In 2019, I went on a brief stint to Edmonton to take some photographs of my outdated stomping grounds: Whyte Avenue. As a young person within the Nineteen Nineties, this was the place you’d discover me. Sipping a coke on the Cyber Café whereas “browsing the net” or having a “puff” at a really liberal alley café. I knew I wished to shoot movie for this journey…I did carry digital, however didn’t find yourself taking it out of the bag. My tripod additionally didn’t budge, however the final time I did want it, and figured it was greatest to not take any possibilities.
I had with me a Canon EOS Elan 7 that I had not examined and was going to assessment. I additionally had a much-loved Nikon FE, that I’ve since bought. I’ve had lots of cameras come and go in my years of reviewing them and the Nikon FE is just one of two I remorse promoting. The opposite was a Yashica Mat 124 however since I don’t shoot 120 anymore, the purpose is moot. Snapped on my FE was a humble 50mm f1.8, and I had been capturing Tri-X at 1600 ISO and getting nice outcomes with this combo. I beloved all the things however the growing time, which is 16 minutes. For the Elan 7 I had a Sigma 50mm f1.4 that I’d promote once I traded all my Canon gear in, however re-bought later in F mount once I switched to a completely Nikon system. I lately talked about this lens on my channel, because it’s my favorite 50mm of all time. It’s onerous to know with 100% certainty as a result of it was 4 years in the past however judging by the focal lengths I seemingly had an EOS 24-105mm f4 USM as properly however like I mentioned, it was 4 years in the past, and since it was earlier than the pandemic, it might as properly have been ten years.
I wished to shoot a bunch of rolls, to only let unfastened once I usually can be conservative, however I needed to see the outcomes as properly. I had to ensure all the things was going easily, relatively than head again to Calgary with a number of rolls and understand each one had an in any other case simple to repair downside.
That’s once I got here up with the thought of Lodge Darkroom.
I didn’t want all the things in fact, I wasn’t going to scan or make prints, my solely concern was ensuring that my negatives had been stable. It appeared like a good suggestion too: exit and shoot, and are available again and watch some cable TV whereas I soup all the things. I managed to catch Predator 2 throughout my first check roll too. Traditional.
I’ll provide you with an inventory of all the things I introduced with me however first a bit about my check roll.
I wanted to check the Elan 7, as talked about, in addition to the “darkroom” itself. So, hitting two birds with one stone, I snapped some photographs of my cats and different randomness earlier than I left, simply so I’d have a roll with me once I arrived.
Concerning the make shift darkroom, earlier than you consider provides, you’ll want to ensure you have a light-weight tight state of affairs. In case you have a altering bag, you’re gold and might transfer to the following step. Nonetheless, for those who don’t, you’ll want to determine one thing elaborate and I can’t stress this sufficient, non-permanent.
There’s a third choice which I had my fingers crossed for, which is do nothing. The room might already be naturally mild tight. Many inns, for causes I’m not solely positive, have very stable doorways that go all the way in which to the ground and don’t permit any mild. This was the state of affairs I discovered myself in.
Throughout my mild tight check, all I needed to do was draw the curtains, flip off the lights and shut the door. I waited 5 minutes for my eyes to regulate and see if I used to be nonetheless in complete darkness. Many inns could have black out curtains too, and the toilet by the entrance door, reverse the home windows. If this failed, I might additionally look forward to dusk. That’s tip for residence too. Can’t get issues mild tight? Do it at evening. It’s not excellent but it surely works in a pinch, particularly for those who’re simply beginning out.
I set all the things up, developed my check roll and it got here out peachy! If you wish to do it like I did, right here’s what you’ll want.
First. I used a Coleman 45L Chest Cooler to carry all the things. Doesn’t matter what model however 45L was measurement to carry all the things. I picked a cooler for security functions throughout transport. I additionally ziplocked my liquids. If one thing busted or burst throughout transport, it must escape the bag and the cooler.
One factor that gained’t match within the cooler is additional water. In case you’re hell bent on utilizing distilled like I’m you’ll need to both carry it individually, or purchase some on arrival. I used to be tremendous fortunate to have a comfort retailer on the principle ground. Hold your empties for bringing again exhausted fixer and cease tub.
Right here’s all the things else I introduced.
- Two growing tanks, as one will normally be drying after being washed.
- Two additional spools, as a result of tanks dry sooner than spools and extras will allow you to from slowing down.
- Temperature / Humidity Gauge.
- Nitrile gloves, or no matter gloves you employ.
- One Roll of Paper Towel.
- Movie Clips.
- Inexperienced Painters Tape.
- Measuring Cups. I introduced: 1x 1000ml 1x 500ml 1x 400ml 1x 100ml 2x 30ml
- Two Thermometers. Backups are essential particularly you probably have butter fingers.
- Developer, cease tub, and fixer. In my case I introduced Blazinal (Rodinal) and Kodak HC-110 for builders.
- Cease Tub and Fixer Working Answer.
- Hypo Verify.
- Darkroom Logbook.
- Can opener (I truly didn’t carry one however I do know lots of people use them. I simply rip it open naked handed).
- A binder with movie sleeves.
