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How many started with their love of Black and White in th Darkroom

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keith selmes 14 7.3k 1 United Kingdom
30 Aug 2010 12:08AM
Did you start out in a wet darkroom? NO
What Is your preference B&W (inc. toned etc, etc) or Colour or no preference? No Preference

But life is not that simple.
When I was a very small person, my father showed me how to make tiny contact prints without a dark room.
Much later he made an an enlarger out of bits of scrap, and used that without a proper darkroom.
I thought he was very clever, but also I realised that with ingenuity ordinary people can do this in their home without any fancy equipment and without a darkroom.

Later on I used colour print film, and then transparency film. Colour was the norm before digital photography arrived.
Black and white was the old fashioned stuff father did.

But even later on, I thought I would try some processing myself, and since B&W is cheaper and simpler to do, here I am.

I don't love mono.
It just happens that
a) some images, film or digital, work better in mono.
b)if you're doing chemical photography, mono is cheaper and easier to process and print

I've never spent any time in a darkroom, so I don't have any unhappy memories,and have not been liberated from it.
I'd quite like one, more as a hobby thing, only its not so much the enlarger I need as an extra room to put it in.

It might be true that, if my father had not given me the idea, I might not be using film at all now.

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brian1208 Plus
14 11.3k 12 United Kingdom
30 Aug 2010 11:35AM
Started with B&W film, developing my own at work.

No preference, its all down to the image

I prefer digital as I can process my images in the same way but without the chemicals and its much easier to store my "negatives".

Processed properly and using the right papers (doesn't that sound familiar?Wink ) the results are, to my eye, at least as good as the wet developed prints.

Nostalgia is definitely a thing of the past for me!
MrDennis 9 261 Wales
30 Aug 2010 6:52PM
Those were the days! Colour Neg developed in shop, to colour slide, developed in shop. Got more interested so went for a City & Guilds course.
B&W was the norm in lockal Photography College. Got bitten by the B&W bug so bought all the trays, timer, chemicals and an MPP B&W Enlarger. Still got the enlarger.
Took another City & Guilds course and passed. Went for City & Guilds 3 and bought an Meopta opemus 6 B&W Enlarger with Colour head as well.
After gaining a City & Guilds 7 in B&W, I decided to learn how to do Lith in the darkroom thanks to two Photography Technicians giveing me the BUG!
I Loved Lith. Mixing the A + B Kodalith with a little of the old stuff, and seeing that image arrive in the tray was more exciting than normal B&W to me. Snatching it out at the correct time was more miss than hit at first.
Then Digital arrived along with photoshop. Then the Actions to install. No more Spilt dev etc., on the floor or on the clothes. No more SMELL!
Funny thing, the excitment is still there even though I'm useing PSCS4&5.
My friend still uses the darkroom and mixes his own chemicals from Crystals. He's a wizard in the darkroom and will not use Digital.
The old arguement we have is this--I say I now save cash because I not buy film, He says BUT! you still buying cards, ink, paper and all kinds of things that is never ending so I'm now spending more than him. I Think he be correct, but don't tell him. LOL
Long Live B&W...
fatherpie 9 18 12 England
1 Sep 2010 10:52AM
Regardless of format - analogue or digital - I suspect that B&W will be here for a long long time. I have introduced several friends to B&W recently and each has remarked that it gives them another creative outlet. As you say... Long Live B&W Grin
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
1 Sep 2010 11:06AM
I've never been in a dark room - what they like?

I saw one on The Omen once - he kept seeing lines through himself then got beheadded, so I always assumed they were evil places and best avoided Wink
Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
1 Sep 2010 1:21PM

Quote:I saw one on The Omen once - he kept seeing lines through himself then got beheadded, so I always assumed they were evil places and best avoided

Ade, you have been hanging around far too many grave yards Smile

Started out doing B&W, had a dark room for a fair few years, I then went digital and got rid of the lot.

For me nothing beats a small range finder or zone focusing manual film camera, out on the streets at night. I`m now back in full swing and always looking out for bargins in charity shops, car boots etc.

Simply fire and forget, your not getting bogged down with iffy auto focus, no chimping you just move on knowing full well you had nailed your target in one hit.

My latest, a couple of quid from a charity shop, a quick strip and clean, new light seals and it was ready to go.


Nothing special for the seals, a bit of felt and some double sided tape.


A few more that I`ve serviced and get a lot of use.


The Minolta`s only used at dusk, its auto focus only

A few from some of the trips





Eviscera 11 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2010 5:30PM
Just trolling !

Superb Paul.
peterjones Plus
16 4.7k 1 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2010 6:24PM
Did you start out in a wet darkroom? Yes, red light, music, bottle of red, fumes, raging headache, nothing quite like it.
What Is your preference B&W (inc. toned etc, etc) or Colour or no preference? B&W preferred but also colour neg and positive.

I have my old darkroom cluttering up cupboards ready for another mono print; will I ? Like heck my new Canon printer does excellent B&W prints equal to anything under the enlarger but you never know I may one day take a trip to nostalgia.

I toned mainly selenium and sepia; I have a book that outlines Uranium Nitrate toning ...........
Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
1 Sep 2010 6:58PM

Quote:Ade, you have been hanging around far too many grave yards

many a true word ... There's one at the end of his road !!

It reminds me I haven't been out to get a mono for a while (infrared experiment aside) must change that at the weekend.
spaceman 14 5.3k 3 Wales
1 Sep 2010 10:16PM

Quote:A few from some of the trips

That snow picture's ace.
NEWMANP 10 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
2 Sep 2010 1:37PM
it must have been the red light tempting me in, but recently i just threw the lot in a skip, good riddance because im getting better and more consistant results from digital printing.

the real fun one was cibachrome colour prints,-- rolling drums around for hours and then finding you had a caste--again
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
2 Sep 2010 1:58PM

Quote:many a true word ... There's one at the end of his road !!

it's closer than that - I'm looking at it now as I type! just been a burial in fact.

it's over my garden fence

looks like they're filling the hole now.
Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
2 Sep 2010 2:48PM
No Ade now's Not the time to experiment with the Lensbaby- don't think the relatives would be impressed Wink
randomrubble 13 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
2 Sep 2010 3:39PM
I took up photography with colour, then when I went to art college to study architecture I used thier darkrooms. By the time I'd left the (Mid 90s) the darkrooms had been replaced by a CGI/3d/videogame programming suite!

I do prefer colour though.
barrovian 13 165 United Kingdom
2 Sep 2010 5:51PM
Did you start out in a wet darkroom? YES
What Is your preference B&W (inc. toned etc, etc) or Colour or no preference? NO PREFERENCE
So long ago now but still remember the never ending delight at the magic as the print became visible. Nothing in the digital world comes close, but I wouldn't go back - too time consuming and messy.


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