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The End of the Darkroom?


User_Removed 8 398 6 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2008 1:28PM
I spent many a happy hour in the dark room and for nostalgic reasons would love to again. I can only see the chemical process being used for this reason. It's like "some kids are taught latin in school!! -Why???
NealSmile

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rowarrior 6 4.4k 9 Scotland
21 Jul 2008 1:35PM
Well as someone who spent years having to limbo under her dad's darkroom bench set up in the downstairs loo/cloakroom just to pee, then no, I'm not entirely sad we've been able to move on Wink
Nick_w e2
7 4.1k 99 England
21 Jul 2008 1:54PM
First of all Jonnie good luck with the placement.

I first got hooked to photography seeing a print develop in the darkroom, indeed I think its the main reason for my personal preferance being for mono's. The skills helped understand that getting it right in camera is vital, I still have the darkroom stuff...in the garage storred away (anyone interested?).

I took a 10 year sabatical from photography and came back in the digital age. Its far easier getting the print you wan't. If the dodging / burning isn't right, easy delete adjustment layer start again 30 seconds later press print (saves 29.5 minutes !) and that doesn't include the set up and cleaning down.

But I do toy with the idea of digging it out for nostalgia, tho my wife might object to the smell of all those chemicals - but being an industrial chemist (well was till I started to sell them!) thats what appealed to me as a kid.

What will kill off the darkroom will be waste disposal regulations / H&S etc, I don't think it will bbe long before such items are no longer available to the 'consumer' - just go down to B&Q and try to buy creosote - or anything with a Xi label on it!
Morpyre e2
10 1.6k 8 Wales
21 Jul 2008 2:03PM
i see no reason at all as to why traditional darkrooms and digital darkrooms can't co-exist in photography. both are great for their own reasons. i havn't used film for some years but i fully intend as soon as financally convenient and available space to have a darkroom in my house - i have never had the opportunity to do my own processing but definitely want to. my father used to do it when he was younger. ideally i want to get a medium format camera with a range of backs from film through to digital.

i look forward to a time when the whole "is film dead - are darkrooms a thing of the past" debate dies a death - film and digital are both excellent and provide a lot of fun for the photographer.

the theatre didn't die when cinema was invented and cinema didn't die when tv was invented - all work fine together

peter "morpyre" turner
keith selmes 11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2008 2:39PM

Quote:just go down to B&Q and try to buy creosote
They have creosote substitute, although depending on what you want creosote for, some other products might be better than creosote.
mdpontin 10 6.0k Scotland
21 Jul 2008 3:27PM
I'm sure you can buy a cough mixture containing creosote. I wouldn't recommend painting the garden fence with it, though. Wink

I had a darkroom in the downstairs 'cloakroom' for a while: a cupboard on the wall, the front of which folded down to provide the main work bench. It was a bit of a pain setting it all up and putting it all away again afterwards, and there wasn't much room to move, but I enjoyed experimenting with Multigrade, Cibachrome, etc. I did have one catastrophe when I inadvertently leaned on the corner of a shelf which had a tray of developer on it. The clip securing the shelf had worked loose, and so it flipped up, tipping developer all over the carpet! Oh and of course carpet isn't a great idea in a darkroom, partly because a spill can ruin it, but also because of dust.

Anyway, although I've still got the enlarger, easel, and various other bits and pieces, I don't think I'll be using it again. Digital is more suitable for somebody as lazy as me. Wink
Kris_Dutson 12 8.2k 1 England
21 Jul 2008 3:29PM

Quote:...just go down to B&Q and try to buy creosote


[Quote]They have creosote substitute, although depending on what you want creosote for, some other products might be better than creosote.


Exactly, time and technology move on. You can buy creosote substitutes that are just as good, if not better, and are far less dangerous to you and the environment.

The same goes for darkroom paraphernalia too.

I too love my log burning stove, but I also like the convenience of central heating and electricity when coming in on a cold day.
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
21 Jul 2008 3:48PM
I've never stepped foot in a traditional dark room, never had the inclination to do so either.

Digital was my way into photography, Photoshop is my darkroom and I think that's the way a lot of photography will go with the new generations of people entering the subject. the on-going expense, smell and room needed for a darkroom, never mind film, will gradually be replaced by laptops and digital cameras.

Dark rooms will still exist whilst people still have film cameras, though with high quality scanners, a lot of film users are just developing shots, scanning and then using Photoshop.

It's not something that remotely concerns me as it will never affect me or my workflow, and I guess I'll be in the majority of EPZ users when I say that.
Kris_Dutson 12 8.2k 1 England
21 Jul 2008 4:07PM

Quote:It's not something that remotely concerns me as it will never affect me or my workflow, and I guess I'll be in the majority of EPZ users when I say that

True; I'm one of them.

Here's a scenario for you.

A few weeks ago I decided to have a bash at selling images at craft fairs. I decided to start with a stock of 10 - 15x10 mounted prints, 20 - 10x8s and 50 - A5 greetings cards. All this with less than a week until the fair. I printed the whole lot in one day and mounted and bagged them in a couple of hours the following day. (I could probably have mounted and bagged them the same day as printing, but I wanted to make sure the ink was thoroughly dry). How long would it have taken to do in a dark room?

The event I attended was over two days. On the first day I sold 3 - 15x10s, 6 - 10x8s and 23 greetings cards. That night (Saturday) I went home and replaced all the sold prints and cards, did a few extras as well, and was back at my pitch, stocked up and ready to go again by 10 AM Sunday morning. Again, could that have been achieved in the dark room?

OK, if I'd been using film, I could have had it all done by a commercial printer but then I would have no control over the final product. And what printer could have replaced my stock on a Saturday night and got them to me for Sunday morning?

I think the darkroom will end up, and sooner than you think, as a preserve of the hobbyist only. Itís just not going to be commercially viable in this day and age when people want stuff yesterday.
exposure e2
10 1.8k England
21 Jul 2008 4:46PM
I am not sure about this as I havnt really gone into It(*.*)
will print from a home printer last as long as a traditional fibre based prints done in a traditional dark room?
lobsterboy e2
11 14.2k 13 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2008 4:56PM

Quote:will print from a home printer last as long as a traditional fibre based prints done in a traditional dark room


Depends on the manufacturer and which paper/ink combinations you are using but most are claiming over 100 years now. Considering most of the prints I've got from the 70s have faded a bit that doesn't seem so bad Smile
exposure e2
10 1.8k England
21 Jul 2008 4:59PM
Thanks lobsterboy for your info
(*.*)
Kris_Dutson 12 8.2k 1 England
21 Jul 2008 5:38PM
The papers and inks I use are supposed to last a minimum of 50 years. So unless one of my pics is suddenly declared a work of art to be admired forever, that'll do for me.

Besides, for the minimal cost involved printing digital, it's almost worth giving a lifetime replacement guarantee.
exposure e2
10 1.8k England
21 Jul 2008 5:40PM
I think thats brilliant, Which inks and printer do you use? EX
Kris_Dutson 12 8.2k 1 England
21 Jul 2008 5:48PM
Canon Pro 9500 A3+ and it's matching Lucia pigment inks, usually printed on Permajet Oyster paper.

OK, it's a fair investment but it's more than paid for itself since I bought it in January this year. Smile

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