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Under the Red Light

johnriley1uk > johnriley1uk Blog > Under the Red Light
28/03/2012 - 11:17 PM

Unique views 228 (298)

Yes, today I finally dismantled the very last remnants of the darkroom. I had kept it open for possible use far, far longer than it was needed and in fact it wasn't used for possibly five years before it finally went.

I remember with affection those long, hot days under the red light, cocooned in a detached and remote creative world. Occasionally a cup of hot coffee would be passed in to me and eventually I would emerge, blinking into the light, carrying buckets filled with water and soaking black and white prints.

Happy days, but now I wonder how I could find time for all the setting up, having to spend at least a few hours to make it worthwhile, the cleaning up, washing prints, drying and spotting out the offending white specks.

Now I can produce images as and when. The PC is always on, so I only need to take a seat and away we go. It is cleaner, faster and more efficient than the darkroom ever was.

However, the techniques learned in that darkroom are still there in Photoshop, so the learning process was of real value. I suppose from analog to digital, I've been in photography at the very best of times. Now, where did I put those glass slides......Smile


Pete Site Moderator 1418757 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
29 Mar 2012 - 9:42 AM

I took mine down about 15 years ago. And have similar feelings about the experience, and the time needed. I do from time to time want to have another go, but I guess, like watching some old TV series repeat, the remembered feelings are better than reality. And I'd soon realise why I'd packed it away.

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conrad  1110882 forum posts116 Constructive Critique Points
29 Mar 2012 - 9:58 AM

I did my own processing when I was in my teens. I then switched to slides, and of course about six or seven years ago I switched to digital. Never regretted that last switch for one moment. Although I'm still attracted to many of the old analogue cameras (which I just think look great, so I suppose it's the attraction of the design that does it), I never want to go back to darkroom processing anymore.

JJGEE  106579 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
30 Mar 2012 - 11:02 AM

LPL 7700 enlarger has been in the garage for about 7.5 years, still got the Schneider lenses somewhere and the Beard easel is sitting on top of my wardrobe in the bedroom ! !

Jobo drums, spirals, etc. all went down the Council landfill many years ago Sad

Downloading from a CF card to the computer is obviously quicker than developing E6 Velvia or Ilford's Pan F Plus but just does not give the same excitement / satisfaction as taking the lid off the drum and unwinding the film off the spiral after an hour's messing around with chemicals and water baths & thermometers ! !

Also, with these online printing labs I can get a 18 x 12 glossy print for just 1 ( plus postage ) within a couple of days so I guess "home" digital printing may die out completely for the "hobby" photographer in the future, especially with the cost of inks.

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