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Thread: Converting room to a darkroom.

  1. #11
    Robert Bowring
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    Nov 2010
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    92

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Paint the walls and ceiling a light color. The only black walls and ceiling should be around the enlarger. Figure how large of a sink you will need and then build it bigger than you think you need. You can't have too much sink.

  2. #12

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    Equally far from everything
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    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    +1 on Roberts comment about the sink. Wish I had made room for a bigger sink.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Sheridan, Colorado
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    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Bowring View Post
    Paint the walls and ceiling a light color. The only black walls and ceiling should be around the enlarger.
    And make sure it is MATTE black, not glossy.

  4. #14

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    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Ventilation can also be a big issue.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin USA
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    144

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    All these suggestions are good, especially Robert's sink reco at #11. I chose to have a workbench for all the cutting, trimming and mounting steps OUTSIDE and adjacent to the darkroom proper, since those steps don't need to be done in the dark and (some) can generate airborne particles that may cause issues around your enlarger (so avoid them). Also, if your darkroom will be in a basement that also includes a forced hot air furnace, clothes washer and dryer (my situation), make sure that the furnace and dryer are really well vented to the outside world and NOT contributing to airborne dust and lint that can drift into your darkroom or cutting/matting/mounting work areas.

    All the planning and steps leading up to your finished darkroom can seem endless and overwhelming, but keep in mind that once you get your darkroom the way you want it, and it is working with and for you, there's nothing better to have in support your film photography pursuits.
    ... JMOwens (Mt. Pleasant, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    8,550

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Regarding paint, my previous dark room (my daughter's Barbie bathroom) had pink walls. My current dark room (the guest wc) is powder blue.
    I can't say I've noticed any difference.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    California
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    2,617

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    The darkroom which I have used for over 40 years is 10' square. Along one wall is my 9'10" sink with storage above and below. A 4x5 beseler is on one wall and a 5x7 Aristo on the opposite. Along The fourth wall is a storage cabinet with paper. The paper cutter and light box are on top of this cabinet. Above is another storage cabinet with various essentials. The walls are the original off-white.The floor is asphalt tile. I have hot and cold water and a drain in the sink. The wall behind the Beseler is a closed off window. I closed it with plywood through which I cut a portal so I can reach through and open the window. Another portal holds the light- proofed squirrel cage fan for ventilation. I wish I had more space, but a lot of work has been completed here.
    All mounting and mat cutting are done in another space where film and paper are stored.

  8. #18

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    Aug 2000
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    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    I should have added - I do not eat or drink in the darkroom for safety reasons. I use a large number of processes and there is too much danger of making a mistake. I make it a practice to go out of the darkroom approximately every hour for snacks,water, and bathroom needs. This relaxation of mind and body is important, I believe. I certainly would never drink alcohol during a lab session.That can wait. There is a time to do photography, and a time to indulge.

  9. #19
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    Location
    Winona, Minnesota
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    4,857

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    I should have added - I do not eat or drink in the darkroom for safety reasons.
    Tell me about it! You know how much Rodinal looks like Guinness under safelight!

  10. #20
    Corran's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    North GA Mountains
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    6,025

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    My wife and I got into cocktails a couple of years ago and one time I went into the darkroom mildly buzzed to develop some E-6. Turns out that 30 minutes in pitch black with no point of reference and mildly impaired motor functions was not a good idea!

    Lesson learned...
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

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