An Introduction to Setting Up a Darkroom
|Darkroom, by: Bruce Garner (submitted to the KEH Flickr group)|
Today we're explaining the initial steps to setting up an at-home darkroom, for developing black and white negatives and prints. The black and white and color developing processes are very different, and black and white is by far the easiest to develop yourself and do in your home.
These materials are more focused on 35mm, but the basics are all the same for 35mm, medium format, and large format. If you're interested in developing medium or large format, your film developing process will be slightly different, for example you will be developing your film in trays instead of on reels in tanks. You will also need a different enlarger lens and larger negative carriers for printing, so decide what format you will be working with before sourcing your materials.
|Darkroom shelf, by: Bruce Garner (submitted to the KEH Flickr group)|
Main/ initial supplies:
Sink with running water
Enlarger lens (50mm lens for 35mm film)
Safe light (red/amber light)
Developing trays- x5 (+ water siphon)
Your choice of printing paper
Paper cut into strips for 'test strips'
Sourcing supplies: Some of your basics like scissors and a hand towel can be purchased anywhere that carries these regular household items. Photography specific items for your darkroom can usually be found in a variety of places including the darkroom section of KEH, eBay or Craigslist, local photographic developing and supply businesses, or online.
Freestyle Photographic Supplies carries pretty much everything you would need online. PhotoMFA has a directory where you can search for places that carry darkroom supplies and search by location for local places also.
|The darkroom counter, right side, by: shotgun1a (submitted to the KEH Flickr group)|
|Darkroom at home, by: Larry Wilson (submitted photo)|
Want to see more photos of darkrooms? There's a Flickr group for that! Check out The Darkroom Portraits Group.