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The New Darkroom Handbook

A Complete Guide
to the Best Design,
and Equipment

Joe DeMaio
Dennis Curtin

Focal Press
Boston Oxford Johannesburg Melbourne New Delhi Singapore
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Copyright 0 1998 by Elsevier.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

DeMaio, Joe (Joseph J.,), 1944-
The new darkroom handbook; a complete guide to the best design,
construction, and equipment‘ Joe De Maio, Roberta Worth, Dennis Curtin.
p. cm
Includes index.
ISBN 0-240-80260-8 (paperback: alk. Paper)
1. Photography-Studios and dark rooms-Design and construction-
Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. Worth, Roberta (Roberta A,), 1962
11. Curtin ,Dennis P., 1941- 111. Title.
TR560.D43 1998
77 1’.4-d~21 97-24670
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
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Printed in the United States of America
To the Girls
Chiara Lue and India Sirnone

Preface vii
Introduction viii

3 Ideas for Placement 5 Building the Room

22 52
Darkrooms in Closets 24 Tools 54
Darkrooms in Kitchens 26 Installing Partitions 56
I Darkrooms of the
Darkrooms in Bathrooms 28 Hanging Doors 58
Famous 2 Darkrooms in Spare Rooms 30 Installing Sheetrock 60
Harry Callahan 4 Workrooms 32 Getting t o Know Your Plumbing
Aaron Siskind 6 62
Berenice Abbott 8 More aboutyour Plumbing 64
W. Eugene Smith I 0 Typical Darkroom Plumbing 66
Roughing in the Plumbing 68
Installing Supply Lines 70
Installing the Drain 72
The EasyWay O u t and Unique
Solutions 74
A Modular Plumbing System 76
Introduction to Electricity 78
Electricity in the Darkroom 80
4 Designing the Room Tools and Materials for Electrical
34 Work 82
Wiring the Circuits 84
What Are Layouts and Elevations?
2 Darkrooms Around the Modular Control Panel 86
World I2 How t o D o Layouts 38
Phillipe Moroux 14 Planning Grids 40
FamigliaTrentotto I6 Dry-Side Cutouts 42
Ron Harrod 18 Wet-Side Cutouts 44
Robert Mann 20 Light-Trap Cutouts 46
Light-Trap and Drying- Rack
Cutouts 48
Preparing Elevations 50

6 Building the Inside

The Lighting Circuits 90
Lighting Equipment 92
Building a Darkroom Sink 94

Building a Sink Stand 96
Installing Counters 98
Building a Print-Drying Rack
Making the Drying Frames 102
Building a Light Box 104
Mounting the Enlarger I06
Building an Adjustable Enlarger
Baseboard I08
Air Quality I10
Light-Proofing II2 8 Enlarging Equipment 10 Print Finishing 168
Those Added Comforts I14
138 Dryers 170
Enlargers I 4 0 Mounting 172
Enlarging Lenses I44 Matting and Storing Prints I74
Easels 146 Framing 176
Focusing Magnifiers I48
Negative Cleaning and Dusting
Printing and Exposure Controls
Negative Storage and Proof
Printers 154
7 Processing Equipment
Sinks I18
Water Quality I20
Temperature Regulation I22
Automatic Temperature Regulation I I The Digital
ProcessingTrays and Tongs I 26
Darkroom 178
Wet-Side Accessories I28 Introduction to the Digital World
Roll Film Tanks and Reels I30 180
Washers 132 Digital Equipment I82
Timing Systems I34 Printing the Digital Image I84
9 The Color Darkroom
Chemical Storage and Waste
Disposal 136
156 Index 186
Introduction t o Color I58
The Color Darkroom 160
Color Enlargers 162
Color Analyzers and Calculators
Drum and Tank Color Processors

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Though it seems as if the world of As with previous editions, this problems, such as: where it should
photography is constantly changing, book is still for those who wish to re- be located; installing partitions,
in fact, very little of the basic process sist the temptation to let the camera plumbing, and electricity; and
is different from the one invented by and the photofinisher do all the choosing appropriate darkroom
Henry Fox Talbot in the nineteenth work in making photographs. It is equipment. This book is a compre-
century. This is especially true for for those who want to experience hensive treatment of darkroom de-
darkrooms. (See the illustrations, on the full range of the photographic sign, construction, and equipment.
the next few pages, of the darkroom process. It is the end result of the trials and
of the 188Os-look familiar?) Yes, The professional, the advanced tribulations of many people who dis-
there are different kinds of materials amateur, or the merely curious real- covered solutions after long hours
and new, fancier equipment used in ize that the only way to make a pho- and many mistakes, and who have
making images, but mostly things tograph look the way they want it to also been willing to share this infor-
have remained the same-negative, look is by making it themselves. Neg- mation freely with others. New prod-
paper, three chemicals. However, atives or slides are only the starting ucts have been included and prod-
there is now the beginning of a revo- point in producing an image that ucts no longer available have been
lution in photography-the digital conveys a desired feeling or idea. dropped. The primary criterion for
photographic revolution. Even The machine processing available a product’s inclusion rests with its
though this revolution has not im- from commercial sources, while proven acceptance and reliability. It
pacted most amateur photographers sometimes remarkably good, is al- would not be possible to include all
it will not be long before its effects ways set to a mechanical standard. of the products that are available
will be felt by all of us. In recognition Custom processing, even if you today, but you can be assured that
of this, and in an effort to keep up could convey exactly what you want those featured here are produced by
with some of the new types of mate- the print to look like, is generally too reputable manufacturers. The intro-
rials-especially the Kodak RA color expensive. The best solution is to duction of Kodak’s RA color-process-
system-and to eliminate some out- build your own darkroom, ensuring ing system has further simplified
dated equipment, the authors have that, with some practice, the print and improved the technique of
decided to issue an updated version you obtain is the one you want. color printing and is treated herein
of this book. To address heightened Building a darkroom can be an for that reason.
concerns about the environment, intimidating thought. The informa- A new section has been added to
the new version also contains a sec- tion on how to do it well is scattered cover some of the possibilities al-
tion on the environmental impact of throughout photographic literature. lowed by the greatest change to pho-
the darkroom. The vast majority of this information tographic processing that has oc-
A positive side effect of the digital has traditionally been transmitted curred since the last edition of’ this
revolution in general has been the verbally from one photographer to book-the ability to digitize a photo-
ability for people all around the another. The Darkroom Handbook graph and manipulate it with a desk-
world to communicate quickly and was the first serious attempt to top computer. It is no longer neces-
inexpensively through the Internet. gather together in one source the sary to have the resources of a major
Images, as well as ideas, can now be ideas and techniques that have been film studio or printing company to
swapped across continents without developed over the years by trial and be able to afford a machine that will
the need for packaging, mailing, or error. It was the result of the efforts allow you to have a new and almost
even leaving your home. In an effort of many photographers who have unlimited type of control over an
to take advantage of these new possi- overcome the difficulties of locating image. This change brings with it
bilities, we’ve replaced the chapter a darkroom in a bathroom, kitchen, new equipment requirements for
on “Darkrooms of the Professionals” bedroom, or basement of a house or processing images. Inputting images
with “Darkrooms Around the apartment. Almost any problem you into a computer and outputting
World.” Many of the images in this might encounter in building a dark- them (the counterpart to traditional
section were transmitted to the au- room has been encountered by oth- printing) are handled by equipment
thors from across the planet via the ers and successful solutions have that works without the necessity of a
Internet. They were then converted been devised. This book is a compi- dark space. There are no real chem-
to B/W and enhanced using Adobe lation of those successful solutions icals, but now we must deal with
Photoshop (See Chapter 11, “The from which you can benefit. inks. What will the new “darkroom”
Digital Darkroom”) where neces- Those interested in building a be called? Only time and the imagi-
sary. ,~ darkroom are confronted with many nation of its users will tell.

Int roduc tion
Throughout the history of photog- isfying as possible. This book uses create a “darkroom” that is nothing
raphy, the process of producing a ideas that have been tried and used more than a table top with a few
photographic image has been split successfully by other photographers pieces of electronic equipment on it.
into two parts-one done in the to produce darkrooms that are func- Under this system, there is no need
camera and the other in the dark- tional, personal, efficient, and inex- to isolate yourself in a dark space,
room. It is not always easy to decide pensive. It shows how to tailor your surrounded by large and sometimes
which has more effect on the final darkroom to your space, wherever noisy pieces of equipment that are
“look” of the photograph. With the that might be. based on concepts more than 100
camera, one makes an initial deci- Because a significant part of the years old. Here there are no chemi-
sion that has a profound effect on time in producing an image is spent cals, no odors, no skin irritations.
the image-choice of subject, com- in the darkroom-the time in the And yet, perhaps the feeling of actu-
position, and so on. The options for camera may only be 1/125th of a ally making something by hand is
altering the image, and thus how it is second!-all obstacles to the pleas- lost. Is the manipulation of a mouse
perceived, that are provided by the ant and efficient workings of that and the insertion of a piece of paper
darkroom (tone, contrast, density, space should be removed. Planning in a machine as satisfjang as working
cropping, etc.) can have an equally and forethought are the essential in- on an image under the light and
profound effect. In this age of the gredients to the successful comple- time constraints of a traditional ex-
digital manipulation of images, the tion of any project, and it is no less posure? Is there more satisfaction in
actual photograph may only be the true of darkroom construction. The sloshing a piece of paper around in
raw material in the production of a time spent before any physical work a series of trays? Each photographer
much more complicated image. is done is often the time best spent. must decide for him or herself, but
Both cameras and darkrooms can This book gives guidelines and many there seems to be nothing quite so
be extremely crude and still pro- useful hints for planning a dark- satisfying to human beings as actu-
duce fine images. Many of the great room, and for how the resulting ally touching things with their
images throughout the history of plan can be brought to fruition. hands.
photography have been produced in You should start by brainstorming So, roll up your sleeves, dig in,
odd darkrooms under the most try- and daydreaming about your ideal and build yourself a darkroom.
ing circumstances. Some have even darkroom. Then slowly whittle it
been scary. Imagine using a dark- down based on the realities of space,
room wagon pulled up to the battle- time, and finances. The dreaming
field during the Civil War. While phase should not be neglected, be-
shells burst outside, you are desper- cause you may surprise yourself with
ately trying to coat a glass plate to be what you can actually have. It often
used in the camera, or developing takes only a simple solution to allow
one just exposed! All the while, you yourself a luxury you once thought It’s easy to forget that photography
are making sure the entire plate is impossible to obtain. A darkroom today, where the taking of the picture
still wet! However, a good camera does not have to be all stainless steel and the development of the negative are
and a good darkroom allow the pho- and fancy electronics. There is no two distinct acts, i s quite different from
tographer to concentrate on what is real correlation between money what it used t o be. During the wet-plate
really important-the process of spent and quality of image pro- era of photography (c. 1853-1890) the
duced. Darkrooms have existed in characteristics of the glass plate nega-
producing an image. While it would
tives were such that the negative glass
be difficult for most of us to build a all places and with all degrees of so-
had t o be coated with the emulsion, the
camera (barring those enduring phistication. It’s not the money that
exposure made, and then the develop-
pin-hole cameras), the building of a makes your darkroom a great place ment completed while the plate was still
darkroom can be both easy and sat- to work, it’s the planning and per- wet. Since the negatives could not be
isfymg. It separates the total amateur sonal touches that make a space taken back to a darkroom for develop-
from the serious photographer. truly your own. Your darkroom rep- ment, the only solution was t o take a
Building your own darkroom is a rite resents your tastes and personal feel- darkroom along. Early photographers
of passage to a new world of possibil- ings as much as your photographs must have looked strange t o passersby,
ities. do. but they did come up with creative
It is the purpose of this book to In the final chapter on digital solutions t o problems that make ours
darkrooms, we will see how you may pale by comparison.
make that passage as simple and sat-

A photographer of the wet-plate period An engraving showing a portable darkroom set up close to the camera so the plate
loaded with camera and darkroom can be coated, loaded in the camera, and then returned t o the darkroom for devel-
equipment. opment after the exposure and before the emulsion dried (c. 1865).
Gernsheim Collection, Humanities Research Photo, Science Museum, London
Center, The University of Texas at Austin

View showing William Henry Jackson’s

darkroom set up amongst the rocks.
R. A. Ronzio Collection

A mobile darkroom that was a step up in class from the tent; it gave slightly more
comfort t o the photographer.
Courtesy Colorado Historical Society

Safelights U.S. Photo Clip Timing Plummet

U.S. Photo Clip. N ot at all unlike the

venerable old clothespin still used t o
hang negatives and prints t o dry.

Timing Plummet. It must have been

Chemical Storage difficult to swing, count, dodge, and
burn at the same time.