Right here are some things that I didn’t carry, that I’d if I had been to do this once more.
- A loop for getting a better have a look at the outcomes.
- A small mild desk, additionally as a viewing support but in addition, in a pinch I can take a smartphone shot of my destructive and have a rudimentary inverted preview. There are a bunch of low-cost USB powered LED mild tables now that can do the trick.
- Wardrobe bag. In 2019 I used to be nonetheless hanging my movie out within the open like a savage, however since then I began utilizing a wardrobe bag with the underside reduce out, earlier than I used to be gifted a handcrafted drying cupboard. It really works nice and folds as much as take little or no area.
- Knowledge Sheets. I’ve a knowledge sheet template that may be discovered on my Discord for those who’re .
I’d additionally preserve it to a single developer, most likely a focus like HC-110 (if that even exists anymore) or simply the Rodinal.
Now listed below are two easy guidelines to bear in mind.
- Don’t pour something down the drain you wouldn’t at residence. Even in case you are in some sketchy motel, most likely extra so truly. These pipes can’t take it. Please…don’t be a darkroom dillhole.
- Take all the things with you. Each used paper towel sheet, each clip of movie…all the things. Don’t depart it for the cleansing employees. Everyone knows the slightest whiff of cease tub is like being punched within the nostril from the within out.
I used to make use of a darkroom logbook fairly a bit, however I’d be a hypocrite if I mentioned you completely wanted one. I feel they’re very useful for brand new darkroom although. It’s good to get an thought of what your humidity goes to be like at totally different occasions of the yr. For instance I have to heat my chems within the winter, but it surely’s typically an ideal 68F in the summertime. These days I’ve taken to compensating with time, however I digress. Right here’s an instance from once I did the check roll.
On Location: REDACTED Lodge, September 20th, 2019 @ 2:30PM
Water: 4 Liters @ 72.9F
Room Temp 23C @ 52% Humidity
Creating Take a look at roll for EOS 7
Completed at 4:10PM (success)
Certainly one of my earlier classes at residence was colder and extra humid. Coming in at 64.4F at 66% humidity and rising to 68F at 73% in simply 55 minutes. Up to now I’d have tried to chill down my answer however now I’ve a chart hanging in my darkroom that offers compensated occasions primarily based on temperature and whereas I understand the outcomes will range primarily based on this, it’s a lot much less of a headache. My sixteen minute improvement of Tri-X at 1600 ISO for instance would have been shaved to 12 minutes.
From right here you must be capable to do all the things as regular and the final problem is hanging up your movie to dry, and there are two strategies I used.
Methodology One: Use clips or wooden garments pins hooked up to clothes hangers (offered by the resort) and hold the movie within the closet. The difficulty with that is it gained’t hold excessive sufficient and also you’ll have to separate your roll in two earlier than inserting on hangers.
Methodology Two: Use painter’s tape to hold them. Fairly barbaric I do know, however utilizing two strips of painter’s tape on the closet opening so the movie doesn’t keep on with the wall, and over the uncovered lead (the black half firstly) was the best, greatest and most non harmful solution to get it carried out.
The one factor that was irritating about this expertise is that the resort room turned out to be extra mud free than my precise darkroom. Higher counters too. So, whereas I wished to say “you’ll make do” you would possibly come again feeling like your home-base wants an improve.
Just a few different issues to bear in mind.
My distilled water was too scorching, by nearly 5F. In case you’re decided to stay to the standard 68F improvement of black & white movie, put some water within the fridge. Pour the chilly water in with the new into a 3rd container till you hit the magic quantity. You may as well seize a bucket of ice from down the corridor and cradle your combined answer in it till it reaches the temperature you want as properly. I’ve carried out this at residence with reusable ice packs.
It’s greatest to scrub all the things up instantly, and put it away within the cooler after every session and if you’re carried out utilizing every merchandise. I can stroll round my darkroom fairly simply with the lights out, however the resort will likely be unfamiliar and the probability of bumping one thing is way larger, even with the lights on.
Although that is completely protected, I’d advise in opposition to drawing consideration to the thought of what you’re doing, which is basically renting a room and turning it right into a lab. Another excuse for the cooler. Whereas this isn’t the most important deal as a result of we all know it’s protected, it’s onerous explaining that to somebody who might have by no means seen movie earlier than or know the way it works.
Guarantee there’s a Do Not Disturb tag in your door so your drying movie isn’t disturbed when you’re out capturing.
Relying on how far you’re driving it’s possible you’ll wish to examine metropolis bylaws for photograph lab waste guidelines. It could be simpler to carry it to a Hearth Station, then all the way in which residence.
Total this was a enjoyable experiment. It’s bizarre as a result of on the time I didn’t take pleasure in myself and was very vital of my work, however now I look again with rose (crimson 25) colored glasses. Possibly the pandemic swung the bell curve in its favour, who is aware of. I’ve considered this lots and I’d prefer to attempt it once more, particularly if I’m hunkering down someplace for like every week.
Have you ever ever tried something like this? Let me know within the feedback.
I’ve a YouTube Channel, Weekly E-newsletter and Discord I hope you’ll try!
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