As all photography fanatics would be aware, a darkroom is a specialised room that is used to process photographic film and make prints. As its name suggests, a darkroom must be completely dark at all times to protect light-sensitive photographic materials.
Darkrooms are staples within many major cities and photographic hubs – but what if they could be made portable and taken out on the road? Read on for our dissection of the requirements of a darkroom, the setup and process involved with using a darkroom, and a few benefits you’ll find if you opt for a portable darkroom purchase.
What a darkroom requires
To develop film, your designated darkroom must be equipped with running water, developing chemicals, a ‘light-tight’ area and a film developing tank, which will typically be metal or plastic.
The setup and process of a darkroom
Within your darkroom, you’ll need to make space for a few specific areas: a dry area, wet area, and processing area. The process begins in the dry area, where you’ll prepare your film in strips, ready to be printed. Next, you’ll transfer your film strips over to a photographic enlarger (also placed in your dry area). Your film negative will be placed inside of the enlarger, and then light is shot through the enlarger lens via the film negative. After focusing and adjusting the image through the enlarger, the image will be projected onto a piece of photo paper. It is now ready to be processed.
Moving on to the wet area, your photo paper will start in a developer filled with photo chemicals, and then make its way through a number of water washes with different solutions with water. This process works by making the photo permanent (with the first bath of chemicals), and then washing the chemicals off of the paper with every subsequent water wash. The paper wash stages are typically done in a plastic container, or larger metal tub.
Lastly, after your image has made it through the dry and wet areas, it will be dried and flattened with some form of print press. Then the image will be mounted to a board, and can be framed or displayed anywhere you wish. Voila!
Why you should opt for a portable darkroom
One of the biggest advantages to a portable darkroom is for those who take travel photographs and wish to develop them whilst on the road. By having direct access to a portable darkroom, photographers will be able to develop photos and prints at any hour of the day, no matter where in the world they are – just making sure they’re well-stocked with all necessary equipment before setting off.
Purchase a darkroom caravan from Allways Caravans
Inspired to purchase a darkroom caravan of your own? Contact our expert team at Allways Caravans. Our exceptionally designed specialty caravans are optimised to maximise work performance, and ensure they’re suitable for use in any location. Call us for a darkroom caravan quote on (08) 9459 3000.