A short while ago, I started to set up a darkroom in the shed. This sounds a bit mad, until you realise how huge my shed is, the fact that it has electrical power (and is connected to the household alarm system), and how little space is really required for darkroom practice.
I’ve owned a Durst enlarger and timer for about ten years, since college, so that wwas the main expense already taken care of (although for reference, you can pick up a basic Durst black and white enlarger from around £20-30, so it’s not a massive outlay at all). J had a safelight which he’s loaned to me, and my local photography store has a wonderful secondhand section from which I picked up three 8 x 10″ plastic trays for less than a tenner. I already had fix, since I develop a lot of film at home anyway, and I’d picked up a bottle of paper developer around the same time I bought the trays.
Since getting everything set up on the workbench, it’s all kind of just been sitting there. Every weekend I have the intention of printing something, but it’s been so long, my apprehension about screwing it all up got in the way. Until this weekend.
Currently, although I’ve taped thick black bags over the windows to block out light, the edges still need some attention, so the place isn’t quite light tight yet. So, we waited until after dark before heading up there. After hitting the light, and standing in the dark in there for a few minutes, it was decided that no light was visible, and it was suitable for printing.
Here’s the setup.
And here’s a scan of the contact print. It’s not the best effort, although mostly on account of the fact that I tend to shot the same roll of film in a huge variety of different lighting conditions, rather than something like, say, a full roll of similarly lit studio shots. But it’s the first darkroom print I’ve made in about 8 years, and I’m a bit happy about it.