Darkroom Photography

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Darkroom Photography

Darkroom photography allows complete control over how your images develop.

Darkroom photography provides you with the some of the best possible results by letting you processing and printing your own film . Frequently, meticulously framed, lit and exposed shots are sent off to commercial processing laboratories where they receive standardized treatment that simply does not bring out the complete potential with the image. It really is not too difficult to put together a darkroom at your residence.

Almost any room at home can be used being a temporary home darkroom. Of course, it is far easier if a permanent area could be put aside since there’ll then be no requirement for that you pack away the darkroom equipment after each session.

Darkroom photography safety

When you will probably be using a combination of chemical liquids, water and electricity in a dimly lit or totally blacked-out area, you should pay particular focus on darkroom safety!
Separating your darkroom into a dry side and a wet side will help prevent many potential mishaps by keeping electrical equipment away from wet hands.

All chemicals, it uses very little to cause damage, must be in properly sealed containers, correctly labelled, and place away from children.

Because you will often be in dim light or darkness, continue to keep the ground area clear of clutter, and have in the habit of putting your darkroom equipment, paper and trays back in the same position.

Many chemicals are poisonous, so eating and smoking shouldn’t be allowed within the darkroom. Furthermore, used chemicals ought to be disposed of in the environmentally conscious way.

Darkroom film processing

Basic film processing does not even require darkroom photography. All you need is a black, lightproof changing bag provided by most photographic stores. In the bag place your film-processing tank and spiral, your intact cassette of exposed film as well as a bottle opener for removing the surface of the cassette. Two special light-trapped openings in the bag enable you to insert both hands and forearms. When your hands are in the bag, all you need do is open the cassette, take away the film and load it onto the inner spiral from the film tank. Assemble the tank while using spiral inside then, after the lid is securely fitted on the tank, get rid of the loaded film tank through the bag and initiate the processing sequence. All of this is done in normal room lighting.

The precise sequence of processing steps is determined by the kind of film being handled, but complete chemical kits are for sale for all sorts of black-and-white film and color negative film, and for most color slide films. These kits have full instructions.

For each and every chemical or wash stage of film processing, simply pour the correctly diluted liquid at the appropriate temperature in to the the surface of the tank lid, keep to the directions concerning agitation and timing, then pour the liquid out again from the the top of lid.

Dry side/wet side Good darkroom design separates all the processes involving water or chemicals (the wet side) from the exposure and printing processes (the dry side).
Darkroom Equipment

Darkroom printing

For printing, you need to do have to have a completely lightproof room that has access to running water and power. Because certain chemicals found in the method produce potentially hazardous fumes, the space ought to be well ventilated.

The initial stage of printing involves utilizing an enlarger to reveal your processed film image onto a sheet of specially sensitive printing paper. It is at this time that you can see how much exposure the paper requires and, for color, simply how much filtration it takes.

Because color paper is responsive to all light, this step is conducted in complete darkness (apart from the lighting from your enlarger). Black-and-white paper, however, is not sensitive to red, which enables it to be handled in the very dim illumination given off by special red ‘safelights’.

The following stage with color printing is processing. The exposed paper is generally loaded into what looks like an elongated film-processing tank. Using the paper inside the paper drum as well as the lid secure, activate the ordinary room lights and commence the processing sequence.

Traditionally, black-and-white paper is processed in open trays of chemicals, the sheets being transferred from one to the other at the end of each stage. You’ll find, however, fewer processing levels in black and white compared to color photography. Darkroom photography should remain under safelighting during the entire entire sequence.

When the chemical processes are completed, the prints need to be washed – preferably in running water – to stop paper ‘staining’ as time passes. The prints should then be stuck to dry inside a dust-free atmosphere, or placed in special drying racks to complete the darkroom photography process.

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