Safelights. 1880s safelights came in

kerosene and candle versions. A Portable Darkroom Tent

Chemical Storage. This innovative
developer bottle had a tube t o draw the
fluid from the bottom of the bottle and
a thin layer of oil on top t o keep the air
and developer from making contact.
This enabled the developer t o last

Print Mounter A Portable Darkroom Tent. Similar

units are in use today, especially for
color photography where the print is
exposed, put in a light-tight drum, and
Enlarger. Since electricity was not yet
then processed in daylight.
widely available, even the enlarger had
t o be operated with kerosene.

Print Mounter. This is basically the

same design still used today.

Print Dryer Allderige’s Developing Rocker

Allderige’s Developing Rocker.

Agitation during development was as
important in the 1880s as it is today.
This is the forerunner of Amblico wave
Print Dryer. This print dryer revolved trays and drum processors*
increasingthe air flow over the print
surface t o speed drying.

ATypical Darkroom of the 1880s

A Typical Darkroom of the 1880s. Papers were contact-printed and produced

the same sized print as the negative. They were exposed in the frames mounted t o
the wall on either side of the door.
I Darkrooms of the Famous
Harry Callahan
Aaron Siskind
Berenice Abbott
W. Eugene Smith

During the writing of the origi-

nal Darkroom Handbook, the au-
thors interviewed the photogra-
phers in this section (except
Eugene Smith who had recently
passed away) in person. The
photographs, comments, and
observations, though recorded
in the present tense, are no
longer current. However, the
authors feel that the informa-
tion contained herein is an his-
torial document and have de-
cided to leave it untouched.
Harry Callahan
To get to Harry Callahan’s dark- He is spending more time in his of the house gets very hot in the
room you walk up three flights of a darkroom these days. The good summer). One amenity is the view
wide-pine spiral staircase to the top news is that he is selling prints; the from his workroom; he likes to make
of a house on a historic street in bad news is that he has to spend time a print, then be able to take a little
Providence, Rhode Island. Just in the darkroom that he would break by walking out of the dark-
across the hall from the darkroom is rather spend photographing. “I room to look out the window.
his workroom, a spacious oak- don’t mind printing, though I’ve In retrospect, Callahan might
floored room with a view across gotten tired of it lately because I’ve have built a bigger sink. An 8’ sink
Providence to the Capitol building been doing so much of it. I think I seems very big when you’ve never
and the hills beyond. likejust about everything about phc- had a sink before, but in recent years
Callahan moved to this house in tography. I don’t even mind mixing the need for archival processing
1964. He made the down payment chemicals.” (which, among other things, re-
with money earned from selling He has a new washer to help cut quires two trays of fixer and a large
prints. He was delighted with his down on the drudgery: a Zone VI washer) has made his sink seem too
darkroom, because it was the first workshop washer that will take about small.
darkroom he had with a sink in it. thirty 8 x 10 prints, and one that is Callahan never really designed
He had been printing for almost much more efficient than his old his darkrooms, but just used what-
twenty-five years without a sink- one, which took six hours to wash ever space was available. He says he
bringing water into a room, carrying twelve prints. knows the present darkroom could
it out to dump it, washing prints in Other equipment that makes his be reorganized more efficiently, es-
the bathroom. “I had always had just darkroom work easier is a water tem- pecially with more shelves and better
makeshift things. To have a sink was perature regulator (to set washing storage, but “you get used to some-
remarkable.” But when he finally temperatures), a sodium safelight thing, you reach, and you can find it
had a real darkroom, he laughs, “I (he likes the brightness of it com- in the dark. I think I have a very
felt I was more on the spot. I really pared to regular safelights), and air dumb darkroom, but I like it.”
had to produce.” conditioning (because the top floor

Callahan in H i s Darkroom. Harry

Callahan’s darkroom is as warm and
friendly as Harry himself is. There are
no elaborate arrangements, and the
equipment is as straightforward as his
prints. It is clearly a room for a photog-
rapher whose ultimate concern is the
print and not the hardware necessary t o
produce it.

The Too-Short Sink. The wooden sink built for Harry by a boat-builder is used t o
hold processingtrays and a Zone VI workshop print washer. The narrowness of the
sink requires that prints be processed in two cycles with a change in solutions in

The Dry Side. Harry has placed his

enlarger adjacent t o the sink, only a few
feet from the developer tray, minimizing
steps from one to the other. The en-
larger is set on a sturdy table, and paper
and chemicals are within easy reach.

A Gallery in the Darkroom. The wall covered with posters and announcements
provides a backdrop for a stool on rollers for those long sessions a t the sink, a wall-
mounted air conditioner, and a wire strung across the room with film clips and
Time and Temperature. The art- clothespins used to hang negatives and prints t o dry.
work by Harry’s child when she was
younger almost hides the temperature
regulating valve, which Harry thinks is a
great convenience, an old wall clock
used t o check processing times, and a
some&hat battered print-viewing light.

Aaron Siskind

Aaron Siskind lives on a quiet resi-

dential street in Providence, Rhode
Island, a long stone’s throw from
Harry Callahan. Like Callahan,
Siskind came to Providence to teach
at the Rhode Island School of De-
sign. Siskind is much more profi-
cient with a camera than he is with a
hammer, so much of the actual con-
struction of the darkroom was done
by his students.
Like many well-known photogra-
phers, Siskind did not have a com-
plete darkroom for most of his ca-
reer, and within the past few years he
has had both the time and inclina-
tion to construct one. The increas-
ing sale of his prints led to long
hours in the darkroom to meet the
demand, and making things com-
fortable and efficient became of The Wet Side. The sink has several water outlets so that print washing and other
prime importance. Siskind made the processingsteps can be handled simultaneously. The Zone V washer is connected t o
entire darkroom one that could be the temperature-regulatingvalve so that washing temperatures do not have t o be
continually monitored. Rubber hoses are used to connect all of the outlets and are
worked comfortably from a sitting
more than long enough t o reach t o the floor of the sink. This arrangement allows
position. Both the enlarger base- water t o be x e d anywhere in the sink without moving trays around and also pre-
board and the sink are set lower vents splashing. A shelf over the sink provides convenient storage of frequently used
than would be required for a stand- chemicals and print tongs.
ing position. In addition, the en-
larger has a focus attachment that al-
lows the machine to be focused
without having to reach way up for
the knob. This also allows for easy fo-
cusing when very large enlarge-
ments are being made and the knob
is raised high above the baseboard.
Siskind spends a great deal of
time making prints and rewashing
and reprocessing older vintage
prints that were made in the days be-
fore archival processing. In tune
with modern theories, he no longer
dry mounts; he uses his dry-mount
press only to flatten prints. As he says
about the new archival processing
theories, “They really have us run-
ning scared.”
One of the unexpected fringe
benefits of buying an older home
was the walk-in cedar closet in which Print Drying. One of the several bathrooms in the house serves the dual function
he now stores many of his own prints of print-drying room and bathroom. Siskind denies that he dries prints while sitting in
and prints from his collection. the tub, but in any event, the ferrotype plate used as a squeegee board allows the
runoff water t o drain directly into the tub and down the drain. The print-drying rack
made from aluminum frames and fiberglass screens is conveniently located next t o
the squeegee area. The line above the tub can be used for drying film, and the excess
water that runs off takes the same exit into the drain system.
Aaron Siskind in the Darkroom.
When one i s concentrating on making
fine prints, everything is relative-even
the time of day. If that were not so
Siskind would set the clocks t o read the
same time. Here he stands next to the
sink at which he can s i t while working.
“I had a student build it. I paid him well
... but it works.” The trays are stored
under the sink and the room has a
number of stools conveniently located.
The windows have been light-proofed
by nailing masonite panels over them.

The Dry Side. This view shows the

Omega enlarger with a focusing exten-
sion that makes focusing easy. Siskind
also uses a Micromega focusing magni-
fier but feels that i t s high degree of
magnification makes it difficult t o inter-
pret. The enlarger is supported at the
top of the column with picture-framing
wire connected t o eyebolts in the wall.
This reduces the possibility of column
vibration that makes prints less than
sharp. The enlarger timer is mounted t o
the front of the counter within easy
reach while sitting at the baseboard.

Berenice Abbott

When the snow is melting in Boston phy using strobe and multiple expo-
and spring is in the air, the lakes and sures to illustrate the laws of physics.
rivers of Blanchard, Maine, are still She discovered the photography of
locked in ice. Backed against the Pis- Eugene Atget, whom she met in
cataquis River, in a small hollow in Paris, and later brought his work to
the hills, stands an old frame farm- the attention of the photographic
house that is now the home and world. Atget is now considered to be
workspace for Berenice Abbott. A one of the leading photographers in
magnificent back room hangs over the history of photography, and his
the banks of the river, and the sound images have been a major influence
of water rushing over the rocky river on many contemporary photogra-
bed can be heard throughout the phers.
house. Berenice Abbott has inte- Abbot’s home in Maine is isolated
grated photography into her daily from the hectic pace of Paris and
life as can be seen by the way work- New York, but it provides the quiet
spaces are located in central parts of needed to concentrate on her pho-
the house. tography. The entire top floor is de-
Abbott first became involved with voted to the office, workspace, and
photography as an assistant to Man darkroom. An old wood-burning
Ray in Paris in the 1920s, and her in- stove heats the floor, and the atmos-
volvement and contributions still phere is warm and relaxed. Prints by T h e Enlarger. The huge Durst 8 x 10
enlarger rises through a hole cut in the
continue. She became well known in Abbott and Atget are piled on the
ceiling. Without the added height, the
the 1920s for her portraits in Paris, desk and nearby work surfaces. The
maximum size of prints would be sub-
and in the 1930s she produced a darkroom, dominated by a Durst 8 x stantially reduced. The large baseboard
large series documenting New York. 10 enlarger, is connected to the of- built into the enlarger eliminates the
She also has devoted a large portion fice area by a light trap. need for a nearby counter, because
of her career to scientific photogra- focusing magnifiers, timers, and other
pieces of equipment can fit in the space
not occupied by the easel.

Duckboards. The bottom of the sink

is lined with duckboards, which reduce
wear and tear on the waterproof sink
coating. They also raise the trays so that
water flowing from the washer through
the sink does not float the trays. These
duckboards are made in sections so
P r i n t Drying. Abbott uses fiberglass screens and frames for print drying. However, they can be easily removed and stored.
she has eliminated the need for a rack t o hold the screens by gluing small spacers on A stool is on the left, used to s i t on
the bottom four corners of each frame, so that when they are set on top of each when it is not holding extra print-pro-
other, the frames are separated by a few inches to allow for air to circulate. cessing trays.

The Wet Side. This view, with the
enlarger baseboard on the right, shows
the sink and the light-trap entrance t o
the darkroom. The space directly under
the sink is used for tray and chemical
storage. Floor mats are located in front
of all work areas to make standing at
the sink and enlarger more comfortable.
Aprons and gloves hang on the wall t o
the right.
The sink has several outlets for
water, and pegs mounted into the wall
provide a convenient place to store
mixing graduates, funnels, and other
wet-side paraphernalia. The line sus-
pended over the sink is used t o dry film
so that the runoff water drains directly
into the sink. A bright bulb on the left i s
used for print viewing when prints
come out of the fixer.

The Office and Darkroom. The top

floor, containing an office and dark-
room, is heated by a large wood-burn-
ing stove, and the entire area, except
the darkroom, is flooded with natural
light. This view shows the stairs leading
down t o the main part of the house.
The desk used for paperwork is on the
right, as is a storage closet.

W. Eugene Smith
W. Eugene Smith had a reputation was said he had a collection of over
as one of the leading American pho- 25,000 records to choose from. He
tojournalists from before World War also occasionally watched television;
I1 until his untimely death in 1978. as shown in the accompanying pho-
His involvement with photography tographs, he covered the screen
began when, as a young man, he was with a safelight filter to protect his
interested in becoming an aircraft unfixed images from unwanted ex-
designer. In the course of taking posure.
photographs of airplanes, his goals Over the years Smith developed
changed and he became committed his printing techniques to match his
to photography as a form of visual vision. He made extensive use offer-
communication. He was best known ricyanide to bleach out his high-
for his photo-essaysfor Life Magazine lights and open up shadow areas.
(“Spanish Village,” “Country Doc- He also used diffusion screens of ei-
tor,” etc.), and he also produced ex- ther wire mesh or black stockings,
tensive photoessays, such as “Mina- moved rapidly back and forth be-
mata,” which were published in tween the lens and easel during the
book form. exposure, to soften and break up
Smith disliked making prints but the image grain.
never backed off from the work in- Because he did considerable Bleaching prints with ferricyanide takes
volved. It was only through total con- print dodging and burning, he time; the print is repeatedly bleached,
trol of the entire process that he equipped the darkroom with a foot then placed in the hypo t o stop the
could be assured his images would switch that controlled the enlarger bleaching action. One print from the
convey the meaning he intended. and left his hands free to dodge and famous series on Albert Schweitzer
One of the ways he relieved the mo- burn. As a final step, he toned most required over five days t o produce t o
notony he found in the work was to of his prints in selenium toner to en- Smith’s satisfaction. The stool and sink
listen to music while printing, and it rich the midtones and blacks. rail are wide enough t o lean on, making
things more comfortable for extended
printing sessions.

