WELCOME TO THE DARKROOM
If you use a subminiature camera, you are faced with dilemmas that the typical
shutterbug never even thinks about. One of these is the issue of film processing.
Depending on the camera that you use, you may have no other alternative than
to "do-it-yourself" -- you may not be able to find anyone who will do the
work (or at least for a price that won't break the bank). Other people realize
that, even though they have a place that will do the work, the results don't
seem that great. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the lack of success
with the smaller formats -- people don't learn how to use their subminiature
cameras properly, then they got average processing. The results are
pretty bad. The fact is that even if you don't HAVE to do your own processing,
you can do a better job that just about anyone else. Why is this? Because
you know what you like and don't like -- the gal at the lab doesn't. You
can take to time to get things right. The guy at the lab is on a schedule,
and you're small potatoes. So give home processing some serious thought:
You'll save money.
The quality of your results will improve.
You can make all of the creative decisions yourself.
You'll discover an enjoyable pastime.
But there are several obstacles to doing your own processing:
space (you don't need much, but for many people even a little is a lot)
time (the biggest problem. I'll leave this one for you to figure out)
money (it takes a little to set things up but you'll save a lot in the long
effort (but darkroom work helps keep the rust out of the brain).
Many of use lack at least one of the required items listed above. But if
you have all of these at your disposal, you will find that the results are
rewarding. Keep in mind that there are several different levels of involvement
in the darkroom, to suit your needs. For example, you can process your own
film, but not make your own enlargements (have someone else do the enlargements).
Not only do you save money, but you make sure that the negatives are the
way you want. There are also people who send off their film to be processed,
but do the enlargements themselves (cropping, sizing and filtration are their
decision). Similarly, you can buy prepackaged chemicals that are easy
to mix or you can purchase the raw chemicals and save a lot of money. In
short, you can slice the pie in whatever way works best for your situation.
Below, we break out the different areas in which you can become involved.
-- Setting up your own darkroom
Soup I -- The basics
of processing film
Prints -- Making
Soup II -- The basics
of processing paper
Hardware -- For Information on selecting
darkroom equipment go to The Camera Shop
Software -- For Information on selecting
photographic paper and chemicals go to The Camera
If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments about these pages, please
contact the Sub Club at the FRONT
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COPYRIGHT @ 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Joe McGloin. All Rights Reserved.