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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 06-14-2002, 02:51 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Experience in the dark

I'm wondering how many of our users have spent any significant time printing the old-fashioned way in a darkroom with Dektol and Ilfobrom and all that wonderful stuff?
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Old 06-14-2002, 03:24 PM
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Bob Walden Bob Walden is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northern Il
Posts: 239
Hi all!
My first photo job was dopeing by hand b&w Christmas cards. And they all had to match. I have spent lots of time in darkrooms. The stains on my hands has finally gone away, but on a cloudy day I can still smell hypo.

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Old 06-14-2002, 03:34 PM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Working in a darkroom/photo lab has been my "real" profession for almost 20 years. Film and paper processing has been mainly by machine (Colenta, Kreonite, Hope, etc.) , but I have spent zillions of hours slaving over (or under as the case may be) a hot enlarger (mainly Omega & Durst)

What I've done has been on a large retail scale, however, and is a much different animal than working in a home darkroom (which I have more limited experience with).

(I've also had a lot of experience with minilab setups (Agfa & Noritsu) and have been employed in the past as a district manager for a chain of 1-hour labs).
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Old 06-14-2002, 04:16 PM
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d_kendal d_kendal is offline
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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My aunt and uncle run a business from their home called "tree frog press, and the have a darkroom there. So far I've only seen it from the edge of the room, but I'll have to ask them to give me a tour and show me the basics sometime.

- David
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Old 06-14-2002, 06:32 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
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Many, many moons ago I took an intro BW photography / darkroom class at a community college. Learned a lot; twas fun.

Funny how 25+ years later those experiences have come in handy during my unending quest to assimilate the in/outs of PS...
Sharpen (focus), blur (unfocused), contast, dodge, burn, "do over," etc.

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 06-14-2002 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 06-14-2002, 06:43 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
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I had a home darkroom, doing almost all B&W film processing and printing (very little color). I also worked in a lab for a couple of years running an *old* Kreonite roller transport processor (that was a real dog). This was used strictly for E-6 processing. I also did custom B&W printing for the same lab. If things really got tight, I might slip into the color department from time to time, but never enough to really know what I was doing. I do miss the home darkroom, but I'll probably never have another one.

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Old 06-14-2002, 07:01 PM
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Hydia Hydia is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 20
Started out in high school learning how to print and develop b&w negs & print. Graduated to college working on durst enlargers and learning the history etc about photography. I remember many a days loading film in the bathroom and using my mother kitchen sink to process my film for an assignment. Don't agitate the film tank to fast.

Moved up to working in commerical photo labs. Printed for many famous photographers and met many famous models. Used 4x5 and 8x10 enlargers and then graduated to durst digital lambdas.

But, nothing beats the old fashion way

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Old 06-15-2002, 12:24 AM
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Sam Sam is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Zimbabwe
Posts: 153
Years ago I had my own "homemade" darkroom (a cupboard!) with a very antiquated enlarger - the results were less than perfect, but it was great experience and now that I've had my digital camera stolen (the one in the avatar!) I'm back to film and yearning for those darkroom days again ... sadly, I don't think we can get all the kit/chemicals here in Zim.
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Old 06-15-2002, 12:45 AM
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Blacknight Blacknight is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Whidbey Island, WA
Posts: 472
Part of my schooling was getting my "hands" in B/W film developing using the trays. It was just a brief stint, and the rest of the film I developed was fed into "the machine" and I just waited for the output.
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Old 06-15-2002, 07:16 AM
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JBCaffrey JBCaffrey is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 60
I learned to work in a darkroom (b&w) while in the army (1952-54) and after discharge, worked in industrial darkrooms at Chrysler and Ford (I lived near Detroit at the time). I then became a newspaper photographer where one had to develop and print their own work. That plus approximately twenty years of home darkroom work. Digital cameras and Photoshop finally brought me into the light.
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