Missing working in the darkroom

It’s been several months since I was last in a darkroom.

For me, scanning all my black and white negatives is just not the same as the physical process of producing prints in the darkroom. Not to mention the beautiful contact sheets I love producing!

Some of you may remember from one of my previous blog posts that I had to unfortunately give up my membership at the community darkroom I had joined in Brighton because it was the other side of town to where I live and it was taking me well over an hour each way to get there and back home during the week and even longer at the weekend due to a reduced bus service since I don’t drive.

On top of that, I also had to find a convenient time around all the other community members who used the darkroom. Some weeks I couldn’t find an available time slot suitable for me around work which could be frustrating.

In the end, the travelling plus having to find a convenient time slot around the other community members took up too much of my precious darkroom time which, I had to carefully plan around my full time job.

There wasn’t really anywhere suitable at home where I could permanently leave a darkroom and I’m not really comfortable with using all those chemicals in my bathroom. Towards the end of last year, I found a new premises to move my Knitwear Studio to (I’m a Knitwear Designer) where I could incorporate the darkroom too with sinks and fridges etc.

I was hoping to have been moved in by now but it’s unfortunately taken longer than planned to actually move there.

I’ve got most of the equipment I need for the new darkroom. To begin with I’m going to be using the Intrepid Enlarger so I’m really looking forward to trying it out!

I’m hoping over the next few months I’ll finally have my darkroom ready so I can get back to printing my photos again in the convenience of a location which is close to where I live and I’ll easily be able to find time to do it around my busy job.

I’ll be blogging about the set up and how I get on using the Intrepid Enlarger.

I’ve got all the different negative slides for the enlarger so I’ll be able to print large format, medium format and 35mm which is quite exciting.

I’m also looking forward to the whole experience of setting up my very own darkroom!

Instagram: natalie_smart_photography

9 thoughts on “Missing working in the darkroom

  1. I’ll be interested to see how you get on.

    I’ve managed developing with a bag and drums but printing is another level.

    I have an enlarger etc but not managed to get the utility room dark enough to use it and as it’s not a permanent set up it’s hard to justify attaching curtains etc to the doors for the of and hoc print developing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know it’s really hard to find a ‘permanent’ space at home. I’m fortunate to have found a studio to accommodate it. It has one tiny window at the back of a building so I’m hoping with the right black out material I can make it dark enough. I’m not expecting a smooth set up but it will be interesting to see what I learn and and share with others any mistakes I make which they can hopefully avoid if deciding to set up their own 😊


  2. Oh very exciting. I will be watching with great interest. I have come into a lot of good darkroom gear from a pro photographer who passed away recently. I do have a small room off the back porch that was originally a coal store, and which we have been using as a store room for all the stuff we can’t find a place for. Cleaning it out has started, but won’t be complete until daughter and boyfriend move into their own place. Hopefully in about a month!!!! Then let the adventure begin!

    Liked by 1 person

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