What is happening in our darkroom?

First Use of Darkroom

Now our darkroom is working , we are aiming to look at  identical pictures with both a digital camera and a film camera and then develop the film negative in the darkroom. The idea is to create a wet print of an image and compare it with a digital image produced on a high quality printer.

Even with black and white images we  expect the two will differ for several reasons:

  • Non-linearity of wet negative
  • Non-linearity of the wet print
  • Smaller dynamic range of film
  • Differences in focussing precision
  • Sensitivity differences

We have checked we have all the equipment to do this and are in the process of taking the pictures.

Darkroom is available for members only – see home page for CORVID 19 announcement

Darkroom Progress

On Monday 10th January 2020 we used our darkroom for the first time, using the enlarger to make black and white prints from 35mm negatives. We used multigrade paper to create acceptable prints.   It was immediately obvious that the darkroom was goint to be a very useful addition even with seven of us squashed into the small space.

setting up enlarger

There was very little we needed to change as a result of our initial use of the darkroom,we  only needed a slightly better print timer and the replacement of the fluorescent  light which failed to start reliably.

Darkroom development trays

The prints we produced also were quite acceptable.  We have not yet tried using the multigrade filters to alter the contrast of the image or using the glazing plate to create glossy prints. Nor have we tried any dodging or burning of specific areas of the image or even any matte processing, Plenty to still try out with even black and white prints.


We are now ordering suitable chemicals to wet develop film negatives from the camera using development tanks. Following that we will make our first forays into colour processing.

All in all. the darkroom has been a great success. Coupled with the work that we are putting in on the photographic studio, improved backdrops, reflectors etc. It is well worth anybody interested in photography. to join us on a Tuesday free open evening to see what we are doing to do next.

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