This view gives a good indication of the

overall size of the darkrcom. Smith
liked the darkroom t o be large and
comfortable, with plenty of room t o
move about. A towel rack was mounted
conveniently over the sink and safelights
abound. A string running the length of
the room overhead controlled the
white lights so they could be turned on
from almost any location in the dark-

Smith used two trays, one above the
other, as a print washer. Freshly fixed
prints are placed in the bottom tray,
which rinses with overflow from the
top tray. After partial washing, the final
wash was given in the top tray. The
water entered and left the top tray by
way of the Kodak siphon attached. The
lower tray overflowed into the sink.

The dry side was a place to enlarge and

finish prints, and also doubled as an
office. The multiple use sometimes led t o
confusion, but everything was there .. .
somewhere. Numerous focusing devices
are in evidence. Smith’s favorite enlarger
was an old Leitz Valloy, which is no
longer made, equipped with a Minolta
color-corrected lens designed for color

Here Smith examines a print during

processing. The glass panel immediately
behind the developing trays is used t o
hold the print while applying ferri-
cyanide. A thermometer used to moni-
tor the temperature of water coming
from an outlet can been seen in the
background. All water outlets are at-
tached t o rubber hoses, which rest in
the sink bottom when not in use.
2 Darkrooms Around the World
Philippe Moroux
Famiglia Trentotto
Ron Harrod
Robert Mann
Philippe Moroux
Born in Le Havre, France, Philippe place inside the camera with a
Moroux now lives in the Nether- sponge.
lands with his Dutch wife. Philippe Here is a paraphrase of Philippe’s
teaches photography and is the head description of how an image came to
of the photography department at be made in Etretat, on the coast of
St. Joost Art School in Breda, France:
Netherlands. You can visit his home
I photographed with a 4 x 5 pinhole
page at: http:/ /www. knoware .nl/
camera on Polaroid Type 55 film. I
users/philippe/ developed the Polaroid and washed
Philippe is a photographer who the negative with sea water. I dried it
wants to be as intimately involved in in the open air in a metallic frame. I
the creation of a photograph as he contacted this film on previously
can be. He also wants the place in kallitype-coated watercolor paper
which he photographs to take as ac- with a contact frame and sunlight. In
tive a part as possible. In his own my own shadow, and under a one-
words, “the concentration of the square-meter darkcloth, I washed the
photographer, between the expo- exposed kallitype with fresh water
sure and the final result, should not (the cliff in Normandy provides a lot
of sources) and fixed it with a very
relax. A complete cycle of image cre-
poor concentration of sodium thio-
ation would have to happen at the Philippe and Anne. Philippe Moroux
sulfate. A ten minute wash in sea
same place without discontinuity. water (sea water is a very good hypo- with his young daughter Anne. Note the
The photographic image would clearing agent) and a final fresh old typewriter! In the color version of
then be able to become impreg- water wash before drying in the sun this photograph, Anne i s wearing yellow
nated with the location, and the con- completes the process. On my way shoes.
frontation of the photographer with home, the print was directly @ Philippe Moroux
his subject would last more than stamped, addressed, and sent to a
1/125th of a second.” friend.
To affect this deeper involvement
How would you like to find one of
with the process, Philippe has re-
Philippe Moroux’s warm and exotic
turned to the days when a photogra-
prints in your mailbox!
pher carried a darkroom with him,
performing the entire process from
exposure to print at one place. He
uses alternative processes such as the
Kallitype, a method of creating im-
ages using iron-sensitive salts that
break down during development
and leave behind a lovely warm
brown image. Any type of paper can
be impregnated with the sensitive
emulsion, contact printed with the
negative in the sun, and then devel-
oped under a dark cloth. Philippe
will travel to an isolated spot, create
an image, and then mail the image
to a friend on his way home.
Philippe uses a 4 x 5 pinhole cam-
era and, in his only concession to
modernity, 4 x 5 Polaroid negative
film. He has also used a 2m x 2m x
3m pinhole camera in which RC Rowing to the Location. An image Philippe made while rowing t o the remote
photographic paper is used as the location where he has chosen to work.
negative, and development takes 0Philippe Moroux

The Equipment. The complete kit
necessary for exposing and printing a
kallitype on location. Except for the
pinhole camera, which appears t o be
homemade, all the rest is simple, readily
available darkroom equipment.
0 Philippe Moroux

Large Pinhole Camera. A sequence

Developing the Kallitype. Philippe
of shots taken on video of Philippe and
develops a kallitype inside a wooden
a group using the large pinhole camera.
box. 0 Philippe Moroux
The fact that it is homemade is readily
apparent. 0 Philippe Moroux

Preparing to Develop. Philippe on

the seacoast preparing t o develop a
negative and make a kallitype print.
Notice how little equipment it takes,
and the wonderful windblown feeling of
working outdoors.
0 Philippe Moroux Sample of Work. A sample of what one of Philippe’s friends might find in the mail!
The BNV reproduction does not do justice to the warmth of the brown tone of the
image. 0 Philippe Moroux
Famiglia Trentotto
Famiglia Trentotto is an images stu- tractors. All the electrical, plumbing,
dio, originally set up in Milan, Italy and ventilation systems were in-
in 1989. Mimo Visconti, Paolo stalled by the photographers at
Mazzo, and Francesco (Chicco) Di Famiglia Trentotto themselves to
Loreto work together to produce meet their specific needs. As can be
photography based on the manipu- seen from the accompanying pho-
lation of any kind of visual surface. tographs, Famiglia Trentotto consid-
They take images and enliven them ers all the structures that make up
using darkroom manipulations. To the darkroom to be temporary and
see some of their very exciting work subject to changes of use and posi-
dial up their home page at: http:// tion according to need. For in- stance, the table where they place
tren totto/ the chemical trays also often be-
The darkroom is situated within a comes the surface used for the re-
200 square meter photography stu- touching and “elaboration” of the
dio. Its position at the center of the images. As with all practical solu-
studio (occupying about 10 square tions to space problems, it does vio-
meters, or 2m x 5m) is symbolic of late some of the rules of placement,
the central position of darkroom but it works for them. Sample of Work. A sample of the
work for Famiglia Trentotto’s im- Here is what the members of type of work that Farniglia Trentotto
agery. It is a B/W darkroom that is Famiglia Trentotto have to say about produces. As can be seen, it is highly
used for a wide variety of techniques, what the darkroom means to them: abstracted but still recognizable. It
ranging from traditional printing, to “We consider the darkroom to be retains the look of a traditional photo-
antique processes, to more impro- the space in which the idea of the graph while giving the viewer a totally
vised experimentations. The term image is revealed, and this possibility different feeling.
they use for their creative work is “re- is enriched if our other photogra-
search.” pher friends, whom we allow to use
For enlargers they use the Durst our equipment, participate in our
Laborator 138 S and the Durst M space. Often the darkroom repre-
805, both of which are set up with sents for us the point of departure of
condenser heads. The maximum the final image, which we arrive at
size print that can be accommo- via post-production procedures that
dated in the darkroom is 50 x 60 cm, are not necessarily tied to traditional
or about 20 x 24 inches. That’s a sub- photographic techniques, such as
stantial size print for such a small the use of a photocopier, hand col-
darkroom! They use variable con- oring, and the general ‘mistreat-
trast paper, which they control with ment’ of good B/W prints.”
Ilford filters. Discarded chemicals This interesting and free philoso-
are not simply washed down the phy is clearly the reason why
drain but are stored in sealed drums Famiglia Trentotto produces such
and hauled away by specialized con- exciting images.

Famiglia Trentotto. The three pho-

tographers who comprise Famiglia
Trentotto: Mimo Visconti, Paolo Mauo,
Francesco (Chicco) Di Loreto. The self-
portrait gives some idea of the type of
photographs that Famiglia Trentotto

Overall View. A n overall view of the darkroom. The some- Enlargers. The t w o enlargers that are used by Famiglia
what temporary nature of the room is clearly visable. The Trentotto are seen here with the Laborator on the left and
lack of a clearly defined weddry side arrangement is also the M 805 on the right.
indicative of the free style of Famiglia Trentotto.

Processing/WorkArea. A view back towards the area Work Area. The area that Famiglia Trentotto uses for both
that is used for both processing and photographic manipula- processing and manipulations. They defy the rule of separating
tion. Storage beneath the table gives convenient access to dry- and wet-side activities with the same casual ease that
both the processing and the enlarger area. they defy the common rules of photographic convention.

Ron Harrod

Ron Harrod got his start in photog- hours with a ten-pound bag of ice. use a digital dashboard clock set to
raphy by taking an adult education He uses several layers of mosquito count seconds. Safelights are simply
course in 1975. Since then he has netting on a pull-out berth for print red light bulbs.”
had seven or eight darkrooms, rang- drying. Although Ron is primarily a B/W
ing in size from 42 sq. ft. to 120 sq. ft. Ron tries to keep things as simple photographer, he will do color on
Ron is extremely inventive and very and inexpensive as possible. “Pho- occasion. Most of his work has been
handy. He always comes up with the tography equipment, as well as boat- for conservation causes-the Florida
simplest and least expensive solution ing equipment, is usually way over- Panther, the Florida Key Deer, the
to any problem. Ron is responsible priced. Kitty-litter trays are fine for International Iguana Society, the
for the darkroom-in-a-closet pho- developing. My light table is fash- Octagon Wildlife Refuge, and Ba-
tographs in Chapter 3. In 1981, Ron ioned from a loaf pan. For timers, I hamas National Trust.
moved his entire life aboard a 31-
foot sailboat. The boat proved to be
workable for a darkroom, which Ron
says is, “though not the smallest per-
haps the oddest. Developer and stop
were in the main cabin, fix and wash
were outside in the cockpit.”
Ron presently lives on a 36-foot
pilothouse trawler named “Essence.”
Since space is at a premium on any
boat, the darkroom is set up as
needed in the main salon, the
largest room on the boat. Since
light-proofing is impractical, Ron
does his darkroom work at night.
Film loading is done in a changing
bag. Occasionally, it is necessary to
drape a window to block direct light
from other boats or nearby docks.
The “dry side” is the main salon
table and allows negative selection
and enlarging while sitting down.
The galley serves as the “wet side”
and is compact but very efficient.
Boats present some problems not
Ron Harrod with his boat “Essence”
shared by land-based darkrooms. docked on a river in Florida.
For instance, water supply is limited
and boats have expensive pumps
that are not meant to run continu-
ously. For print and film washing
Ron brings a hose aboard. He
spends most of his time in Florida,
so temperature control is an issue.
Using a cold water tray under the de-
veloper tray keeps the solution at the Ron Harrod relaxing with his ever pre-
right temperature. Ice is added as sent cup of Chinese tea behind the “dry
needed. Ron finds that on the side” of his darkroom set up and ready
hottest nights he can print for four t o go.

Ron Harrod’s Darkroom. The “dry
side” showing Rons’ c. I935 Leitz Foco-
mat enlarger (purchased for $65 in a
junk shop!) fitted with a dichroic head.
Note the loaf pan light box.

Ron’s photograph of a tiger.

