Items You Will Find in A Darkroom

Part of the assignment was for us, to get familiar with items within the darkroom. So we were tasked with researching different items that you may come across in our college’s darkroom or any darkroom.

Item  Function and characteristics ( including brief description of chemical process )
Film Developer


Ilfotec HC


Ilford Perceptol

Film Developer is used in the processing of photographic films, plates or photographic paper. Film Developer converts a latent image into a visible image/

Ilford Ilfotec HC is a highly concentrated liquid developer, for processing all purpose black and white film. It can also be used in the film processing systems; using the right dilution.

Ilford Perceptol is a professional developer or an extra fine grain film developer, which gives excellent image quality. Ilford Percepetol is used for very fine grain film and speed is not important but optimum results in image quality are.

Stop Bath Stop Bath – a chemical bath that is usually used in processing traditional black and white photographic films, photographic paper and plates. This is used after the photographic material has been put in the developer to halt the developer, developing the negatives.

Stop baths normally contain an acetic acid as most developers are organic alkaline solutions, this neutralizes the reaction on the photographic paper. Stop Baths can cause chemical burns to some uses but the acid is normally diluted with a working solution.

Fixer Photographic Fixer is a mix of chemicals usually containing some sort of sodium chloride (salt), Sodium Thiosulfate is a popular choice in a fixing agent or ammonium thiosulfate commonly used in modern rapid fixer formulae. The fixer stabilises the image, removing the un-exposed areas of the photographic material (silver halide). By fixing the photographic material is no longer sensitive image.
Wetting agent Wetting Agents are used when the water consistency is hard and has the possibility to leave marks on the processed films. The water consistency becomes softer (reducing the surface tension of the water) allowing the film to dry without marks left on the film.
Ilford Wash-aid Ilford Wash-Aid can be used instead of water (and possibly a wetting agent being added to it). Ilford wash-aid is a hypo-eliminator to help the removal of the thio-sulphate by-products of fixation using the process of ION Exchange. It is particularly useful with fibre bade papers as they have a greater chance of chemicals latching on.
Selenium Toner Selenium Toner is a processed that is used to increase print performance and reduces fading. Selenium Toners are single solution toners that will partially convert the original silver (metallic silver) to silver selenide (purple–brown tone).

Here are some images of the darkroom at my college, this room in particular is used for enlarging photos, we have a separate smaller darkroom for processing film. The lights can switched into a safe light mode for when creating black and white prints or enlargements.

SAM_0224 SAM_0223 SAM_0225 SAM_0226


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