Darkroom Sessions

For this assignment as we were working with film we had to process the film into negatives to be able to enlarge the images on the film or create negative contact sheets.

Health and safety is very important. To work safely you need to keep to the following rules:

  1. Because you are working in the dark, firstly you need to learn the layout of the room and where everything is kept.
  2. Make sure that no light is visible before you start processing film.
  3. Wear gloves to prevent chemicals from touching your skin.
  4. If spilt accidentally, make sure to mop up and clean up safely.
  5. Take your time and do not rush. Make sure you keep to the timings specified in the film manufacturers instructions.
  6. When working with more than one person in the room, make sure you first specify who is doing what and when, so that you don’t accidentally bump into each other.

Darkroom processing:

To be able to print the photos, we had to process the film into negatives. This was an interesting process because it had to be done in complete darkness. To help reduce any errors while processing the film we split into teams and each person had a specific role.

The steps of the process are:

  1. Remove film from cassette.
  2. Load the film onto the spindle
  3. Load the spindle onto a rod, so that you can easily handle it without causing damage.
  4. Put the film into developer (time specified by manufacturer)
  5. When developed, wash the film in water.
  6. When clean, put the film into fixer solution.
  7. Put the film into soapy water to coat it and prevent damage.
  8. Allow to dry.
  9. The film is now ready to print or further process.

Personal Experience in the Darkroom:

Overall our session in the darkroom went well. I was in a group of 4. My role was to place the film in each chemical for the specified time (according to manufacturers instructions).

The following issues occurred during our session:

  • The film we were using was ISO 125. However, we had set the camera to ISO 200 because the light meter and the camera were deliberately set too dark, to allow us to make moody portraits. Therefore, we had to follow the timings for an ISO 200 film. This was effective and meant we got the type of photos we were aiming for.
  • The temperature of the room was 1 degree warmer than the specified processing temperature. So we had to alter our timings to account for this (we reduced the development time from 9 to 8 mins).

We successfully processed four films (one per person). We all got some good negatives from the process.

Here are my negatives scanned into my computer, I then used Photoshop to invert the image so you can see the negatives and how the images actually look on the film.



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