Ron Harrod’s Darkroom. The

“wet-side” setup in the boat’s galley.
Kitty-litter trays are used for developing

Robert Mann
Robert Mann is an American living work surfaces are at 42 inches. He Robert uses an old Omega D2V
and doing his art in Paris, in the tra- had his sinks custom-made in Eng- enlarger that he found in Los Ange-
dition of such luminaries as Ernest land and brought them to Paris him- les. It had been sitting in a box for
Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and self. Robert broke down the shower fifteen years without ever being
Ezra Pound. Since Robert is a pro- wall and extended the sink into it. used. As Robert says, “It’s impecca-
fessional printer for the likes of Before doing anything else, he tiled ble, and I maintain a very special re-
Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton, Pamela the floor in basic, clean white. As lationship with it.” Robert has re-
Hanson, and a whole bevy of fashion Robert puts it, “I find that a dark- placed the enlarger’s condenser
photographers worldwide, he is an room should be painted stark white light source with a cold light source
expert on both darkroom technique on as many surfaces as possible with that has an internal stabilizer. How-
and darkrooms themselves. Over the more than adequate lighting. Flat ever, he is ready to upgrade to one of
years, he has buiksix darkrooms in black is only localized around the the new multigrade cold-light heads.
such cities as New York, Los Angeles, enlarger. There is no need for all He is beginning to accept that there
and Paris. surfaces to be black, as long as the are exquisite multigrade printing
The Paris darkroom itself is in room is light tight. If the lights are papers available and to enjoy the
what must have been a maid’s quar- off, it should be darker than dark. flexibility of splitgrade burning and
ters, which was complete with a With all the white surfaces, just a dodging.
shower and hot-water heater. It couple safelights are needed, be- The darkroom is equipped with a
seems that in classic French apart- cause the light will bounce around JOB0 CPP2 processor that Robert
ments, the maid’s quarters are typi- nicely.” uses to develop 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 film.
cally adjacent to the kitchen. This fa- The layout is in classic workflow His personal work is done with 4 x 5
cilitated plumbing the darkroom, order in a clockwise direction and 8 x 10 precision pinhole cam-
since all the basic requirements- around the darkroom. As with many eras that he built himself. Robert has
hot and cold water and drain-were photographers, Robert wishes for started to experiment with color, but
right where they needed to be. The more table space. That would enable is still working on platinum-palla-
French use the English system of him to make mural-sized prints with- dium, Kallitype, bromoil, and mono-
plumbing. Robert brought over his out the present difficulty that his chrome carbon processes.
own filters and lime magnets from limited space causes.
the States. Robert is quite tall, so all

Robert Mann’s Darkroom: Dry

Side. This is the “dry side” of Robert’s
darkroom. Notice that as many pieces
of equipment as possible are wall
mounted-the enlarger, timer, tele-
phone-to save precious counter space.
Since the counter tops are 42“ to ac-
commodate Robert’s height, there i s
plenty of storage space underneath.
Note the many types of paper available.
The enlarger area i s painted black to
minimize light scattering. The key t o this
working darkroom is neatness.

Robert Mann’s Darkroom: W e t Side. The “wet-side’’ sink of the darkroom is
placed at the point where the shower was in order t o make plumbing easier. Note
the soil pipe right a t the point where a drain is necessary. There are light-tight venti-
lation baffles in the walls and chemical storage under the high sink. Again, the feeling
of efficiency and organization lets you know that this is a working darkroom.

3 Ideas for Placement
Darkrooms in Closets
Darkrooms in Kitchens
Darkrooms in Bathrooms
Darkrooms in Spare Rooms
Darkrooms in Closets

Most closets hardly have sufficient Storage Very Small Closet

space for clothes and other items
needing storage space. Occasionally, If the enlarger and processing trays
however, you may be lucky enough fit, you could store everything else
to have a very large walk-in closet, or outside of the darkroom. If you have
a long closet with sliding or folding a tendency, however, to see how
doors that can be spared for a dark- many people will fit in a phone TRAY RACK
room or a portion of a darkroom. In booth, you can build storage shelves
most cases (but not all), working in a over cabinets in whatever space is
closet means you will have a “dry available.
darkroom.” Prints will be stored in a
water tray after fixing, then carried
in batches to another room for wash-

ing. If you are printing in color, all Working in a small space increases
you have to do in the closet is make the problems of fumes and vapors.
the exposure and insert the print Good ventilation is almost a neces-
into a light-tight drum (see Chapter sity for closet work, so plan on in- Very Small Closet. The most space-
9, ‘The Color Darkroom”). All other stalling a fan and air vents in the saving design consists of an enlarger and a
processing can be done where there closet. tray rack that permits trays t o be stacked
is more room. Closets are generally on top of each other, which reduces the
amount of counter space required. Timers
so small that careful planning is re-
and safelights should be wall-mounted, so
quired to make one acceptable for Lights they don’t use the scarce counter space.
use as a darkroom. The white light in the closet could As you can see from the elevation, stor-
age of paper and chemicals can be
be string-operated if the switch is
arranged on shelves under the enlarger. A
outside the room. You can pick up a
Enlarger screw-in, string-operated adaptor at
splashboard made of plywood o r masonite
should be installed between the enlarger
Where possible, the enlarger should any hardware store if one is not al- and the processing trays t o reduce the
be wall-mounted, because it can be ready in the socket. risk of contamination.
difficult to find a small table that is An extension cord can be run
steady enough for it. Or you can into the room to provide electricity
build a sturdy counter on which to for the enlarger, timer, and safe-
set the enlarger and its baseboard. lights. Be sure it has sufficient space
As closet space is at a premium, an so the door does not crush it when
adjustable enlarger base is not prac- closed. If the cord is slammed by the Long Closet. These are ideal, but gener-
tical, since 11 x 14 prints can nor- door a few times, it could create a ally require that the entire room in which
it is located be light-proofed. The closet
mally be made on the baseboard, short circuit and possibly be a fire
can have wet and dry sides facing each
and there probably will not be space hazard. other with one or the other permanently
to process larger prints. installed in the closet. If the wet side is
built in, plumbing can be added. The en-
larger can be mounted t o an old (solid)
Counter Tops desk and pushed into place when needed.
Long Closet The desk can also be used for storage.
Shelves to hold the processing trays
should be built at a convenient
height, often counter-top height. ENLARGER SPLLlsHBOARD TRAVS
You will require a minimum of four
trays (developer, stop bath, fixer,
and water-holding trays).

Walk-in Closet A Closet Darkroom

If I l l L/h-o I


Walk-in Closet. These are generally

larger-sized closets that permit slightly
more flexibility than a small closet does.
An L-shaped darkroom layout is most
common, unless the closet is large enough
t o have a wet side and a dry side sepa-
rated by an aisle. Storage and splashboard
would be the same as for a very small

A Closet Darkroom. A few innova-

tions make even a small closet darkroom
a feasible option. Wall-mount your timer
and safelight or screw a safelight into the
Closet Elevation ceiling fixture. Use a tray rack t o stack
your three trays. Keep a bucket nearby
for fixed prints that will be washed else-
yirn STRING where. Construct a splashboard t o pro-
tect your dry side. Store your chemicals
below the counter. When set up, run an
extension cord under the door t o plug in
your electrical equipment.
Before and After. These before and
after photographs show how Ron Harrod
installed his darkroom in a small closet.
The sliding doors were removed (folding
doors would not have t o be) and the
entire room was light-proofed. Plumbing Closet Elevation. If you build a perma-
was hooked up t o nearby pipes and a sink nent darkroom in a closet, the space
constructed out of a plastic sign. The below the enlarger makes an ideal place t o
plumbing system connects and discon- CH€MlC4L store chemicals and trays. The tray ladder
nects with threaded fittings, so if the used t o hold the trays vertically is de-
darkroom has t o move, the plumbing can scribed in Chapter 6. A piece of paneling
between the enlarger (dry side) and the
go with it.
processing trays (wet side) prevents
Photographs, Ron Harrod splashes.

Darkrooms in Kitchens

Using a kitchen for a darkroom is The WorkTriangle Corridor Kitchen

only slightly more desirable than
The efficiency of any kitchen is I

using the only bathroom in your SINK

house or apartment. Kitchens can based on a “work triangle,” the dis-
be difficult to light-proof, must serve tances between the three key units
a second use on a daily basis, tend to of refrigerator, stove, and sink. The
have heavy traffic, and are more dif- efficiency of a darkroom superim-
ficult to keep clean. You also have to posed over this initial design is based
worry about contaminating not only on a work triangle between the en-
your developer but also your yogurt. larger, developer tray, and fixer tray.
Photographic chemicals are haz- The wet side is determined to a
ardous to your health, and when you large extent by the position of the J
work in the kitchen, all food items sink, and the processing trays should 3/4 aPLYma9
should be stored away. be arranged as close to it as possible. BETWEEN COUNT€RS

Yet it is still possible to work in the The placement of the enlarger

kitchen and do it well. Thousands of should then be as close to the wet Corridor Kitchen. A piece of ply-
photographers do it every day-sev- side as possible. wood can be placed as a bridge be-
era1 of them known by the authors- Kitchens are generally designed tween counters. You should reinforce it
so there is no reason why you can- in one of four patterns. The follow- with a wooden frame if you are going t o
not. ing illustrations suggest ways of su- place the enlarger on it. The enlarger
Evening is the best time to work perimposing a darkroom over these would best be placed on the counter at
existing designs. As you can see from the location indicated by A, since this is
in the kitchen, because meals are
the work triangles indicated on the both sturdy and convenient t o the
over and after dark the light-proof- developer tray on the sink side of the
ing is simplified. A safelight can be drawings, the placement of the en-
screwed into the existing ceiling fix- larger has a tremendous influence
ture, the windows and doors draped on the length of the walk required to
with light-proof cloth, and you’re in expose and process a print.
business until dawn. If need be, work surfaces can be
Finding a stable base for the en- expanded by using plywood to cover U-Shaped Kitchen
larger can be a problem. If it will not the range (be sure pilot lights on the
fit onto one of the counters, it might gas range are out), or to bridge
be a good investment to buy a small other work surfaces, such as between
sturdy table or old desk on which to two facing counters.
keep it. Some kitchen tables tend to
be unstable and this will definitely
show in your prints.
An alternative is to wall-mount
the enlarger (see “Mounting the En- II I -
larger” in Chapter 6) in a place
where it will be out of the way. If no
such place exists, the enlarger can
be attached to a wall mount with
bolts and wing nuts so it is easy to re- U-Shaped Kitchen. In a U-shaped
move. kitchen, the enlarger can be placed on
the counter next to the developing tray,
on a table in the middle of the kitchen,
or on a facing counter.

L-Shaped Kitchen

Desk-Mounted Enlarger. An old-

style oak desk, commonly found in
secondhand stores or flea markets,
ENLARGER makes an outstanding enlarger stand.
This one, in the R&D darkroom of
Saunders PhotolGraphic, was painted
u WALL moo" mat black, but the desk can be used in
i t s natural finish as well. The drawers
provide handy, dust-free storage for
lenses and accessories. The enlarger
L-Shaped Kitchen. In a kitchen such should be securely bolted t o the top.
as this, the ideal place for the enlarger is Do not use wood screws. A sheet of
on the counter between the wall and pegboard on the wall behind the en-
the stove. Barring that, a wall mount is larger, as shown, provides a handy place
possible, o r the enlarger can be placed for negative carriers.
on a sturdy table in the center of the Photo by Metzger Studios, Rochester, N e w
room, convenient t o the developer tray. York

Single-Wall Kitchen

A Kitchen Darkroom


Single-Wall Kitchen. In many smal
apartments, the kitchen occupies a
single stretch of wall. In this case, the
only place for the enlarger is on a facing
table or on a wall mount. \

A Kitchen Darkroom. A kitchen

may seem t o be the ideal location for a
darkroom, but it i s often time-consum-
ing t o light-proof. If you do use your
kitchen, avoid chemical contamination
of surfaces and utensils used in prepar-
ing food. No matter what shape your
kitchen is, a sturdy sheet of plywood is
often handy t o use as extra counter
space on top of the stove (but turn off
pilot lights on a gas range) or as a bridge
to span the gap in a corridor-type

Darkrooms in Bathrooms

Many photographers at one time or Enlarger Bathroom Plumbing

another have used a bathroom for
either a temporary or permanent The toilet can be boxed in, provid-
ing room for both an adjustable en- When converting a bathroom t o
darkroom. It has the advantage of serve a dual function as a dark-
having running water and is usually larger baseboard and an enlarger
room, it helps t o adapt the faucets
easy to light-proof. A bathroom can mount. By removing the easel
t o accept the fittings of the dark-
function well if its double use is board, the toilet is accessible, espe- room equipment. Pfefer Products
taken into account. Its major draw- cially when the enlarger head is makes a complete line of adaptors
back is, of course, that its use cannot raised to the top of the column. The t o be used for this purpose. Other
be as carefully scheduled as a instructions in Chapter 6 for build- units are also available at your
kitchen's can. ing an adjustable enlarger base can local hardware store. Some of the
be followed to build this unit. major ones are:
Shower Diverter. This unit can
Layout be permanently installed on the
Working Space shower head. When adjusted, it
Some bathrooms lend themselves to allows the water t o flow out of ei-
using the bathtub side as the wet Additional working space can be ob-
ther the shower head or a fitting
side and the sink and toilet side as tained by using two or three en-
t o which a print washer can be
the dry side. larger bases at one time. The top connected.
one holds the easel, and the lower
two hold unexposed and exposed FOR SHOWER HEAD FOR DARKROOM
Sink paper. A piece of plywood can be cut
to cover the sink if additional space
In the beginning it may be accept- is needed.
able to kneel alongside the tub while
processing prints, but you will prob-
ably soon tire of this. For a more per-
manent arrangement, it is usually
possible to build rails above the tub
on which a wooden sink can be
placed. When the sink is removed
for storage, the rails stay perma-
nently attached. If good molding is Y-Adaptor. This unit allows two
used, and it is painted, the rails will hoses to be fed from one faucet.
not detract from the bathroom. The
sink can drain, through a rubber
hose, into the bathtub below without
additional plumbing. A water supply
can also be connected to the sink by
connecting the shower head to a
faucet mounted on the sink. It may
be difficult to adjust the water tem-
perature if the handles are near the Standard Adaptor. This unit is
tub (and under the darkroom sink) designed t o fit most kitchen and
but it is possible to live with this. bathroom male- o r female-
If the tub is installed along a sin- Wall Mount Over Toilet. The space threaded faucets. It will convert a
gle wall, rather than in a corner, a over the toilet is usually wasted, al- faucet t o accept male garden hose
large box may have to be built though it makes a possible place to fittings.
permanently wall-mount the enlarger.
around it to accommodate the sink
The shelf rails can be designed t o per-
and sink rails. mit lowering the shelf for greater en-
largements. The shelves are removable,
so the room can be converted to i t s
original purpose.

