Darkroom portraits

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argentic

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The first darkroom you build for an enemy.
The second one you build for a friend.
And the third one you build for yourself.

Until now I have built five darkrooms. But there are still things to improve. And everytime I study other peoples darkrooms, I learn one or two nice tricks.

Would you mind posting some images of your darkroom? I'll start with mine. I use it one day every week. And even after about twenty years of darkroom work, I still want to change things. (That's why I got the idea of this thread.) My desktop is very cluttered because I'm in the middle of a rearranging my darkroom.

1) My darkroom sink. I adapted an existing sink to do all my film developing, and washing. Above the sink chemicals are stored child-safe. I built my own sodium lamp.
2) An Omega D5 XL enlarger for 4x5 inch negatives
3) A Durst M605 enlarger, my darkroom books and negatives.
4) The wet bench with photographic paper to the left, and film tanks underneath.
5) Bulk chemical storage and processing clock.
 

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arigram

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I was going to wait until I get my web site running to have a detailed description of my darkroom, but here are some quite digi snapshots a friend of mine took. (I am planning to do a "proper" film shoot)

Photo 1 : My Kaiser 6x7 multigrade enlarger and I.
Photo 2 : The "workbench", the Air Conditioner, my handmade drying cabinet
Photo 3 : The chemicals, film tanks and accessories shelves, the enlarger again and my old 2 blade 20x25 frame. Now I have a nice 30x40 4 blade one not seen in any picture.
Photo 4 : The darkroom from the outside, at the roof of the house. Maybe you can spot the ventilation pipes next to the door.
Photo 5 : The wet side with 20x25 trays, water, hanging cords, a big clock, an african mask and framed my very first printed photo (it slipped with the humidity)
 

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oriecat

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Wow, those are nice. I better not check out this thread too much or I will come to hate mine. It's just in the basement, not closed away from the rest of it. So I just have two benches, one dry, one wet and some shelves and a utility sink. Totally beginner darkroom 101.
 

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mark

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oriecat said:
Wow, those are nice. I better not check out this thread too much or I will come to hate mine. It's just in the basement, not closed away from the rest of it. So I just have two benches, one dry, one wet and some shelves and a utility sink. Totally beginner darkroom 101.

Don't worry you have to start somewhere, and what you have looks very functional. Fancy means nothing. When I moved I gave up my darkroom and am doing fine in my bathroom.
 

oriecat

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Yeah, it's not too bad, right now my only real problem is drying space, my wire isn't long enough and I don't want another one because it bugs me, so I am going to make some screens to stack up underneath the one bench.
 

Robert Hall

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My Darkroom

These are older photos that don't show the UV light and the new Jobo processors, and it is not quite so neat, but here they are...

www.RobertHall.com/dr/index.htm

It also has a few from my light room. (Pay no mind to the digital box in there)
 

David Ruby

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My darkroom

These threads are great to get ideas from, and even better when you're just starting to put your darkroom together. I printed photos like this off about a year ago while I was coming up with my design.

My darkroom is located in the furnace room I guess. The stairs are just behind the sink, and the furnace is on the opposite side of the stairs. I have to walk around the end, ducking under the duct work, to get to the dry area. My enlarger is mounted to an old bank of drawers, which is bolted to the concrete wall on the left. The top is a chunk of old preformed plastic laminate countertop that just barely doesn't tough the stair wall for fear of vibration.

The drawers contain paper, negative carriers, easels etc. My chemicals are mostly contained above the sink on the shelves, but I also have some under the sink. I've modified the plastic shelves in the Smalllogbk.jpg photo since this was taken. My log book is on the third shelf up, but I've now added two drying screens just below this shelf. I've also added a towel to the very bottom shelf for drying space.

My sink is made of plywood, out of a book I read. It was an old book, but very helpful. Can't think of the name right now, but someone will help me with that. I think it was "Building Your Home Darkroom" or something. I had to narrow it up due to the tight space I have. I added a wood leaning rail so my wrists don't get sore when agitating the trays.

I've also modified my enlarger baseboard since these photos. My 11x14 easel wouldn't fit here, so I bolted on a 3/4" piece of plywood to make it larger. My next trick will be to flip the whole thing around and enlarge down onto the floor or something lower. When making some 8x10's from 4x5 neg's I often have the enlarger up so high it hits the ductwork above. I have a feeling that when I get to doing anything larger than 11x14 I'll probalby try out Lloyd's one tray method, as my sink is just too small for all the various trays needed for fiber.

I painted the walls white to keep it as bright as possible, and I've simply added black near the enlarger etc. to take care of stray light etc. I don't have any special exhaust, mainly becuase this is the furnace room and there is a return air grille in the room. This space is also open to the crawl space slightly, so there is a fairly good volume of air to gather from. I do have to print in my skivvies in the winter (the furnace is on and it's about 73 degrees F) but it's wonderful in the summer (when the a/c is on it's about 68 degrees).

I just got a print dryer, so it will probalby go on the shelf out in the dry area.
 

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TPPhotog

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mark said:
Don't worry you have to start somewhere, and what you have looks very functional. Fancy means nothing. When I moved I gave up my darkroom and am doing fine in my bathroom.
Yep my wife calls my darkroom the kitchen but it seems to work ok :wink:
 

glbeas

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There was a thread on this a while back:

(there was a url link here which no longer exists)
 

Sean

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I like the way this thread is going, lots of good darkroom pics. I've made it a 'sticky'
 
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argentic

argentic

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glbeas said:
There was a thread on this a while back:

(there was a url link here which no longer exists)

Yeah, but only glbeas posted some pictures in that thread. And it's often the pictures that make you think about new solutions to old problems.
 

