What Is Darkroom Photography?

Darkroom photography is the act of film processing in a room with less light or no light penetration at all. A darkroom refers to a place where all the activities of processing a photographic film occur. Darkroom photography entails the act of making prints as well as conducting all the associated events. Darkroom photography can happen in an entirely dark room or a partially dark room.

A completely dark room makes it possible for the process of the light-sensitive materials with a lot more ease. The materials used for darkroom photography include all photographic film and paper. For you to achieve the best out of darkroom photography, one needs to understand how to create a darkroom in the first place.

Low Light Photography Settings
Low Light Photography Settings

How can one create a perfect darkroom for photography?

How can one create a perfect darkroom for photography?
How can one create a perfect darkroom for photography?

The world is made up of new technology that makes people deviate from old photography activities. However, it is vital to understand that using the old school camera for your photography will give you the best and distinct look of your pictures.

Printing of photos also becomes more fun than merely keeping the pictures as softcopies. Did you know that the best way to execute the best hobby of taking and printing your photos is the backroom? It is, and it even becomes more fun if you arrange the work systematically.

While people believe that conducting darkroom photography is expensive and cumbersome, it is not. You only need to locate a suitable place before successfully setting up the required gears ready to kick start.

If you are asking yourself how you will affect your arrangement, you have a question no more. Do this:

1. Locate the Place and Set It Up Appropriately

Before doing anything, find a suitable space or a room that is capable of being dark if need be. The room should not have any light inlet, including windows. If you need partial darkness, look for a place that allows in light through the tiniest perforations.

In most cases, photographers use basements and bathrooms for darkroom photograph. You can also use the same venues. You do not need to have bigger rooms since you only need a maximum of 25 square feet to execute the process. Consider the following in a beneficial place.

  • Running water source that may be important as times
  • The presence of an equipment outlet in the room: This will make it possible for you to bring in and let out your photographic materials.
How To Take Dark Moody Photos
How To Take Dark Moody Photos

2. Make the Room Well Ventilated

A darkroom used for darkroom photography is often well ventilated. Therefore, in case you pick on a bathroom for the task, you will need a bathroom fan to ensure proper room ventilation. Nevertheless, the idea here may not be fruitful in the long run.

Most chemicals tend to be heavier in air, and the fan may not be in a position of completely clearing the air. Therefore, getting a more efficient fan will do the task almost entirely.

3. Create a Working Table or Countertop in the Room

Another thing that needs to be in your darkroom is a functional worktop that will significantly help you set up all the required equipment for the task. You will also use the countertop to process photos. If possible and to add more convenience during darkroom photography, you can get a desk with drawers.

Drawers are so useful in storing and keeping safe your photography supplies that y. You can use it to keep all your necessary materials before and even after the photography exercise. In most cases and it is recommended, the photo paper should be adequately maintained in a dark drawer that cannot let in light.

Low Light Photography Lens
Low Light Photography Lens

4. Ensure the Room is Completely Dark

Darkroom photography only takes place in a dark room. Therefore, if you want to carry out the exercise, you must ensure that the room is very dark, and there are no traces of light in it. If your chosen place for photography has windows, you will need dark colored curtains and blinds to ensure complete darkness in the room.

You can also make your room dark by using thin plywood or even cardboard for blocking off lights through the windows. You then seal the smaller edges that would let in light using linen and tapes.

5. Prepare Your Safelight

Safe lights are used in darkroom photography to offer enough light to help you see your workplace. In case you darken the work pace, ultimately, you may compromise the chemicals and end up getting a poor quality photo. You can purchase the safe light bulbs from any nearest photography store.

6. Locate the Photography Equipment on the West Side of the Room

After installing your darkroom, ensure that you locate and set up the material on the west side of the room. It is at that place that you will conduct all the processing activities of photo creation. Here you will have such materials as:

  • Funnel
  • Trays
  • Film Clips Used In Film Drying
  • Chemicals In Their Respective Bottles Of Storage
  • The Graduated Cylinder

7. Ensure the Dry Side of the Room is Equipped

The dry side of your darkroom is the side that holds and houses your enlarger and the photo paper. Here, you will avail equipment such as:

  • The Timer
  • Easel
  • The Safelight
  • Film Reels And Film Tank
  • The Grain Magnifier

8. Avail all the Vital Safety Equipment

The handling of chemicals may turn harmful on time. Some are corrosive, and others have scorching effects that may affect the skin. Therefore, it is essential to have all the protective devices such as gloves to help safeguard you from harmful chemicals. The latex gloves will work best in this case.

The Bottom Line

In summation, it is essential to recall that darkroom photography is the act of conducting photograph processing and production in a darkroom when using light-sensitive chemicals. The process may be cumbersome hence requires one to understand what he or she is expected to get the best results. 

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