Sink Over Bathtub Bathroom D r y Side




Bathroom Dry Side. This elevation
shows how the toilet can be enclosed in
a cabinet for an adjustable enlarger
baseboard. Instructions on how t o build
one of these units are given in Chapter
6.The sink can be covered with a piece
of plywood t o increase the amount of
Sink Over Bathtub. A rail installed dry-side shelf space.
around the bathtub can be used t o
support a removable wooden darkroom
sink. The sink can drain directly into the A Bathroom Darkroom
tub below, which eliminates any plumb-
ing problems. Water can be obtained

from the bathtub outlet or the shower
head. The shower head might not have
its own mixing valves, so temperature
regulation can be difficult. The print
washer can be located either in the sink
or in the tub below.
I i I) ] ......................

A Bathroom Darkroom. A bath-

room is often the best location for a
darkroom. It has the necessary plumb-
ing, waterproof surfaces, and can easily CONNECTED 72)FAWE7
be made light-proof. A bathtub makes a
good wet side: it’s waterproof, and has PLYWOOD 804RD
running water and a drain. You can lay TO HOLD TRAYS
your trays out in the tub, or you can
save your back by placing them on a
sheet of plywood covering the tub, for
the dry side. You can place your en-
larger directly on top of your sink
space, or you can f i r s t cover the sink
with a sheet of plywood. It’s important
that the enlarger be very stable; any
vibration will mean unsharp, blurred

Darkrooms in Spare Rooms

In most apartments and many multaneously. At the very least, it

homes, it is inconvenient to convert may have to be both darkroom and
a closet, kitchen, or bathroom into a workroom.
darkroom. Therefore, one of the Anthony Hernandez, a Los Ange-
rooms that is normally used as a bed- les photographer, was confronted
room or spare room can be the loca- with this problem when moving into
tion for the darkroom. an apartment. His solution was to
Unlike bathroom and kitchen lo- convert a bedroom into a combina-
cations, a spare room generally does tion office, workroom, and dark-
not have a water source. This means room. The room functions as an of-
that either the darkroom must be fice and general working space
dry and the prints washed in an- during the day and is converted to a
other room, or a water source must darkroom at night by putting down
be brought into the room. the window shades.
Another problem with converting The room is one of the major
spare rooms is minimizing the dam- spaces in the apartment and was de-
age caused to the room so it can be signed to be an elegant addition to
reconverted back to its original pur- the living space, with utilitarian fea-
pose should the darkroom be tures concealed in the overall de-
moved. Or perhaps the spare room sign.
must serve a number of functions si-
The Entrance. The entrance t o the
darkroom does not give a feeling that
you have stepped into a different world.
The room still seems t o be part of the
apartment and functions as a living
space as well as a darkroom.

Organization. The darkroom is de-

signed with the dry side on the left, the
wet side on the right, and the
office/workspace a t the other end of
the room. The blinds are pulled at night
t o convert the room into a darkroom.
Because they are not totally light-proof,
it is not possible t o print during daylight

The Dry Side. The dry side of the
room consists of storage cabinets and a
large formica-covered counter. The
cabinets supporting the counter and the
separate cabinet underneath are used t o
store equipment and prints. The track
lights on the ceiling are used when the
room functions as an office, and the
dry-side safelight rests on the counter
along with the enlarger and timer.

The W e t Side. The wet side of a

darkroom is the place where, in most
darkrooms, the greatest disorder ap-
pears. The photographer solved the
problem by designing the wet side so
that the majority of the equipment is
hidden from view when the darkroom is
not in use. The exhaust fan is located in
the ceiling over the sink, the print-
viewing light on the right end of the sink
complements the overall style of the
room, and even the print drying screens
directly over the sink do not detract
from the room’s clean appearance.

The Wet-Side Equipment. Opening

the doors over the print-drying rack
reveals the wet-side timer, safelights,
and equipment storage. When closed,
the equipment i s again concealed from

W o rkrooms

Generally, all stages after print wash- Counter or Table Space throw out extra prints. Negatives
ing can be completed in an adjoin- and other supplies such as paper
ing workroom. Print drying, spot- Counter or table space is needed for and mount board need a home. Be-
ting, matting, and mounting are cutting mats and holding a dry- cause many of these materials are to
some of the activities that can and mount press. If you do not have a some extent affected by humidity,
should be done outside of the dark- press, you might still need space to they cannot be tucked away in the
room. Each photographer’s situa- mount the prints with an iron or basement or stored in a hot, humid
tion is slightly different, and many, cold mounting tissue. Because of the attic. This means that a space in the
where space is tight, will build their cleanliness required, it’s best to have house must be found where shelves
printdrying rack in the darkroom it- a permanent space set aside, but if can be built or cabinets installed.
self but complete all other steps in a need be, the table can be cleaned
separate room. Many home dark- after dinner and the equipment set
rooms utilize whatever available up. After all of the hard work it took Light
space there is; to free up additional to get the print to this stage, it is a
heartbreaker to find that you have An absolute necessity for a work-
space for a workroom is a real lux- room is good light. This can be nat-
ury. set it in a puddle of giblet gravy.
ural light from numerous windows
Given space limitations, a good al- or bright artificial lights. Natural
ternative is to use a room such as a
bedroom for print finishing and
Storage Space light is excellent, especially when
spotting prints or evaluating color
storage. The main space require- For most photographers, what be- proofs. Matting and framing under
ments are for matting and mounting gins as a “little” darkroom starts to glass can be done in strong artificial
equipment. Many photographers expand and consume incredible or natural light.
work on the kitchen or dining-room amounts of space. Very few photog-
table. raphers can bring themselves to

Harry Callahan’s workroom, which i s a combination office and print-finishing room,

occupies the top floor of his Providence townhouse adjacent to his darkroom. This
photograph was taken from the immediate vicinity of his desk and shows the side of
the room where the dry-mount press and print-finishing equipment are stored and
used. The light in the room is natural and bright, good for making those last final
adjustments t o a final print.

This photograph taken from George Naomi Savage’s workroom is on the
Tice’s office shows the rest of Tice’s ground level and looks out on a land-
print-finishing area. On the left are the scape that includes her husband’s
print-drying screens in an open frame. welded stainless steel sculptures. The
Paper is stored at the far end of the room is bright and full of light. This view
room and the right side is devoted t o shows a paper trimmer in the fore-
paper trimmers and the dry storage ground and a large expanse of open
area. counter space used for print finishing.
The stairway rises t o a storage area.

Neal Slavin’s prints are given their final Mike Shaw and Peter Rayment handle
wash in the print-finishing area. The the print finishing at the Sutcliffe Gal-
window has sliding red plexiglass panels leries in Whitby, England in a well laid-
that are used as a “pass through” for out workroom. Spotting and print fin-
prints from the darkroom t o the ishing are done on a sloped drafting
washer. The red plexiglass acts as a table with strong natural light entering
safelight, so the lights in the print-finish- from a nearby window. Shaw is shown
ing room do not affect the sensitive framing prints on a large work table.
materials in the darkroom (color mater- Supplies are stored close by on the
ial excepted). The light entering the racks behind him.
darkroom through the panels gives the
room a pleasant open feeling. The cabi-
net on the lower left contains print-
drying racks concealed behind the
swinging door.

4 Designing the Room
What Are Layouts
and Elevations? 0 40
How to Do Layouts 0 42
Planning Grids 44
Dry-Side Cutouts 0 46
Wet-Side Cutouts 48
Light-Trap Cutouts 50
Light-Trap and
Drying Rack Cutouts 52
Preparing Elevations 0 54
W h a t Are Layouts and Elevations?

Designing a Darkroom
A well-designed darkroom requires A
the completion of a number of plan-
ning steps to ensure that the dark-
room will function as well after it is
built as you had hoped when you
first conceived it. The major steps
and the order in which they should
be completed are:

Determine the size and type of

equipment to be used in the dark-
room and the size of prints that
will be made.
Prepare a layout (floor plan),
making provisions for all of the
items to be used in the room and
the print sizes that must be ac-
Prepare elevations to show how
storage shelves and cabinets are
to be built and at what height the
work surfaces are to be located.
Prepare working drawings for
those items that you plan to build
yourself or have someone else
build for you.

This section will help you follow

these steps and ease the burden of
making all of your drawings to scale.
Before you begin, it might help to General View. This general view of a
explain the terms layout, jloor plan, typical darkroom gives an idea of what
as you go along. To make the job the room would look like if the walls
working drawing, and elevations. progress more smoothly, the best were transparent. The drawing clearly
course is to prepare working draw- shows the placement of the wet side,
ings that show the pieces that make the dry side, and other major elements
Working Drawings up a major unit. Working drawings of the darkroom. Although it is very
Layouts and elevations indicate the are shown throughout this book for easy t o understand, it is difficult t o
placement of items in a room and such items as print-drying racks, draw, so a more simplified method has
the outside dimensions of those sinks, light tables, and so on. If you been developed to represent the major
items. However, they are not de- plan on building something that is elements in a room. This simpler
tailed enough to actually build from, not detailed in this book, the draw- method consists of drawing separate
sketches t o represent the arrangement
unless you are a very experienced ings we have shown will give you a
of items on the floor of the room (the
carpenter or are willing to make do good idea of how to do your own. layouts), and on each of the walls (the


Layouts. If you were directly above
the room and peering down through
the ceiling from point A in the figure on
0 0 the opposite page, you would see how
items were arranged on the floor of the
room. This view is what is called a layout
or floor plan, and its preparation is the

first step in the design of any living or
working space. A t this stage, the physi-

Q 1 I------@ @ cal placement of equipment is deter-

mined to allow for working comfort by
eliminating unnecessary steps.

Wet-Side Elevation

Wet-Side Elevation. If you were t o

stand outside of the darkroom and look
through the transparent wall from point
B in the illustration, you would see the
wall against which the wet side of the
darkroom is built. This view is called an
elevation and shows only the fronts of
sinks, shelves, and other items on the
wall. It i s used t o plan the placement of
equipment and cabinets and should be
based on the previously prepared lay-

Dry-Side Elevation

Dry-Side Elevation. Standing outside

of the darkroom and looking in from
point C would show the dry-side eleva-
tion. This elevation will contain the
enlarger, dry-side counters, enlarger
base, and under-counter storage.
How to Do Layouts
The preparation of a layout is the second is used when you plan to par- to be accommodated and the size of
first step in building any darkroom. tition the darkroom off from a the prints you plan to make are the
This section has been designed to larger area such as a basement, and key ingredients in planning a work-
make this preparation as fast and therefore the actual size and propor- able room. Some of the pieces of
easy as possible. It consists of grids tions of the room are initially unim- equipment directly affect the
and cutout parts drawn to the ap- portant. amount of either counter space or
proximate scale they will occupy in If you plan to convert an existing storage space needed in the dark-
the actual darkroom. Both the grids room, start the layout by drawing the room, so be sure to make provisions
and the cutout parts are drawn to a outline of the room on the grid. for these items.
scale of 1/2" to 1' in the actual dark- Measure the length of all four walls, All of the major darkroom ele-
room. You might want to make a then freehand sketch the room out- ments can now be cut out and
photocopy of both the grids and line using one square on the grid to placed on the grid. The ability to
cutouts rather than cut up the book. represent one square foot in the shift and move them about will
You can begin your layout in one room. Next, indicate all existing speed the time it takes to arrive at a
of two ways. You can either draw the doors, windows, and other major final floorplan.
size of the room you plan to use on features in the room, locating them If you plan to include any equip-
the grid, or you can assemble all of on the drawing in the same scale ment not provided in cutout form,
the elements you plan to use and they represent in the room. or if your equipment is to be a dif-
then draw a room sufficiently large After the room outline is drawn, ferent size, you can make your own
to hold them. The first approach is use the equipment checklist on the cutouts by drawing them to the same
used when you have a room to con- facing page to inventory the equip scale of 1/2" to 1'.
vert in which you do not want to ment you have, or plan to have in
change any of the partitions. The the future. The amount of material

Large Darkroom Layout Small Darkroom Layout



Typical Darkroom Layouts. These

two darkroom layouts illustrate the
extremes that you are likely t o en-
counter. The smaller the space available,
the more creative you will have t o be.
Fitting everything in a large room is
relatively easy compared t o fitting it
into a 3' x 4' closet. Both, however, can
be done and done well.