NER

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Some additional work is still needed here. The room is about 18' x 12'. The sink is just over 10' long and 36" wide. Seen on the dry side is a Super Chromega F Dichroic II enlarger. The electronics area and the lens cabinet are not visible in this picture. There is a refrigerator for film and paper storage.
 

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dr bob

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glbeas said:
There was a thread on this a while back:

(there was a url link here which no longer exists)

Oh NO! Not again? I'm NOT going to show you Mine again!!!
 

ChrisC

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It's incredibly small (>2m x >1m), but it's my first darkroom, and all I really do in there is printing. My laundry is less than 5 paces away, so film developing and mixing of chemicals is all done in there instead. I've got a couple of tiny light leaks and I need to build a proper door this weekend, but after printing for the first time the other night it's got the potential to do everything I need it to for at least several years.
 

Jim Moore

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It has grown considerably since these photos where taken. I'll have to get some new ones taken to post.

dry-side.jpg


wet-side.jpg
 

Adrian Twiss

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Well, it took over two years and is not perfect but it works
 

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argentic

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ChrisC said:
It's incredibly small (>2m x >1m), but it's my first darkroom, and all I really do in there is printing. My laundry is less than 5 paces away, so film developing and mixing of chemicals is all done in there instead. I've got a couple of tiny light leaks and I need to build a proper door this weekend, but after printing for the first time the other night it's got the potential to do everything I need it to for at least several years.

Hi Chris,

Maybe your darkroom is very small, but it looks very functional. My problem is that after twenty years of darkroom I have collected so much "neat" stuff that I am now forced to choose between he stuff I really need, and the useless gadgets. A cluttered darkroom with lots of features isn't always a joy to work in. Sometimes I spend more time rearranging and cleaning up than printing.
 

jp80874

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Flotsam

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All right. Here you go then.
Please! Everybody try to stay with the group. I wouldn't want anyone wandering off and getting lost. :smile:
If you would like to visit the wet side of my darkroom, please knock first and be kind enough to light a match when you are finished. :D
 

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John McCallum

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Ahhhhh .... a real Black and White darkroom .... always wanted one of those (mine's still in colour).
Where do you keep the marshmellows for the fire?
Flotsam said:
All right. Here you go then.

Please! Everybody try to stay with the group. I wouldn't want anyone wandering off and getting lost. :smile:
If you would like to visit the wet side of my darkroom, please knock first and be kind enough to light a match when you are finished. :D
 

Flotsam

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John, I thought that you would surely comment on the Brooke Burke calendar that I keep on the wall because of the... um...... Photography! Yes, that's it, the fine photographs that were taken by that uh.. erm... guy, who, um ...takes pictures 'n stuff. :smile:

No marshmallows but the stove is going full blast. It is colder than a landlord's heart here today. It sure ain't Summertime in this hemisphere!
 

gareth harper

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Can't find that picture that shows the whole of my darkroom. Now where did I put that.
But if you go to http://www.photo.net/shared/community-member?user_id=470820 you'll see me sitting in my darkroom.

There's not much more to it than you see in that picture anyway.
All your darkrooms are massive and very beautiful, I'm going green with envy!

My darkroom measures about 5 by 6 feet. I have a Durst M670 that just fits on my bench, as you can see a short distance away is a Nova 12x16 inch fibre. If it wasn't for the Nova I'd probably give up on printing in such a small space. The fourth slot of the Nova is used as a quick water rinse, before I run out the door, through my bedroom (the darkroom used to be a small walk in wardrobe) out onto the landing and into the bathroom where prints are washed in the sink or in the bath. Prints are hung or placed on my fibre dryer in the tiny spare bedroom. The tiny kitchen is used for processing film. The living room for assesing negs etc. Negs, prints etc are stored in the spare bedroom and the loft.
Past the Nova there is just enougth space to get two 12x16 inch trays side by side before you hit the door frame. I have a big shelf running right round under the main bench, so if I'm split toning I can swap the toner trays between the bench and the shelfs as required.
Not opened my presents yet today, so maybe there will be a wee card from Santa there, that will tell me I have just been given a house that I can swing a cat in with a decent sized darkroom!
 

Adrian Twiss

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argentic said:
Hi Adrian,

I really like your wet table. Was it custom made?

The sink is a Deville sink manufactured by Devere. It is just over 7ft long. Howver it will not accomodate a 20 x 16 inch tray vertically. This means I can only fit 3 20 x 16 inch trays. The under sink storage cabinets are cheap kitchen base units from B&Q minus the doors and work tops. The central 'island' is another cheap kitchen base unit with wheels attached so I can move it around depending on which enlarger I am using. The big durst L1200 is on a 20 inch hight coffee table otherwise It would go through the ceiling. I have to use a Japanese kneeling stool to operate it. It is surprisingly comfortable.
 

BWGirl

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Well, I finally got my little Advantix film developed (don't laugh! :wink: ) Here's my darkroom! My husband built both benches and they are so sturdy you could have a dance party on them! haha
 

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