Darkroom progress, part 1

Hi again! Earlier this year, 2013, in February my girlfriend rented a darkroom. Romantically enough this was our Valentines day. Could I wish for a better present? I was so excited! Like a little boy waiting to open his christmas presents! The last time I stood in a darkroom was almost 15 years ago! I had for a long time longed to do this again. 

 

In May I joined a basic darkroom technique course with my friend Philip. It had been so long since I had been in a darkroom so I decided to return to basics. The child within me awoke again! Nothing truly is as magical as when your photo appears in the developer. 

The obvious room to use as a darkroom was my bathroom. It has no windows and has access to water. The majority of the bathroom is white but I read in some forums saying that was ok. As long as the area where the enlarger is put was darkened to secure the risk of stray light at long exposures. 

 

So I began to scan through the second hand market for darkroom equipment and ended up buying an enlarger, Fujimoto G70. I got it because it takes up to 6x7 negatives and has a diffuser and a condensor head. I thought about getting one with the possibility to do 4x5's but I figured that will probably be something for the future to tell. I asked the the guy, whom I bought the equipment from, if he had some other things to sell. He said he had some stuff collecting dust and could give me some stuff for free! So besides the 50/4 and 80/4,5 Schneider lenses, mask for 35mm film, 6x6 and 6x7 he gave me a focusscope and a exposure timer. 

A couple of weeks later I saw an add for two darkroom lights. I responded and met the guy. He had a huge workspace with studio, large darkroom and storage space. He and some of his friends had buit that darkroom together in the early 80's. It was the best designed darkroom I've ever seen. Then again I haven't seen that many except for a bunch on youtube. It was the first darkroom I've seen with windows! Fantastic! There where red windows so you could see what people outside the darkroom where up to. I must have been too excited since I strangely enough didn't take any photos. Sad..

He was kind enough to give me some free stuff as well! I got two extra filters to go with the long IIford lights I bought. Three developing trays and a lot of old photographic paper, mostly Ilford. The trays needed some cleaning and the papers were long ago expired, but they where free :) Probably won't develop but at least I got some cool old Ilford and Kodak boxes! 

I repainted one of the lights from dark blue to black and changed the old cord and added a new on-off switch.

Next I was on a hunt for an easel, print washer, working table and more. Putting the darkroom together will take some time but eventually I'll get there. So I won't bore you anymore. 

 To be continued.....

 

© 2013 Photography by Joel Foo