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  1. #11

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    Paint the walls an off-white. You'll be able to get a much better distribution of the safelight with no effect on the paper as the safelight will be very diffuse the light is actually very weak but more evenly distributed. I've worked in a number of different darkrooms painted: grey, red, and white.

    White is by far the easiest to work in (for me) because of the more even safelight level. Paint the area in back of the enlarger flat black, or hang a piece of black cloth on the wall to absorb light that might be reflected from the area around the easel or escaping between the carrier and the lamphouse.

  2. #12
    Ole
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    Mine's white, with fire-engine red behind the enlarger. The floor is dark to help me ignore all the crud I drop on it...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  3. #13
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    In mine, everything is white, except for flat "battleship gray" behind the enlarger. Steve's got it right... the safelights (they're SAFE, right?) diffuse throughout the room, so moving around is lot easier. (And safer for your toes if you're in stocking feet).

    Think about how much time you actually have the lights turned out in a typical session.... sometimes the light is on, more than it's off. Checking print contrast, changing negatives, tweaking that formula, making notes, finding that pencil, mopping up that spilled beer. etc. A white room makes those important things a lot more pleasant to do.

  4. #14
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    My darkroom is neutral grey and works just fine for me.
    www.ericrose.com
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    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

  5. #15

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    I've got bright white walls, ceiling, floor and window coverings. As much white as possible with black velvet behind the enlarger only. With old eyes I need as much light as I can get and with all three safelights on I have tested totally paper safe.

    As an extra bonus I've got a ceiling full of hundreds of glowing stars moons and constelations that were left over from when it was my teenage daughters's room. I do have to wait half an hour to load film because I don't trust those stars with film till they fade.

  6. #16
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  7. #17

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    Off-white is Zone V with plus 2 stops exposure.... :^)

  8. #18
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    I'm going to be moving into a new darkroom (my girlfriend has an extra bedroom at her house and I only have to pay to help w/ the electricity/water bills--long story why the carpet is already ruined and I only get half of the room). Anyway, my girlfriend wants to paint the room a soft red which is fine for me and will let me paint a different color around the enlarger, but would prefer it to not be black. Ole, I'm curious about the fire engine red... is there a certain red paint color that will mimic the effect of a safe light? Is there a certain pantone number? I'm thinking of taking one of the uni jr. red safelight bulbs up to lowes and having them match the color... any thoughts?
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  9. #19
    lee
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    I'm curious about the fire engine red... is there a certain red paint color that will mimic the effect of a safe light? Is there a certain pantone number? I'm thinking of taking one of the uni jr. red safelight bulbs up to lowes and having them match the color... any thoughts?

    Jeremy,
    I don't know about the red but the white will change color of the walls to the color of the safe light and make the room brighter. That is the reason for making the darkroom's walls white. In my mind I think the darker colors would kill any light you would have going for you.

    lee\c

  10. #20
    Ole
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    As long as it doesn't reflect blue and green too well, just about anything can be used. My main reason for choosing red was to bring in some more colour to what was painted in standard 1970's kitchen colours (that's what it was) - anaemic blue and hospital green. Any reflections form the red area around the enlarger will be sucked up at once!

    With the whole room in soft red you shouldn't have that problem...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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