Reflections on a month of darkroom class

I’ve just finished up my first three darkroom classes. I’ve still got more classes to go, as the weekly workshop wraps up mid December, but I’ll be missing the first two in November. Now is a good time to look back on what happened so far.

My first class was Wednesday October 5th. This is where I met my instructor Mike, his assistant Tim, and the seven other members of the class. Mike was very big on “let’s get into it”, so there was no getting to know the other students. (I still don’t know anybody’s name!) Today’s big task was developing a roll of film. I’ve done many rolls at home already, but all on my daylight-loading Rondinax tank. This would be my first attempt at loading a developing reel blind. And truly so–no dark bags, just Mike turning off the lights in the darkroom. I fumbled my way to loading a roll of HP5 just fine. After developing it, 1 I got to see the results. I didn’t mess up! Whew.

The following week was where we got into printing. We learned our way around the Beseler 23C III enlarger. I first did a contact print of the roll I developed in the previous class, and then made test strips to see the effects of the amount of time the light was on. This week was all about density printing with white light. You better believe it was magic when I saw my first print come to life in the developing tray. I made four 8″ x 10″ prints this class.

October 19th’s class was about using filters to control contrast. I went through the same steps as the previous week, but this time I experimented with increasing and decreasing that contrast.

It’s been a great experience so far. I’m looking forward to more.

Like my stuff? Go to my Ko-fi page to buy me a coffee!

1 At home I do develop-stop bath-fix-rinse, but in class we had another two steps after that.

4 thoughts on “Reflections on a month of darkroom class

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  1. Developing film and making prints your self is a fun and magical feeling. Being hunched over vats filled with chemicals and see your photo slowly emerge from a white paper.

    I did a lot of film development and printing back in the 90’s. Sometimes I miss the stress-free moments in a dimly redlighted room. Listening to the calm water rinsing developer and fix from the prints.

    But I gave all my equipment away when moving to an apartment. But one day perhaps…

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