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  1. #1
    giacomo.fiani's Avatar
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    Darkroom disasters!

    Guys, help me.
    Today was the day I've been waiting for weeks. It was the first time for me to try fb paper (Varycon) in my darkroom, with a developer which was new to me (Neutol WA). I was really excited, but while printing the very first photograph something terrible happened.
    This paper is particularly sensitive to safe light, and since some test stripes were made gray by red light, I switch it off, and turn it on only from time to time, when moving the print from one tray to another.

    In the deep dark, I accidentally hit the safe light and made it fall on the ground. DISASTER! The bulb inside the light got broken, and something happened in the wires: in few second every device into the room got into a short-circuit and stopped working (enlarger, timer, everything).

    Without thinking of what i was doing, shocked, I opened the light while the print was still in the stop bath.
    So here is what I get, a totally gray print and a broken bulb. I'll try again tomorrow, it's a challenge now!

    Please help me, share your experiences with accidents and disasters, attach the results when you still have them, help me stop feeling all alone and depressed!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails stampa.jpg  

  2. #2
    zsas's Avatar
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    These blunders are all too familiar here at Apug, just check out the below:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/4...-darkroom.html

    Sorry to hear about your luck! Tomorrow will be a better day!

    Great print, fogged no less, it sure looks breathtaking!

  3. #3

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    Well ya can tell everyone that is a picture of you getting shocked in the darkroom. Nice picture, frame it as your interpretation of an experiance.

    My son did something like your shocking experiance. I hang my safelight by a metal bailing wire off a steam pipe. My son hung the lamp by the fixture instead of the extension cord and the wire got between the light fixture's contacts. Instead of blowing the breakers, the wire waas red hot. When I toutched it to fix how it was hanging I got burned and tossed the dam safelight into the fixer bath, that blew the breaker. I still have a U shaped scar of the hot wire in my hand.

    BTW an Orange OC safelight is what nost papers call for. I don't know why a red didn't work, that's generally safe to use when printing unless it is just too bright? Read the paper insert, they generally recomend a safelight color.
    .
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  4. #4
    Rick A's Avatar
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    You need a dark red safe light, no closer than 4 feet from work area, no larger than 15 watt bulb, end of discussion.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  5. #5
    giacomo.fiani's Avatar
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    Red was the colour recommended. Probably it was too bright or something. I know I need another one, but when you have mixed all the chemicals, cleaned the enlarger and waited that moment for weeks, you won't let it go due to a stupid unsafe safe light!

    zsas, I search if a similar thread existed already, but I used keywords like "accident" or "disaster", not "stupid mistakes", ahah!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    You need a dark red safe light, no closer than 4 feet from work area, no larger than 15 watt bulb, end of discussion.
    Nope. Not the end of discussion. It varies.

    If you get the safelight colour recommended for your paper, you can use a brighter safelight and work more easily and safely with less chance of safelight gremlins.

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    One great way to reduce the intensity of many safelights is to point them up in order to bounce their light off of a ceiling.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8
    giacomo.fiani's Avatar
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    I've bought a new bulb for my safelight, less powerful (7watts, was 10). I'll try again this evening, hope it'll work.

  9. #9
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I have a Premier 5x7 with red filter and 15 watt bulb about 4 ft from my work area, Varykon paper 20 minutes exposure to the light and no fogging. I also use it for Emaks and Forte papers with no foggng. Hmmm....
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  10. #10

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    Safelights can of course be tested. Make a proper print exposure of a picture with lots of bright highlights scattered throughout on half of a sheet of paper (other half blank), taking measures to expose it to the safelight for only the briefest of seconds, if at all.

    Then put the paper out visible to the safelight, but blocked for a small strip at the edge at right angles to the split between test print and blank. This piece is to have pure white in the blank and pure white in the highlights of the print half. Then step across blocking more and more of it in 30 second intervals up to about 4 minutes (8 strips).

    Develop with the safelight mostly off except for putting in and taking out of developer. Stop and fix and wash per normal. Evaluate your safe exposure to the safelight.

    A good enlarger timer is arranged to turn off the safelight during print exposure (you might have a long set of dodging and burning to do). Large darkrooms can have a safelight in the enlarger area, and a separate safelight in the tray area, perhaps with a foot switch so that the safelight can be off during the bulk of development, if safelighting is an issue for that paper & light combo.
    Last edited by Monito; 09-12-2011 at 08:50 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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