a monitor outside.
It seems like it should work. A couple of sheets of Rubylith over the window, or something like that. It might help both the darkroom and any outside viewers not to have hall lights right by the door. There would be less light in the darkroom, even through a red filter, and it would help the eyes of the person outside to adjust a bit quicker.
Another bit that may help would be to use a red LED safelight. That could allow the darkroom light levels to be quite a bit higher than other low cost safelights, making it easier to see, both in the darkroom and looking into it.
I've worked with graphic arts film in darkrooms with Rubylith covered windows to rooms with white light. Rubylith does fade over time. Jon's suggestion of bright LEDs in conjunction with Rubylith covered windows when printing should satisfy the school's requirement. A film changing bag would permit loading daylight film tanks.
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"Child Protection Policy"...the reason it probably got put into place is as an "Adult CYA Policy". It is a shame that there is the necessity.
How about a single layer of rubylith and a darkcloth-like covering on the window. Someone wanting to peek in puts his/her head under the dark cloth to cut out out the outside light.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
An adult and a child in the same room must be subject to surveillance? I'd say that's the problem.
Since it sounds like it can't be got around, I'd second the video monitor. A rubylithed window would be pretty difficult to see into from a bright exterior, so all the molesting might not be thwarted. The video feed would be easier to watch, and could be recorded for court.
That's just, like, my opinion, man...
Can't you use one of those super wide angle "spy" lenses used in front doors of houses instead of a window? I guess the amount of light getting through there in the darkroom will be negligible, while people outside should be able to have a peek.
scratch that idea. I say sell prescription drugs out of the closet.
I doubt a camera is going to be good enough as that would only get a conviction ..not keep a kid safe
Unfortunately, I fear that you are correct.
Originally Posted by dferrie
For all the practical reasons already stated, this may be more trouble than it's worth. Having a window in a darkroom that one could actually see through, is a bit like having an open window in a boat below the water line. The video camera is a possible solution, but it may well exceed the resources of a community center.
Good luck, but if having to have a viewable window in a darkroom door is a deal breaker, I'm afraid you have no deal. IMHO it will cause more real problems with the darkroom than the perceived social risk it is trying to mitigate.