Darkroom Planning Checklist
Before beginning the preparation of the layouts and elevations, it is helpful to make a complete inventory of the materials and
equipment that you have o r might eventually want to accommodate in the darkroom. It makes good sense to plan ahead and
provide space for equipment that will be added during the life of the darkroom. This information is also helpful in planning the
type of storage space, sink size, and other elements of the darkroom based on the actual equipment to be used.

Al- May Al- May

ready Will Add ready Will Add
Equipment Model Have Build Later Equipment Model Have Build Later
D r y Side Funnels
Enlarger, 35mm Aprons
Enlarger, 4 x 5 Towels
Enlarger, other Timer
Enlarger lenses Chemical storage containers
Enlarger coldlight head Squeegee board
Enlarger color head Print squeegee
Polycontrast filters Print washer
Color correcting filters Negative drying cabinet
Exposure meter
Color analyzer Workroom
Voltage regulator Film
Easel. 11 x 14 PaDer
Easel, 16 x 20 Print dryer, electric
Easel 20 x 24 Print dryer, screens
Easel, other Dry mounting press
Focusing magnifier Tacking iron
Negative proof printer Mat board
Contact minter Mat cutters
PaDer safe Spotting brushes
Enlarging timer Spotting dyes
Footswitch Negative storage system
Scalelbalance Print storage containers
Printing control devices Safelight filters
Dust sprayslbrushes Unmixed chemicals
PaDer trimmer Negative clips
Scissorslfilm cutter Couvstand
Film cassette opener Built-in Eauiamenf
~ ~~ ~
W e t Side Sink
35mml2 ? developing
/i tanks Enlarger base, adjustable
Roll film washer Light box
Sheet film tanks Towel rack
Sheet film hangers Shelf over sink
Film squeegee Shelf over enlarger
Processing trays Ventilator fan
Mural processing trayldrum Air conditioner
Color processing drum Light-proof louvers
Color drum aeitator Dehumidifier
Print tones Light-proof door
Immersion heaters Safeliehts
Water chiller Water temperature regulator
Recirculating heater Valve
Stabilization processor Water filters
Thermometer Footswitch for enlarger
Gloves Supply cabinets
Stirring rods Electrostatic air cleaner
GraduaCes Print viewing light

Planning Grids
DrylSide Cutouts

Preparing Layouts: Left-Handed? It is recommended

that if you are right-handed the
Things to Remember room be laid out so that work pro-
When working on your layout, there ceeds from the left to the right
are certain things to keep in mind: (clockwise on the layout sheet), and
if you are left-handed it could flow in
Enlarger If you plan to make very
the opposite direction (counter-
large prints, the enlarger should be
placed where it can be tilted hori-
zontally to project the image on a Exits. All exits should open outward
facing wall. Enlargements of up to so in case of emergency you can
20" x 24" can usually be made by leave the room with the least resis-
making an adjustable enlarger base tance. Exits should also be suffi-
(see Chapter 6) or by using a wide- ciently large to allow for the move-
angle enlarging lens. ment of equipment into and out of
the room without tearing down
Aisles. There should always be suffi-
cient room in the aisle to allow for
free movement but not so much that Size. The size of the darkroom de-
additional steps are necessary to pends, to a large extent, on the size
move from the enlarger to the sink. of the prints you plan on making. If
Aisle width for a one-person dark- you are working primarily with 8" x
room is whatever is comfortable, 10" prints there is a strong likeli-
usually between 30" and 36". hood that you will someday want to
make larger prints, so accommodate
Doors and Drawers. Be sure to allow
that possibility when planning the
for door and drawer openings. If an
room. It's easier to do it now than to
aisle is too narrow, cabinet doors
have to rebuild the darkroom later.
and drawers may not open com-
Darkrooms should not, however, be
pletely without hitting the opposite
larger than necessary. A large room
side. Be sure also to allow for print-
only makes you walk farther. The av-
drying racks to pull out fully.
erage darkroom will fit well into a
Wet and Dry Sides. Where space al- space ranging from 6' x 7' to 10' x
lows, the dry and wet sides of the 12', regardless of the print sizes
darkroom could be on opposite being made.
sides of the room, separated by a
Working Space. Always remember
center aisle. This reduces the possi-
that most equipment also requires
bility of contamination.
working space. For instance, a dry-
Ideally, the developer tray should
mount press without a place to have
be located directly opposite the en-
mat board, prints, and dry-mount
larger to reduce the number of
tissue nearby will be a constant irri-
steps needed to go from one to the
other. If space is not sufficient to
separate them with an aisle, a parti-
tion of wood can be installed be-
tween them to eliminate any possi-
bility of splashing.

Enlargers. These enlarger cutouts are
based on the maximum size o f the
prints t o be made. Enlargers are rela-
tively small compared t o the size of the
easel, plus the handling room required
t o make prints of a given size. The
enlarger cutouts are also based on the
longest dimension of the paper t o be
used so that both vertical and horizon-
tal prints can be made. If you normally
plan on making prints up t o I I x 14 but
occasionally make larger ones, you can
allow for the larger space with an ad-
justable easel base (see Chapter 6).
When making an allowance for the
enlarger, you should also be generous
with the working space on either side.
There should be sufficient room for the
maximum-sized paper you plan t o use,
with unexposed paper kept on one side
and exposed on the other. The space
required can be reduced by installing a
light-proof drawer under the enlarger
base, thereby eliminating the require-
ment for counter space t o handle it.
However, the light-proof drawer will
conflict with the adjustable enlarger
base unless it is offset t o one side.
Wet-Side Cutouts

Sinks Sinks for Processing Prints up to I I x 14"


Processing prints requires a

minimum of three trays: for
developer, stop bath, and
fixer. There should also be
a fourth tray to be used as a
holding-water bath for
prints prior to placing them //"x /4" 4 TRAYS UOU/ZONTAL
in the washer. Ideally, the
sink should allow for a fifth
tray to hold fixer, because
two-bath fixing is more ef-
fective and more economi-
cal. The sinks shown here
are designed to accommo- //'k 14" 5 TRAYS HOR/ZOAfirAL
date anywhere from three
trays to six, with an addi-
tional 30" space left for
washing. If you plan on
washing with an East Street
Gallery washer or some
other such space-saving
equipment, the 30" space //"x /4 4 TRAYS VERTICAL

allowed can be greatly re-

duced. The sinks vary in
size, depending on whether
you plan to align your trays
in a horizontal or vertical
position in the sink, and on
the size and number of
trays you plan to use. If you // "x 14" 5 TRAYS V€Rt/CAL
plan on building your own
sink, and if space allows,
you should build the largest
size possible to accommo-
date expansion of your ac-
tivities. The actual cost of
the additional materials
and the additional labor re-
quired are minimal. If
space in your darkroom is
at a premium, you can save //"x /9"SPACE SAV€I? 5 TRAYS
sink space by using
tray racks to hold
the trays one over
the other.


Sinks for Processing Prints up to 1 6 x 2 0
Light-Trap Cutouts
Light-traps allow free access even
when light-sensitive materials are ex-
posed. Light-traps are generally a
combination of doors and curtains,
or mazes that require no doors; the
configuration of the walls is enough
to prevent light from entering the
The inside of a maze or trap
should always be painted a flat black
to reduce reflections, and tests
should be made to ensure that they
are light-proof. Film is especially sen-
sitive to light, even minor reflec-
tions, and mazes in particular
should be watched so that no reflec-
tions enter the room to fog the film.
A white line can be painted on
the inside walls of any light trap as a
guide. All door handles should also
be marked with phosphorescent
paint. Entering a maze directly out
of the bright sun can cause you to be
quite blind until your eyes adjust.
The white line will enable you to
enter without waiting for a complete
adjustment. In a short time, you will
be able to move around in the dark.
The accompanying mazes have
been drawn to scale providing for
30" of shoulder room. The mini-
mum would be about 28", so slightly
smaller designs are possible. A sepa-
rate equipment door can be con-
structed in the maze to allow the
entry of larger equipment than the
light-trap will allow, and it can also
double as a panic door. As this door
will not be opened regularly, it need
not be hinged. A panel attached
loosely with small screws is quite ef-
fective and can be pushed out if a
fast exit is required. Make sure all
doors, including the equipment
door, open outward for safety.
Light-Trap and Drying-Rack Cutouts


//I5/4" PRINTS


Drying Racks. The drying racks shown here are made with fiberglass screens and
wood or metal frames (see Chapter 6).Their capacity should be sufficient t o hold
prints from a normal printing session. The capacity of the drying rack depends on the
horizontal dimensions shown, as well as on the number of shelves allowed by the
vertical height available to you. If you normally work in more than one size print, you
should build for the larger size. The shaded areas indicate the space needed t o pull
the rack out either horizontally o r vertically. Once you have determined how a given
rack will be positioned in your darkroom, you can trim off the shaded area that will
not be used.

Preparing Elevations
After the layouts for the darkroom the back and legs and cut your visit The W e t Side
have been completed, work can to the darkroom short. Because this The wet-side elevation should show the
begin on the elevations for the dry decision is so critical it pays to make placement of the sink, shelves, water
and wet sides of the room. Eleva- it wisely. The normal height for work outlets, safelights, under-sink storage,
tions are similar to floorplans except surfaces is 36" above the floor, but and, if there is no other space available,
they show the vertical surfaces of the this is only a starting point. Comfort the print-drying racks.
room rather than the floor. To pre- while working depends not only on The sink bottom should be located at
pare elevations the first step is to your height but also on the length of a distance slightly below the ideal work-
measure each wall's length and your arms and legs. Until ail photog- ing height. The side walls rise about 6"
height, then outline them on a sec- raphers are standardized, dark- above the bottom, and if the sink is too
tion of the grid paper using the scale rooms cannot be. high it i s difficult to reach over the side
of 1/2" to 1'.When this is completed Begin with the 36" indicated walls t o reach the trays in the bottom
of the sink.
you will have four rectangles (or height and make a temporary sur-
squares), each of which represents a face at this suggested height. You Water outlets: Ideally, there will be a
wall in the darkroom. Label one of can do this by supporting a board regulated outlet at one end of the sink
them wet side and one dry side, de- with books. Now try to lean on it and and an unregulated one at the other.
Both outlets should be at least 12"
pending on how they relate to the move things about. See how com-
above the sink bottom (or above the
floorplan. Now draw in all of the ex- fortable the height is. Strain will
duckboards, if you plan to use them) so
isting features of the room that af- show only after a number of minutes that large graduates can be placed under
fect the darkroom design, such as have passed, so spend some time to them t o be filled. Even better is t o have
door openings, window openings, see what your reaction is. If your rubber hoses attached to faucets. When
plumbing outlets, sinks, and so on. back is straight and your arms are not being used, they lie on the bottom
These items should be drawn to comfortable, the height will be right of the sink. In use, they can fill graduates
scale and in their proper location in for you. If not, raise or lower the as high as the hose is long.
the room. Measure their size and board until a more comfortable Storage under the sink can be used
placement and use the 1/2" to 1' height is found. t o hold processingtrays, which can be
scale to locate them on the drawings Transfer the ideal working height separated by thin sheets of masonite or
properly. to 'the elevations by drawing a line plywood. The bottom of this tray-stor-
When the walls have been drawn on all wall surfaces to'represent that age rack should slope toward the front
to scale on the grid, you can begin to height. Draw another line about 6" t o allow for drainage when wet trays
plan what the counters and sinks will above the floor line to indicate the are stored. Preferably, trays should be
look like after they are installed. The lowest level for the fronts of coun- (continued on next page)
next step in preparing elevations is ters, sinks, drying racks, and so
to determine the height of the work forth. If they go all the way to the
surfaces in the room. The height of floor, there will not be room for your
counters, sinks, and enlarger base- feet as you stand at the counter, and
The Dry Side
boards determines to a large extent cleaning the room will be much
how comfortable the darkroom will more difficult, because you will not The dry-side elevation will show the
counter, dry-side storage, and the en-
be to work in. If they are too high or be able to reach under the sink to
larger mount and baseboard. If you plan
too low, great strain can be put on clean up spilled chemicals. on using kitchen-type cabinets, they can
be drawn in so that their counters are
at the height of the line drawn on the
elevation t o indicate working height.
Check t o be sure the enlarger head can
be raised to i t s full limit, and use the
chart on "Negative-to-Easel Distance"
in Chapter 6 t o determine if you can
make the size prints you normally make
at the counter-top height. Perhaps your
enlarger head will hit the ceiling before
the negative-to-easeldistance is suffi-
cient t o give you the size prints you
normally make. If this happens, you have
three alternatives:
(continued on next page)

left tilted on end in the sink t o drain
completely prior t o being stored.
Print-drying racks can be located
under the sink if there is no room for
them outside of the darkroom (building ro
instructions are shown in Chapter 6). HOLD
En: \
Dowels can be mounted into the walls
on the sides or back of the sink to
provide a convenient place t o hang
graduates, funnels, tongs, and other
small items for draining and storage. Be PRfNT
sure t o place them where the dripping ORYfNG
water will not contaminate processing
trays. A small trough can be fashioned
under the trays t o funnel the water FOOT
into the sink.
Exhaust vents or fans can be located
over the sink t o eliminate fumes and
water vapor. Never locate a fan that
blows air into the room over the sink,
since that will just distribute the dust
and vapor more widely. The wet side
should always be used t o exhaust the
air out of the darkroom.
Safelights should be indicated on the
elevation and should be no closer than
4' from processing trays or the enlarger
The shelves over the sink should be
high enough so that when trays are
stood on end t o drain in the sink, they
will not hit them.

I. Cut a hole in the ceiling t o allow the

enlarger head t o rise higher.
2. Lower the enlarger baseboard t o
increase the negative-to-easeldis- SAFELIGHT
tance. 4' FROM
3. Use a wide-angle enlarging lens.
Normally the enlarger can be mounted
on the wall just above the counter top, SHELF ENLARGER
or it can be set directly on the counter.
You may want t o build an adjustable
enlarger base t o provide for larger
prints (see Chapter 6).
Determine the width of the enlarger ADJUSTABLE
area based on the maximum-sized easel BASEBOARD
(see pw8 IIZJ
you plan t o use. Locate this area near
the developing end of the sink, allowing
for room on either side of it for unex-
posed and exposed paper. STORAGE SUPWRTS FOR VARIWS

5 Building the Room
Installing Partitions
Hanging Doors
Installing Sheetrock@
Getting t o KnowYour
More About Your Plumbing
Typical Darkroom Plumbing
Roughing in the Plumbing
Installing Supply Lines
Installingthe Drain
The EasyWay Out and
Unique Solutions
A Modular Plumbing System
Introduction t o Electricity
Electricity in the Darkroom
Tools and Materials for
Wiring the Circuits
Modular Control Panel

Most communities require a

permit to do plumbing or elec-
trical work and in many cases re-
quire that the work be per-
formed or supervised by a
licensed electrician or plumber.
These legal requirements are
designed to ensure that the
work is done properly and
safely. Failure to comply with
local laws is not recommended
and can have a significant im-
pact on your legal liabilities
should any personal or property
damage result.
The tools required to build a dark- Hand Tools
room are common ones that you
may already own. If you had to buy
all of the best available tools, the
total expenditure would be less than
$300, which is reasonable consider-
ing how much you would have to pay Hand Saw. These come in two kinds:
crosscut (used t o cut across the grain of
to have the room built for you. If you
the wood) or rip (used t o cut along the
are converting an existing room and grain).
plan on adding only wiring or Level. These are used t o determine if
plumbing, the cost will be even less. something is level in either the vertical or
horizontal directions. A curved fluid-filled
Take it from someone who has tube with an air bubble in it indicates
learned the hard way: buy only the when the level (and whatever it happens
best tools. With reasonable care they t o be held against) is level and, if not, what
will last a lifetime, whereas cheap direction it is tilted.
tools probably won't last through
the first job. The tools shown on
these pages are the standard ones re-
quired to do carpentry, plumbing,
and electrical work.
Plumb Bob. Suspended on a string,
Tools are generally classed as these are used t o determine a perfect
hand tools (powered only by the vertical line. When installing framing,
human hand), power hand tools paneling, and so forth, they will ensure
that the verticals are accurate. Hammers. The best hammer for car-
(operated by hand but powered by a pentry work is the curved claw model
motor), and power tools (bench- that enables you t o drive a nail and then
mounted and powered by a motor). pull it out using the other end.
The tools demonstrated in this book
are from the first two categories;
large power tools are not necessary.

Pliers. Pliers can be used for holding,

turning, bending, o r crushing. The best
kind are slip-joint pliers that adjust t o
handle either larger or smaller pieces.
Combination Square. Combines the
functions of a ruler, square, and level in one
unit. Ideal for general purpose work, and its
small size makes it easy t o work with.

Chalk Line. When the string is pulled

out of the holder it is covered with chalk
dust. If you hold both ends down and snap
the taut string, it will snap against the
floor or wall and leave a line of chalk. This Tape Measure. You can buy several
is a simple way t o lay out the floorplan on different types of rulers, including the
the basement floor, or t o indicate where folding zig-zag ruler o r the tape ruler
pipes o r counters are t o be run along a shown here. Most types will suffke for
wall. You can also use a piece of string and general construction work, but this one is
chalk, snapping it against the floor in the slightly more convenient, since it is small
same manner, which works just as well and comes in lengths ranging from 6' t o
(although a bit messier). many hundreds of feet.

Power Tools

Tubing Bender. Used t o bend copper

tubing so that the walls do not collapse
and restrict the flow.
Adjustable Wrench. Rather than buy a
whole set of open-end wrenches, buy one
of these. They come in various sizes, and
the one you select should be based on the
maximum size of nut you expect t o en-
counter. Because the largest nut is most
likely t o be in the plumbing, a wrench for
working on plumbing fittings should have
jaws that open at least I 112".
SabrelBayonet Saw. If you plan on
buying only one power tool, this should
be it. It is by far the most versatile tool
Flaring Tool. Used in flaring the ends of
available for cutting wood, plastics, and
copper tubing t o be used in plumbing and
metal. Many styles of blades are available,
incoming water lines; simplifies the instal-
rangingfrom fine wood scroll blades, t o
lation and eliminates the need for using a
blades that cut cardboard, t o blades that
torch and solder.
cut sheet steel. The narrow blades allow
you t o drill a starter hole in a wall and
Pipe Wrench. Used primarily t o fasten
then cut out an opening without using
and unfasten threaded steel pipe.
additional tools.

Hacksaw. This tool is very handy for

cutting copper or plastic plumbing pipe. It
can also be used t o cut cast-iron pipe o r
ventilating duct.

Drill. The power drill is usually a stan-

dard tool in the home workshop. Its basic
function is t o drill holes, but special at-
tachments can be added t o grind, polish,
Tubing Cutter. Designed t o make even, and sand. Slightly more expensive models
Chain Wench. Used t o twist large smooth cuts in copper pipe or tubing. have reversing motors and variable speed
drain, waste, o r vent pipes in sewer Phkes working with Pipe easy. As the tool controls, which are especially useful be-
systems. is revolved around the tube, the blade cause they allow you t o start a hole with a
gradually cuts deeper and deeper until the low speed thus giving you more control.
piece you want drops off. For darkroom building, a hand brace and
bit will suffice if you don't already have a
power drill.

Screwdrivers. These come in two

types, slot-headed and Phillips, for two
different kinds of screw heads. They are
easy t o tell apart: the Phillips screw has
crossed slots, and the other has a single
straight slot running across the screw
head YOU should have a variety of sizes of Propane Torch. If you choose to use
screwdrivers. The head should fit snugly soldered joints in Your Plumbing system, Sander. The power sander can save you
into the slot of the screw or you will you will need a torch t o solder the hours of work and is certainly a good
damage the screw, making it difficult t o
joints. investment.

Instal Iing Partitions

Building the Room Itself fore deciding to move it. Wiring is ber that the measurements of lum-
fairly easy to reroute; plumbing is ber refer to the lumber before final
If you are planning to install the much more difficult. The detailed cutting by the lumber yard. There-
darkroom in a large space, such as a plans in this section deal with only fore, a 2 x 4 is actually 1 1/2 x 3 1/2,
basement or garage, the first step is the installation of new partitions and a 2 x 6 is actually 1 1/2 x 5 1/2.
usually to partition the darkroom that are nonbearing.
off. If this is not done, it will be Wall partitions can be built with
much more difficult to control both either 2 x 4 studs or 2 x 3s. The 2 x 4s Marking the Layout on
the cleanliness and the light-tight- are not significantly more expensive the Floor
ness of the space. It is relatively easy and do make a more stable wall, es-
to make partitions; building door pecially if cabinets and sinks will be The first step in building the room is
frames and hanging doors can be to mark the floor to show where the
mounted to it.
greatly simplified by buying set-up various walls and doors are to be
Always be sure to use well-sea-
units. placed. Using a chalk line, transfer
soned lumber. If you use inexpen-
There are two kinds of partitions, the measurements from your layout
sive green or wet lumber it will tend
load-bearing and nonbearing. If you to twist and bend as it dries within to the floor. To make long straight
have to move an existing partition to lines with the chalk line, either drive
the wall. This will crack the wall
accommodate the new ones for your board and also make door frames nails at both ends so that the string
darkroom, you should know which and enlarger mounts move out of can be stretched between them, or
kind it is. A load-bearing wall sup- alignment. Specify “dry” lumber ask two friends to hold the ends
ports part of the weight of the when ordering. For economy, always down. With the string held tautly
house, and its removal can cause se- use the lowest grade of lumber suit- against the floor, lift it an inch or so
rious problems in upstairs floors and straight up by grasping it in the mid-
able for your project. For wall studs,
ceilings, A nonbearing wall can be dle of the run and let it snap back
this would be “construction,” “stan-
removed without replacing the s u p dard,” or “utility”grades if your par- against the floor. A faint chalk line
port, as you would have to do with a titions are nonbearing, and “stud” shows where the wall should be in-
bearing wall; however, even non- stalled. You can measure off door
grade if they are either load-bearing
bearing walls may contain pipes or openings against this line and indi-
or nonbearing.
electrical wiring that must be When preparing plans, remem- cate the markings on the floor.
rerouted. Study the wall carefully be-

Door and Header Details Marking a Chalk Line






Partition Parts

/ fl 7 /TOPPLATE)

I1- u 6 fSpAC€RSl



issembled Partition


Partition Assembly. This two-part (#7)t o the same length as the sole plate structed of two pieces of 2 x 4 with
drawing shows a typical partition in (including the door opening). spacers cut from another piece of 2 x 4
both its assembled and unassembled Cut trimmer studs (#4) used t o so that they are 2 114" wide.
state. If you are planning t o build a light- support the header over the door After you cut and lay out all of the
trap, the construction would be identi- frame opening. These should be cut pieces on the floor, you can begin as-
cal, except the door and door frame long enough t o go from the top of the sembling the wall. Start by connecting
would not be used. Instead, additional sole plate to 3/4' above the door frame. the top and sole plates at either end t o
partitions would be built in the pattern N o w cut two pieces of 2 x 6 (#5) for the full-length studs. N o w put the door
selected for the light trap. use as the header. Since they will be frame in place and nail in the trimmers
Begin the cutting and assembling by turned sideways to the other studs, and full-length studs, remembering t o
measuring off the sole plate (#2), cut- their width will be too narrow unless leave 3/4" clearance on top and sides.
ting it t o allow for a door opening if one spacing (#6) is used. If the wall is being N ow nail the header into place over the
is t o be in that partition. The opening constructed of 2 x 4s, an ideal "spacer" trimmers. Install the remaining studs,
should be the width of the door frame, would be a piece of 112" plywood cut t o raise into place, and nail into the adjoin-
plus an additional 3/4" clearance needed size. Two pieces of 2 x 4 used sideways ing wall. Assemble the second and third
for making adjustments when the frame with a piece of this spacer in between walls in the same manner. Once they
is mounted into the wall. equals the width of the 2 x 4 studs it are raised into place, all of the walls
Next cut the studs (#3) so that will come in contact with. If your wall is should be connected with a cap plate
there are enough t o be spaced every being built of 2 x 6s t o accommodate a (#8) as detailed in the figure.
16" along the sole plate. Cut a top plate sliding door, the header should be con-
Hanging Doors

Installing Prehung Door Frame in Place

Door Frame
When the walls have been raised

into position and plumbed to ensure
they are vertical, the door frame can HEADER

be installed. Prehung (set-up) doors
are available from most lumber
yards, and since the door is already
mounted to a frame, you do not W/THDOOR CLOSED USE
have to install hinges, handles, lock SHMGLE TO SHIM HANDLE
sets, and so on. It is by far the easiest
unit to use. AND e o r r m t BLOCKS AND ONE
The first step is to cut five blocks BLOCKS. USE Iff TO PLA M
P L u m BOB
half the width of the clearance left ro ENSURE
when the rough frame was assem- VERT/CAL .
bled (3/8"). Nail one block to the
top and one to the bottom of the
rough opening on the side where
the hinges are to be placed. Using a
level, make sure they are exactly ver-
tical. If they are not, you will have to
plane the top or bottom one to
make them so. Now install two
blocks at the exact height of the
door hinges to provide them with
support, and place the remaining
block halfivay between them. Using
the plumb bob, make sure that they
are in line with the first two installed.
Install the door frame and nail it
to these blocks using 3" nails. Once
the hinge side of the door is nailed I
into place, the door can be closed
and the other side of the frame
shimmed into place, using old shin-
gles that are wedge-shaped between
the door frame and trimmer stud.
Lightly tap them into place so the
frame comes within 1/8" to 1/4' of
the door itself. Be sure not to use too
much pressure when inserting the
shingles; that can cause the door
frame to bow out, making the door
stick. Use a level to ensure that the
door frame is level on all sides. Open
and close the door to make sure it is
properly installed.
After the wall board has been in-
stalled, the door frame and the gap
between it and the trimmer studs
can be covered by casing, as shown
in the figure.

