Building on one of my comments, “I miss my darkroom” (Blogging 101)

Well here i am with a previous assignment (write a post that builds on one of the comments you left). As you can see I am behind in my assignments.

Hmmm,  I have made a few comments, and I suppose there are a few I could expand on but this is the one I’ve chosen.

I did reply to saying “I miss my darkroom”.

What I do miss is the process and physical activity of creating of an image in a darkroom. The negative and the original image were in my mind but I had an idea to depict that image in my own way. No digital imaging package will ever replace the futzing around with enlarger lenses, aperture, exposure and filtering. I also enjoyed the thought process involved around each image, what paper I should use, dodging/burning and other effects required to get the result I wanted. It would be unique, mine, all mine!

There was a great satisfaction at seeing the final print when (if) I got it all right. Yes there were days when I came out with several prints. But after careful examination, or just living with them on a wall for a bit, I’d have to go back and edit or possibly start from scratch.

Another reason I miss the darkroom is that I feel coerced into going digital. I do like the idea of digital. Clean and immense possibilities. There are many advantages and I am prepared to admit that.

No-one within 100 km (60 miles) of my home that develops film any more. A few places still sell film but they all send their rolls to third parties for processing.

I am thinking that at least I can do do my negs on my own. (If I screw that up I am right to here to chew myself out for the mistake!) The only things I need are a new thermometer and whatever chemicals I decide on. (I am used to D-76 or Rodinal, but am not sure what is around anymore. Perhaps I may try C-41 for colour too! Some research is in order.)

The bulk of my equipment has been long since sold off although I still have a box
of tanks, bulk loaders and other paraphernalia that no one wanted. I was thinking
that I should get them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill…

Then again if I start to process my negatives again I’m gonna need those items.


4 thoughts on “Building on one of my comments, “I miss my darkroom” (Blogging 101)

  1. Well, it looks like you’ve read my previous blog entry:
    but you seem to really enjoy the wet darkroom, which I, most emphatically, did not. It wasn’t so much the work, though my finances made me very careful with materials, but the fact that there was always the sound of running water (only way to keep it a stable temperature), and I am an extremely suggestible person. I think I got the same thing as my late aunt, who refused to try to spend her honeymoon at Niagara Falls … said she’d spend her whole time there in the bathroom. Anyway, I had a devil’s own time with it, and when I switched to colour slides, it was a great relief.
    My Scottish Lassie loves wet darkroom, too, and hates the computer … she’s largely instinctive, even with colour; just feels the water with her hand, and uses it when it’s right. Drives her partner nuts.
    I used Rodinal, and replenished it, too … I got a rubber lab cork and threw away the bottle cap, and extracted the right amount with a big ol’ glass syringe and hypodeemic nerdle, and replenished via the same route. Kept the Oxygen in the bottle to a minimum. I’m pretty sure that Rodinal is still available. My favouritest developer was Harvey’s Panthermic 777. It came with a chart that allowed you to control gamma at any temperature, and was completely replenishable. I think you could use it on papers, too, but its main use for me was in my big ol’ FR Adjustable Sheet Film Tank.

  2. I miss working with film, whether b&w, colour neg or reversal and like you have felt a tad bullied into digital. Only last week I was moaning about this in my local camera shop, only to be pleasantly surprised to find that not only do they stock film and other darkroom materials, but for them demand is rising! My old Canon A1 has been dragged out of the attic, happy days ahead!

  3. While I like digital, I do agree that it seems we have been coerced into this, while I can still find film in my area, I have no idea where it can be developed, if one does not DIY.

    • Apologies for taking so long to respond. An extended stay in hospital without interntet.
      I have the same issue. I can buy film (limited choice and supply though) but I must sent it out of town to be processed. Pondering the DIY route for B & W… we’ll see.

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