I know about phobia... I'm severely clausterphobic. I can't get into some small darkroom because of that.
There's an easy remedy for your problem though. To process film, the only part that require complete darkness is when you open the film canister and load it into a development tank. You can do that in a changing bag (I think that's what it's called) which is like a giant light proof long sleeve t-shirt with the body opening closed shut. You stick your hand into the sleeve backwards. Inside remains dark and you open the canister and wind the film into dark by just touch. You, on the other hand, remain in a lit area. Once that's done, everything can be done in a lit room. When you get to a stage where you are going to print your images, you can get a pretty bright safe light. It's a bit expensive but there are some that are quite bright, almost like night light bright. It's called "Thomas safelight" and you can buy them second hand. It's so incredibly bright. So there are ways around your problem.
This is what chagne bag looks like:
You'll find APUG forum and members are usually quite helpful and willing to help you in more ways than you'll encounter on a typical Internet forum. We have members sharing "stuff" if someone needed an obscure part to fix something. Personally, I've given away some of my stuff and also received some. Also, we communicate via personal messages if something cannot be/should not be discussed openly. Stick around and you'll enjoy it.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Just in case you missed it, two of your three cameras (the Canon and the Retina) use standard, readily available 35mm film that is still easily developed at a number of locations.
And as for darkroom work, which I enjoy thoroughly, I started working in a darkroom over 4 decades ago, at age 11. I say this to give you confidence that it can be done.
“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
Welcome, Jack. Your name just made this website more cool.
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
I can't wait to yell hi to you in an airplane. Badumpa!
Welcome to APUG.
Loading and developing black and white film can be done with you completely in the light. Only the film needs to be in total darkness.
Here's a series of four videos that totally demonstrate the process. The guy in the video is a little creepy, but the info is ok.
That's just, like, my opinion, man...
Welcome Jack! You should grab a few books and get started with black and white, its really quite affordable when you develop and print yourself. I recommend H. Horenstein's a Basic Manual to black and white photography. There are tons of copies in libraries, and for cheap used on amazon. It covers much of the basics of cameras, developing, and printings, and good examples of each. There are many more great books such as beyond monochome, or the edge of darkness, that you should take a look at too if your in the same area in the library.
Plus you can always come here to ask any questions you have as well!
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If I was you, I would definately begin by shooting and sending away for developing, moving pretty quickly over to developing the film myself (and scanning or sending away for printing).
The darkroom-printing process is something you can ponder about after you've gotten your feet wet, there is a lot of fun to be had just shooting and developing your own film. (quite empowering feeling, knowing you are a "self-contained", hard-core "negative film-maker") ^^
And as the others say, you can process your film in full daylight, using a changing bag to get the film out of the canister and onto the spool and into the developing tank.
Last edited by Helinophoto; 12-11-2012 at 04:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.
+1 on Jason Brunner's Videos on developing film. That's how I got started this past summer. Excellent! Get the freestyle changing bag. You can do it! Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!
Originally Posted by JBrunner
Wow, you really caused a stir today. And to answer another of your questions, no, other fora are not as friendly and civil as this one. What passes for a flame war here is pretty tame.
If you can make Mac & Cheese, you can process B&W film. I started a couple years ago and videos like Jbrunner's helped a lot. A good place to find books is Goodwill.
Nobody but stupid fools like us want this stuff any more, and bags. tanks, and reels seem to never wear out. So if you look around, all the equipment you need will be available for very little money - fractions of what it originally cost. I did a lot of calculating before starting this and decided that getting into film as a serious hobby would be MUCH cheaper than digital over my remaining lifetime.
“You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt