Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Username:
Password:
Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Like 0

The End of the Darkroom?

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

55% OFF new PortraitPro 12 - use code EPHZROS414.
Just Jas
Just Jas  1225716 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
26 Jul 2008 - 2:54 PM


Quote: I've spent hundreds of hours in a smelly darkroom developing films & printing them & I'm quite happy never to have to do it again!
Rog

I have empathy with this view, although I quite enjoyed the darkroom work at the at the time.

jas

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links 
26 Jul 2008 - 2:54 PM

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Snapper
Snapper  93657 forum posts United States Minor Outlying Islands3 Constructive Critique Points
26 Jul 2008 - 3:45 PM


Quote: using an escalating amount of what I understand to be unenvironmentaly unfriendly chemicals and paper can also have a mental drain..

While it is true that there are specialist processes using nasties (platinum, palladium, selenium, etc), the vast majority of B&W chemicals are less harmful than the contents of your cleaning cupboard (unless you're using Ecover type materials). There also used to be papers with cadmium in them, but again that is all long gone, so few worries there either.

One thing that may be coming through on this thread is that those who haven't used a darkroom for many years are not aware of the advances that have been made to improve the experience, particularly things like odourless stop and fixer?

Graysta
Graysta  91118 forum posts England
26 Jul 2008 - 4:00 PM

Odourless stop & fixer.tut,tut,whatever next.
Always remember at school being able to use the darkroom as part of the photography club, but the smell of the fixer always gave it away on you hands & clothes when youd had a skive there.

Last Modified By Graysta at 26 Jul 2008 - 4:02 PM
Just Jas
Just Jas  1225716 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
26 Jul 2008 - 4:01 PM


Quote: One thing that may be coming through on this thread is that those who haven't used a darkroom for many years are not aware of the advances that have been made to improve the experience, particularly things like odourless stop and fixer?

Guilty as charged.

But I still don't want to do darkroom work again.

jas

Graysta
Graysta  91118 forum posts England
26 Jul 2008 - 4:03 PM

I still do some and still like it.
Graham

KenTaylor
KenTaylor e2 Member 92967 forum postsKenTaylor vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
26 Jul 2008 - 4:09 PM


Quote: advances that have been made to improve the experience, particularly things like odourless stop and fixer?

I cant imagine a darkroom without the aroma of hypo.
And you are quite right about cleaning products. A research chemist friend of mine who is now retired often had raised eyebrows at the contents of many cleaning products.
Ken

keith selmes
26 Jul 2008 - 4:13 PM

I like the smells. Its worth bearing in mind though, I don't have to endure smells and stains day in day out, the odd time that I do it, if not quite exotic, it is something out of the ordinary.

From an environmental point of view, I do seriously think that computers and digital cameras are much worse, and obviously, this being a web site, we all use at least one of those.

thefizz
thefizz  10353 forum posts
26 Jul 2008 - 7:10 PM


Quote: My name is Jon and I am on a work placement course here at ephotozine. I have been asked to put together an article/debate about whether darkrooms still have a place in modern photography.

I was just wodnering if anyone would be willing to share their views on the subject.

Do you use darkrooms and other traditional methods? if not what is your opinion on them?

Is it a good thing that we are moving on, should we forget about the traditional methods or do they still have a part to play in modern photography?

Can the old and new methods work together in teh modern era?

If anyon would be willing to share their opinions with me it would be much appreciated and their quotes could even be used in the article.

Hi jonnieephotozine, your question is too vague as there are so many types of photography and I do believe digital is best for some. Plus there are professional users as well as hobbyists and that can make a huge difference to how one answers.

As a photo hobbyist I have been lucky to have various Darkrooms over the last fifteen years and I am currently setting up my fourth.

Speed is not an issue for me as I enjoy the time spent on my hobby. I'm not looking for any sort of instant gratification. Some people love driving vintage cars. Yes they may be slower and less efficient than the modern car but the experience is more enjoyable to them.

I sell Darkroom produced prints at craft fairs etc and sell on the basis that they are individually hand made. This helps me stand out from other people selling inkjet prints.

I have nothing against anyone using digital but it simply doesn't interest me. What annoys me is when I'm told I should be using digital methods when I already spend too much time glued to the computer at work and at home as it is. Its like asking an artist to drop his paint and brushes and design his pictures on a computer instead. Not really the same.

With regard to the environment, as already said there is much worse substances under your kitchen sink. I think the smelly chemicals complaint is more of a myth. If they did bother me Id just get the odourless ones. The making of computers, printers, cartridges etc., as well as the disposal of these should be considered by those so concerned with the environment.

As long as Darkroom materials and chemicals are available, I'll continue to enjoy my hobby. If they disappear some day then I'll take up painting or sketching etc.

Peter

Last Modified By thefizz at 26 Jul 2008 - 7:12 PM
Kris_Dutson
26 Jul 2008 - 9:05 PM


Quote: I sell Darkroom produced prints at craft fairs etc and sell on the basis that they are individually hand made. This helps me stand out from other people selling inkjet prints.

I respect your opinion, but I class digital prints as had made too. After all, I still have to calibrate ny work flow etc. I can understand a one off print being unique, and a finely crafted product, but I find that if a customer buys a print, then the next one wants theirs to look the same.

Horses for courses. Smile

And besides, room humidity and temperature can affect a digital print so they may not always be identical. Wink

keith selmes
26 Jul 2008 - 9:14 PM

There's no way I could class inkjet prints as hand made.
Sure, they're individually made by the photographer/artist, which to me is important, but there's a world of difference.
Making a print with light and chemicals, you do work with your hands, and its more of an alchemical craft, compared with working through the computer and keyboard.
If you go to alternative processes, thats even more true.

aftertherain
26 Jul 2008 - 9:19 PM

I was one of those people who thought they'd never give up the darkroom.
Then I became allergic to one of the chemicals, my eyes became so swollen I couldn't see out of them.
Now when I think of all those hours spent up in a loft, boiling a kettle to keep the temperatures right, waking through the night when the prints drying on the tiles in the bathroom clattered into the bath, discovering a hair trapped in the dried emulsion and having to do it all again - well I just shudder.
I might be pants at Photoshop but there's no way I'd go back to film Smile
Merl

Last Modified By aftertherain at 26 Jul 2008 - 9:20 PM
joolsb
joolsb e2 Member 927107 forum postsjoolsb vcard Switzerland38 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jul 2008 - 8:39 AM

I've never made a wet print in my life. Life's too short. Doesn't stop me using film, though.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1214393 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jul 2008 - 10:43 AM


Quote: I can understand a one off print being unique, and a finely crafted product

If it involved anything more than a quick flash under an enlarger it will be unique Smile

Decent dodging and burning can require a fair bit of skill and duplicating a second print even more, would not be easy getting the exact some result.

Digital on the other hand with presets, actions and batch processing Smile


Quote: I've never made a wet print in my life

I have recently and found myself strugling, out of practice Smile

Can see film and real proceesing being around for a fair while yet.

keith selmes
27 Jul 2008 - 10:50 AM

I found making prints easy. Making good prints - maybe one day ...

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1214393 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jul 2008 - 10:56 AM

For me it was the dodging and burning I simply could not get it flowing, had forgotten how fiddly it could be Smile

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Username:
Password:
Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.