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Experience in the dark

View Poll Results: How much darkroom experience have you had?
Yes, lots, but b/w only 38 22.09%
Lots of b/w and color 22 12.79%
Lots of color only 2 1.16%
I've done it, but not very much 54 31.40%
Never 56 32.56%
Voters: 172. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-29-2002, 12:23 AM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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It pops back up if someone votes, even if they don't post.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:07 PM
cralx2000 cralx2000 is offline
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Darkroom Class

I'm looking for darkroom class at Austin - Tx. Please let me know.

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Old 09-05-2005, 11:16 AM
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vidanse vidanse is offline
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Posts: 48
Darkroom ages

I finally sold my Beseler enlarger and darkroom supplies online back in 1992 when they were gathering dust. At home I did primarily BW and worked in an Expressly Portrait studio where they printed pictures for clients in an hour.

My darkroom career began in the 70's. I loved BW printing and got the chance to take workshops all over California. My favorite photographer at the time was Jerry Uselman. I got the chance to study with John Sextons assisstant to Ansel Adams and learned a lot about fine BW printing. But I'm so enthralled with the capability we have now with digital and Photoshop.

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Old 09-05-2005, 01:57 PM
Rodi Rodi is offline
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I'm no photographer, but I can lay claim to spending much time in a darkroom. I set type on Reels of film for headlines for quite a while. I used a hughe DS Screen Camera (up to 20" x 24".) I made film positives, 1/2tones, combination veloxes, stats, position prints etc. Full time work. Oh yeah, type distortions too, on a circle in perspective, outline, inline blah blah blah the list goes on. I really enjoyed it. Cleaning up graphic arts processors is not too much fun, especially in the winter in New England.
Now I have several frontends (Quark, IndesignCS, DesignStudio etc)for quality typography, and lots of specialty software for type and image processing (Photoshop, Expression, LetrasStudio, Typestry, LivePicture, Freehand, FontStudio etc) a few computers and a drum scanner. I can do more now than I did with a darkroom full of films, contact frames specialty cameras, processors and the like. A drum scanner in the 80's was only for color houses, now you can pick them up for a song, and Linotype Hells, DS Screen, Howteks etc are stable and excellent.

No, I don't miss a darkroom at all. The smell of developer and fix took years off my life and I'm sure years to stop smelling too! I learned so much though.

God Bless,
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:28 AM
raindogz raindogz is offline
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Location: east coast US
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I started in a custom photo-lab in 1978 as a custom printer , and then started working for RCA and GE as an in house staff photographer in the 80's and 90's. We had a full service lab, color , B/W and E-6. We developed and printed everything we shot. Now that everything is digital ; it is still really nice to print a very large B/W print. I still keep my darkroom ready and print 35mm to 4x5 , but now it is only B/W.
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Old 10-27-2005, 02:00 PM
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RichardBrackin RichardBrackin is offline
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Location: Muscle Shoals, AL
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I've still got my Jobo CPP2, Beseler 45MXT II Enlarger along with my Minolta 45a color head sitting in a spare room. I did a fair bit of b&w prints but most of the time was spend developing medium format chromes and 4x5 transparencies.

Then I bought a Canon 20D and everything changed.
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Old 10-27-2005, 02:33 PM
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fpellerin fpellerin is offline
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Location: Gatineau, Québec
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It's always been digital for me!!!

The only time I've ever been in a dark room was during a field placement with my local police service. The crime scene techs did all there own developping at the HQ's lab.
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:18 AM
dennford dennford is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Perth; West Australia
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I originally learned b&w processing at evening class in the 60s. I then joined the R.A.F. as an air photo operator where I was taught false colour I.R., ultra violet and b&w processing - rolls up to 12" wide and a thousand ft long.
Over the years I have used many cameras from 35mm through 6x6 to large format monorails, and of course the huge aircraft cameras of my R.A.F. days.
Some years ago I taught my children dark room techniques, while I was untill recently recoating plates for my thornton pickard quarter plate camera.
I have now dismantled my darkroom and although I concentrate on digital, I still use my Nikon "film thingy" but always have digital copies of my neg's.

The important thing is that all of these have had a place in my photographic education - I am by no means an expert in any of them, we must remember that without film we would not be where we are now as far as digital is concerned. Yet I honestly believe film is - or will be a thing of history - but never forget history.

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Old 12-08-2005, 07:58 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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welcome to RP!

I still use my Nikon "film thingy"
yup, i still have my Canon F1 'film thingy' as well. and my current 'darkroom' involves a film negative scanner and a computer. i never quite made the true darkroom experience despite having cameras most of my life. i tend to envy those that did as i'm normally a 'nuts and bolts' sort of person and enjoy getting into the workings and mechanics of such things.

i would ask you what a 'monorail' camera is and likewise a 'quarter plate' but i'd probably put myself to sleep in trying to understand

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Old 12-08-2005, 02:45 PM
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shellby shellby is offline
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Location: UK
Posts: 299
Small format camera and Darkroom technique

I took an adult education course called:

Small format camera and Darkroom technique

Part of a BTec here in the UK. At that time I was using a fully manual Pentax MZM.

I now have a Canon 20D (digital slr). I find that I tend to try out more techniques and I take way more photos with it because I am not worried about the cost of film and developing. I need to print more of my images out though!

I recently had my first photo published. A photograph of a zebra taken in Hluhluwe Game Reserve in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa - my real home.

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