Ah, yes, the darkroom chemicals, a very personal part of the darkroom experience. The knowledgeable will spot a number of different film developers, ones they love, hate or are indifferent to. The experienced will look at the print tongs and know that the developer tongs should never touch the stop bath but it's okay for the stop bath tongs to go in the fixer while some printers will laugh and say, "who uses tongs, anyway"?
Can you judge the approximate age of a rubber Kodak beaker by the staining and shade of yellow it's turned? Ever wonder how you've managed to flick the toggle switches on a Gralab timer a million times with wet hands without shocking yourself? Or is it just me?
|Focal Length:||21 mm|
You nailed it when you said "...a very personal part of the darkroom experience" about the chemical shelf. There is always more than one way to get the negs you want, and the method used is down to personal choice and working style. Chemical shelves should always be stacked full of every combination known to man, just like a good wine cellar. It was one of my first jobs as a darkroom assistant to learn about the chimcals stored there, monitor how much was used, and to re-stock in a timely fashion. I learned a lot from that task by constantly asking "What's this one used for?" and "Why's this one gone all yellow?" I also learned to stack glass gallon bottles of D76 replenisher on a low shelf, but I'll tell you about that accident another time. I personally never used tongs. For more years than I can remember, people thought my fingers looked that way due to a heavy smoking habit... except in a newspaper labs where we used strong cyanides for rush jobs. Man, what a great photo!
Graham W on 22nd March 2009 @ 4:27am
Aaahhhh! The memories. I still develop film, but after it dries, it goes digital starting with the scanner.
D. Brent Miller on 22nd March 2009 @ 6:15am
Just as soon as I saw this photo, it instantly took me back to my film days.
David Eugene on 22nd March 2009 @ 8:48pm
I haven't so much experience with the chemical aspect... yet! Years ago I used to hang out nights with a photographer friend drinking espresso and watching/learning his developing techniques as he processed his modeling photos, great memories there. My first job was in a print shop exposing graphics and text on litho plates for the presses, but i can only recall two chemicals used for that and my fingers were ALWAYS a myriad of different colors due to the inks. I am determined to begin developing my own B&W film very soon thanks for the instructional video Mr T. it will prove very helpful. Love what your doing here!!
Scott Segler on 22nd March 2009 @ 11:58pm
Great stuff.. you gotta love us old timers
Bobby J on 23rd March 2009 @ 9:50pm
Ugh... The instant I saw this, I could smell that awful smell again. I understand nostalgia and that hands-on machismo, but OH GOD THANK YOU for digital editing and a good photo printer!!
Trint on 27th March 2009 @ 11:15am
I miss that smell. Can there be any better job for a true introvert than working in a darkroom? There, you had full license to give birth to your creation behind a locked door.
I miss pushing T-Max to 1600 with an extra long bath in the D-76, and the luscious grainy texture it gave my action sports shots.
Thanks for this reminder. It's beautiful.
Brent Billock on 30th March 2009 @ 8:51am