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Thread: Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    22

    Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

    Hi,

    So this is a question I would really like to ask, and see what ideas people have come up with when it comes to collodion wet-plate photography in the field.

    I've seen multiple videos and read lots of forums on mobile darkrooms. Each has there pro's but most have lots of con's. I know Large Format Photographers are an inventive bunch and I would really like to see peoples ideas on this matter. The more simple and practicle the better.

    I've researched this a little now. The 'ESKIMO' brand ice fishing tent seems to be a popular option. The downside to this is it would get very hot where I live. I think this tent would be great in cooler climates. Has anybody used this tent idea in warmer areas say like Florida or North Australia? Has anybody created a ventilation system to assist with the heat?

    Another idea I really like is the portable darkroom by Lund Photographics. Very simple and well thought as all of his products are. Has anybody used these and what do they think?

    I would even like to here from people who have started down the tent/portable mini darkroom and just decided its all too much. Than have decide to builder a complete trailer to tow around. I've heard stories of people just getting tired of the tent idea and built some really amazing trailer concepts.

    Please include photos, links if you can.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

    Have you looked up Luther Gerlach?
    Last edited by Mark Sampson; 4-Mar-2018 at 18:41.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Re: Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

    I don't know what she is doing today, but Sally Mann was using some sort of dark tent—which I assume she made or caused to be made—in the back of a Chevy Suburban. The tent doesn't have to be big enough for a person, just the plates and chemistry.

  4. #4

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    Re: Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

    I bought a red children's tent from Walmart (Lightning McQueen) and covered it with light tight material from Freestyle photographic. The fabric is pretty light so I tied weights into the corners to keep the wind from blowing it up while I work. I now have a cap on the back of my truck so it fits inside already set up. I can be ready to shoot in only a few minutes.
    Pros - super cheap, quick setup, 4 x 5 feet of room for plates up to 11x14, contains spills.

    Cons - tent durability in question. Tent poles are weak. The tent was $10 so I bought a few. Still on my first tent but on my 3rd set of tent poles. I also have to lean into the tent to work which makes my back tired if making a lot of plates.




  5. #5
    Graflex Wayne Aho's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    New Hampshire
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    Re: Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

    I have not used the Eskimo, but know a few who have. They are hot in the sun, even up north. They also have light leaks at the seams that need a sealing spray almost every time they are set-up, and they leak light along the base so some use rocks and logs to hold the flaps down. Aside from that, they make a great walk-in darkroom for ultra-large plates. One of the better and easier methods is a portable dark-box, takes about 20 minutes to setup. Some folks use their car trunks, or a dark box in the back of an suv or pickup.

  6. #6

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    Nov 2014
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    Pearl River, La.
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    Re: Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

    I converted an Enclosed trailer into a mobile darkroom. It work awesome and I really loved it. I had to sell it because I traded my truck in and got a Jeep Wrangler. The trailer I had was just too big for the jeep. I plan to do something very similar but with a much smaller enclosed trailer. For the darkroom part of the trailer I was only using the front of the trailer anyways so the back, while good for storage was really wasted space.

    Here is a video from when I first converted it. I had added several features after this video and had plans for a generator and possibly AC or a fan of some sort. Louisiana summers get smoldering hot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gob0I3zgzLs

  7. #7

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    Re: Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

    I wanted to do something like that to a 5x8 trailer. The dream would be to have a small generator with heat and ac. If you are looking for a premium rig, Robb Kendrick was selling his trailer a while back.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Pearl River, La.
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    Re: Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

    Quote Originally Posted by cuypers1807 View Post
    I wanted to do something like that to a 5x8 trailer. The dream would be to have a small generator with heat and ac. If you are looking for a premium rig, Robb Kendrick was selling his trailer a while back.
    I’m not familiar with him or his but I seen Will Dunniway was selling the ultimate mobile dark room also.

    I plan to do another smaller one. The one I had was just a little too big for the jeep. Made it burn too much gas.

  9. #9
    Foamer
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    South Dakota
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    Re: Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

    What about using just a large changing bag, the type you put your arms in? Make an internal frame out of PVC?


    Kent in SD
    In contento ed allegria
    Notte ed di vogliam passar!

  10. #10
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Mobile darkroom - wet plate - ideas??

    This is where Pinterest becomes useful. Not the best search yet, try variations, like cargo trailer darkroom, photography etc

    Lot's of historical images here.

    https://www.pinterest.com/search/pin...yped&term_meta[]=mobile%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=darkroom%7Ctyped

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