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Photography: The Darkroom

Photography Darkroom

You can build a fine basic darkroom for under $200.00 – especially if you take the time to shop.  I find Amazon has a selection of Darkroom Accessories and you’ll find everything you need. FIRST: Please go to the camera store and get a good book on film and paper processing!  You simply gotta get in the habit of “reading the directions” FIRST!

If you are short of funds and/or space you will find that your average bathroom makes for a natural darkroom!!  The bathtub will hold three developing trays (11X14), the seat is the perfect place to put the enlarger. and it is easy to seal out the light.  All your bottled chemicals should be placed in the bathtub also…. if they drip they will not affect the porcelain tub!

My Darkroom Setup

Enlargers can run from about $75 (used) to thousands (new).

The most important factor is the enlarging lens. If you buy one used, be sure and get a money back guarantee so you can test if for sharpness and color purity. Lenses run from about $20 to hundreds.

You will also need a developing tank and reels

Photography: The Darkroom

This equipment allows you to develop film in a light-tight environment.  Once the film is loaded on the reels and placed inside the Nikkor tanks, put the top on and you can turn on the lights and pour chemicals in and out without any light getting to the film.


If you want to go fancy you might want a timer as well.

Finally, I urge you to use print tongs (see below).  Those chemicals can cause you a lot of problems if you insist on dipping your hands in and out. You’ll also need a thermometer and a safe light. To dry the film, after it has been properly washed it, I use rubbing alcohol and a hair dryer. Immerse the film into a tank full of alcohol for 15-20 seconds, remove it, and – using your fingers as a squeegee, gently wipe the liquid away.

If you are in a rush, blast the film with a hairdryer…. but don’t get the heat too close.  I would suggest you do not rush the film-drying process. The alcohol will evaporate rapidly so just slowly close the door and wait 5-10 minutes.

How to Set Up a Home Darkroom

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  1. Sir.
    I am a Nigerian Age 37 staying in the republic of Mali in the capital city of Bamako I’m a photographer by profession since 1990. I became a photographer when I was a teenager due to my father was a photographer. He used to teach me how to snapped people while was still going to school, but unfortunately today what I learned from my daddy as of 90’s are not what I’m seeing in today’s photography everything has become more professional and computerized while in those days what my daddy tough me was after taken the photo we then enter the darkroom together by then we’d already mixed the developer and the fixing SALT, then he showed me how to developed the negative/the film after that we have dried it and we enter the second time for the printing we were using Enlarger for the printing everything was Manuel and the photo will appear in black&white, but today many photo studio belongs to the Chinese here and everything is automatic and computerized and that make things to become hard with us here but since is my ambition to be a photographer and I love to be so I can not abandon, it rather i what to become more professional by furthering my career. Please I would like to know what and what it will take me to have my admission and the procedure to follow in other to attained your school for I have seen enough testimonies about your school.

    please i will like to find out if the your school will issue an invitation letter to their participants/students if so what are the ADMISSION TERMS?

    Best Regards


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