The Home Darkroom

Introduction: The Home Darkroom

About: 16 Year Old. From Scotland. Photography/Cinematography. Instagram: joshpdmartin

I Show You The Basics Of A Home Dark Room

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Step 1: What You Need

1. Enlarger

2. Chemicals (Developer,Stop,Hypoclear,Fixer)

3. Power

4. Darkroom Bulbs

5. Film Developing Tank

6. Paper Trays

7. Black Bin Bags

8. Lots Of Duck Tape

9. Water

10. Desks/Tables

11. Cardboard

12. Jars/Other Containers

13. Bottle/Film Openers

14. Chemical Disposal Area

15. A Extra Room

16. A dark Area For Chemicals

17. A Keep Out Sign

Step 2: Paper Developing Trays

You will need about 4 of these trays. Any size will work but remember you will need more chemicals for a larger tray. Also remember to clean out your trays or they will end up brown like the one pictured above.

Step 3: Paper Developing Tank

You can get big or small ones, i would recommend a smaller one unless you are using a lot of film.

Step 4: Enlargers

You can get meany different ones but they all should work the same. I use a vintage one and a modern one. Ask your school if they have any or look for them at yard sales.

Step 5: Chemicals

You will need quite a lot of chemicals for your dark room. The chemicals are: Developer, Hypo Clear, Fixer and a stop bath. All chemicals should last forever expect the developer.

Step 6: Used Chemical Area

You will need a area to put your used chemicals. This are is mainly to keep the used chemicals confined and away from the fresh chemicals. A small pan and some containers can be used for this.

Step 7: Film Openers

All you need is some bottle openers for this.

Step 8: Blacking Out Windows and Reflective Areas

You can use black bags, boxes and duck tape for this.

Step 9: Power!

You will need a lot of outlets i used about 6. if your darkroom does not have outlets of it own you can simply run an extension cord from your house.

Step 10: Dark Room Lights

These are cheap and work well. You should only need 1 or 2. DO NOT MAKE YOUR OWN, i did this with spray paint and it did not work at all.

Step 11: Instructions and Keep Out Sign

Always have instructions pined on the wall, and a keep out sign hanging by the door.

Step 12: Tips and Tricks

1. You can dispose of chemicals for free in most states

2. Only use dark room lights

3. Ask around for a free enlarger

4. All chemicals except developer should last forever.

5. Make sure every bit of light is gone.

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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Actually, your stop bath, fixer, and hypo clear will not last forever. That’s why they put an indicator in stop bath and why they sell silver exhaustion tests for fixer. Eventually, stop bath will become increasingly contaminated with developer and will stop (see what I did there?) doing its job. Although that will indeed take a long time to happen, not so much for the fixer: if you don’t keep your fixer fresh, you’ll end up failing to remove the unexposed emulsion from your prints. That will mean prints with a less satisfactory appearance and a shorter lifetime. Finally, prints run through old hypo clear are very likely to develop stains in their first year after printing.

    After 43 years of darkroom work, I’ve made every possible mistake, including those above.

    Good luck with your traditional photography! It’s a fascinating combination of chemistry and art.


    4 years ago

    ? Cheers mate. Now I can turn my backyard shed into a darkroom. Bloody Awesome!✌