Sliding Door

Pocket Sliding Door. If you are going

t o install a sliding door, the construc-
tion details are slightly different from
those of a regular hung door. The wall
must be thick enough t o accommodate
the door and its track within the parti-
tion itself, and there must be a space
left in the door frame for the door t o
enter the partition when it is opened.
The figure shows how the track and
wall should be constructed. All steps
are the same as for the regular wall,
except the header is twice the width of
the door and the space between the 2 x
2 sole plates must be wide enough t o
accommodate the door track. The door
and track should be bought before
assembling the wall, because track
widths vary and you should be sure the
opening you leave is wide enough.
In light-proofing the door, it is neces-
sary t o bring the 2 x 2 sole plates
across the opening, which can create a
hazard when entering or leaving the
room. This hazard can be eliminated by
cutting two wedge-shaped sills t o be
placed on either side of the sole plate.

Installing Backing

Backing. In some places, you will need

support for heavy objects such as sinks,
enlarger mounts, cabinets, and phones.
Special reinforcement, called backing,
should be installed at these locations.
Use 2" x 10" board and notch the studs
t o accommodate it. The backing should
be securely nailed t o the studs and can
span any distance, ranging from the
distance between two studs t o an entire
length of wall. Its location should be
indicated on your elevations, because it
will be covered by wall board before
the sinks and other pieces of equipment
are attached t o it. If you don't remem-
ber where the backing is, you could
have a problem locating it.

Installing Sheetrock@

Finishing and Painting

This step takes place after the
plumbing and wiring have been in-
stalled. It is the final step in finishing
the room and helps to make it more
attractive and easy to keep clean.
The materials used help to deter-
mine the quietness of the room, the
ability to maintain a stable tempera- I . Scoring. Place panel with ivory-col- 2. Cutting. Break core of Sheetrock
ored side face up. Measure and mark panel by snapping away from the scored
ture inside it, and its degree of light-
panel size at opposite edges of panel. Line face paper. Complete cutting by running
proofness and light-reflecting quali- up straightedge with the marks. Hold knife through back paper.
ties. straightedge firmly against the panel while
Most rooms today are finished in scoring down through paper and part of
drywall, which is a gypsum board panel core. Hold knife at slight angle away
from straightedge t o prevent cutting into
consisting of a noncombustible core
with a paper surface on front, back,
and edges. It is easy to cut and in-
stall. Panels come in standard 4'
widths, and if you put your studs on
16" centers, one panel will cover
four studs, from the middle of the
first stud to the fourth. Some boards
have beveled edges where sheets
meet each other, allowing for easy
filling of the cracks. If your panels
3. Sanding Edges. Smooth all cut edges 4. Nail Attachment. For 114, 318, and
have these bevels, they should be fac- of panels with coarse sandpaper wrapped I/2" thick panels use I I/4" GWB-54
ing out. It is recommended that you around a hand-size block of wood. Keep annular-ring nails. For 5 / 8 panels, use I
use panels of either 1/2" or 5/8" panel edges as square as possible. 318" annular-ring nails. Space nails a maxi-
thickness. The floor-to-ceilingheight mum of 7" apart on ceilings, 8 on walls,
and at least 3 / 8 from ends and edges of
should be measured and the panels
panels. Hold panel tight against framing
cut to fit and installed with nails and nail center of panel first, perimeter
made specifically for wallboard in- last. Leave a small dimple at the nailhead
stallation. for filling with joint compound. Do not
overdrive o r countersink nails. This re-
sults in breaking the face paper o r fractur-
ing the core of the panel.

5. Ceilings. Apply ceilings first, with two 6. Walls. Carefully measure the loca-
people handling panels if possible. If you're tions and sizes of all openings in panels for
doing the job alone, make simple T-braces fixtures. Cut with a keyhole saw. Fixture
consisting of 2' lengths of I x 4s nailed t o plates must cover cutouts completely. For
2 x 4 uprights that are I /2" longer than horizontal application, apply the top panel
the floor-to-ceiling height. Wedge T- first, tight against the ceiling panels. Stag-
braces between the floor and panel t o ger end-joints in adjacent rows. Use verti-
support panel while nailing and assure firm cal application when ceiling height is over
Courtesy United States Gypsum Company contact with joists. 8' 2", or if this results in fewer joints and
less waste. Cut panels accurately so that
they do not have t o be forced into place.

7. Taping. Apply a large daub of joint compound across joint. Level with the surface of 8. First Coat, Nails. Draw bare joint-
the channel formed by the tapered (or wrapped) edges of the board by drawing knife in finishing knife over nails. If metallic ring
direction of joint. D o not leave bare spots. Immediately apply reinforcing tape. Center occurs, drive nail below surface. Fill all
tape over depression and firmly press into compound with joint-finishing kriife. Remove depressions with compound, level with
excess compound, but leave sufficient amount under tape for strong bond. Embed tape surface. Apply compound with sweep of
with thin layer of compound t o fill taper flush with panel surface. Allow t o dry. knife in one direction: wipe off excess
To finish end joints (not paper wrapped), apply compound and center tape directly compound in opposite direction, level
over joint. D o not overlap tape applied at tapered joints. with panel surface.

9. Second Coat. After taping coat has dried (at least 24 hours), smooth lightly with 10. Inside Corners. Use a joint-finishing
sandpaper t o level surface. Apply compound, using larger knife, with compound extending knife t o “butter” joint compound on both
2” beyond taping coat. Feather both edges of compound, flush with face of panel, by sides of the corner. Extend the compound
applying pressure t o the edge of the knife riding the panel. Allow t o dry. Finishing the end slightly beyond the area t o be covered by
(butt) joints is the same as for tapered-edge joints, except that the compound should tape.
cover a width of about 7”.
Apply second coat t o nailheads.

I I . Inside Corners, Continued. Fold 12. Inside Corners, Second Coat. 13. Third Coat. Same procedure as No.
tape along center crease and lightly press After joint compound has dried (at least 9 but feather about 2” beyond second
into position. Firmly press both edges of 24 hours), apply second coat. Cover one coat. Apply third coat t o nailheads. Allow
tape into compound with finishing knife, side at a time, allowing first side t o dry t o dry and sand lightly. Remove sanding
removing excess compound. Leave before applying compound t o second side. dust from surface by wiping with a damp
enough compound under tape for strong Feather out onto face of panels beyond cloth.
bond. first coat.

14. Sanding Joints. Use a fine-grade, For Painting. After drywall surfaces
open-coat sandpaper wrapped around a have thoroughly dried, seal with a good
sanding block. After drying, lightly sand commercial sealer and paint.
imperfections in finished joints, corners,
and over nailheads. Do not rough up face
paper. D o not use power sander. Remove
sanding dust.

Getting to KnowYour Plumbing
Nothing is quite so intimidating to 3. Measure the runs and draw up 2. If you are converting a spare
the prospective darkroom builder as the specifications for the materials room, the wall it shares with either a
the thought of installing new plumb needed, including pipe or tubing, kitchen or bathroom (provided that
ing. There is something awesome fittings, pipe hangers or supports, the wall in the other room has the
about cutting into the pipes of one’s and tools. sink or toilet against it) is the one
home when you are not totally confi- 4. Install the system and check it most likely to have plumbing. If you
dent that the job can actually be suc- out to see that it works properly. In- have to break through a wall to find
cessfully completed. It is this fear of vite the building inspector from the plumbing, first remove any
the unknown that makes plumbing a your local office over to inspect it molding and see if the plumbing can
forbidding prospect. This fear can and give it a passing or failing grade. be located through the exposed
be overcome so you don’t have to It usually helps to have touched base opening. Otherwise, careful mea-
give up in advance and pay a with the building inspector first. surements in one room can be trans-
plumber to do the entire job. Per- You’d be surprised at the kind of ferred into the other to give an accu-
haps the job required is relatively free advice you can receive before rate location. It is also sometimes
simple and requires no major work the job is begun. possible to hear the water in the
at all. If not, you can study the basic pipes, especially if someone turns
theory of plumbing. This section will the water on and off in a nearby sink
be a good start, but other references How to Locate a Place to while you listen.
should be searched out in the local Tap into the System 3. If you are converting a spare
library, especially if your home is room that is either over or under an
plumbed in materials not covered in When deciding where to put a dark- existing system, it is relatively easy to
this book. room in a house or apartment, you tap into it vertically by running pipes
You should tackle difficult jobs must consider the ready availability between the wall studs. This will
only if the water system can be shut of hot and cold water and access to a allow you at least to utilize the exist-
off for a day or so in case something drainage system. Before making the ing drain and venting system.
serious does happen and you cannot final decision on the darkroom 4. If you are converting an attic,
get professional help to correct it or placement, you should find the pos- garage, or loft, there may be no ex-
complete the job yourself. The rec- sible points to tie into the plumbing isting plumbing readily available
ommended method is to find a system. and a major installation could be re-
plumber who will do the planning Plumbing will be either exposed quired.
and guide you through the intrica- or concealed. If it is exposed, you
cies of the job, but allow you to do all should have no problem identifying
of the routine work. This results in a the various elements by tracing the
lower cost to you, and it also ensures supply lines from the meter and the
that the job will meet the local build- drain lines from the sewer connec-
ing codes and pass inspection. Also, tion. If the plumbing is concealed,
if something does go wrong, there is however, as it will be in most houses
someone to call on for help. There and apartments, you will have to in-
are four major steps involved in in- volve yourself in some sleuthing.
stalling a plumbing system: Here are clues that you should look
1. Locate and identify the exist-
ing plumbing and select a point at 1. In bathrooms, kitchens, or
which the new system can tap into utility rooms, the plumbing will usu-
the old. ally be exposed under a sink. That
2. Draw plans for how the lines will make a natural tie-in point for
will run and where the connections both the supply and the drain, and
will be made to the hot and cold sup- connecting at this point will elimi-
ply lines, the drain, and the vent sys- nate any worries about having to in-
tem. stall a venting system since one al-
ready exists for the sink.

Typical Plumbing System

Typical Plumbing System. The plumbing system in a typi- Drain. The system that removes the waste water from the
cal home or apartment will look something like the figure home. Since this system is not under pressure, all drain pipes
shown here. It is composed of three main subsystems: must be sloped toward their eventual outlet.
Supply. Both the cold water (coming directly from the Vent. This system equalizes the pressure in the drain system
meter) and the hot water (coming from the meter through so that a quick rush of water does not create a vacuum that
the hot-water heater) that feed the faucets throughout the will empty the traps and allow gases from the city sewer lines
house. or septic systems t o enter the home.

More About Your Plumbing

Analyzing the Plumbing Vent. This line will normally tap into time taking pictures? Is there suffi-
a drain line downstream from a trap. cient hot water in the water tank to
After locating the pipes and decid- Itwill tend to run upwards because it meet your needs as you foresee
ing where to tap into the existing acts as a gas outlet. them? Is the temperature of the in-
lines, you should identify exactly the coming water such that it would be
materials and the sizes of the pipes convenient to have a water tempera-
so you can properly join the existing Determining the ture regulator?
system to any new plumbing. The
Materials Water Too Hard. Hard water can
sections in this book dealing with
the installation of the supply lines Once you know which pipes are make chemical mixing more diffi-
and drain systems will assume that which, the next step is to determine cult. The problem can be alleviated
the new supply lines will be run in what they are made of. There are with a water softener or chemical ad-
copper and the new drain lines in generally four kinds: ditives.
plastic. Suspended Particles in Water. Often, an
Coppm This comes in rigid and flexi-
ble kinds. You can tell one from the accumulation of particles, either in
other by the number of bends in it. the city pipes leading to your house
Identifying the Pipes or in the house plumbing itself, be-
Because flexible copper tubing is
Hot Water Supply Lines. Both the hot normally sold in rolls, it will have comes dislodged and comes out of
and cold supply lines will usually be small bends and bumps after it has the water faucet, whereupon the
the smaller pipes in the system. In been unrolled and installed. Rigid particles attach themselves to the
very few cases will they be more than piping, however, runs straight. finest negative you ever made. One
1"in diameter. To be sure of which is way to prevent this is to use water fil-
which, turn on the hot water faucet Galvanized Steel Pipe. This is hard and ters (see Chapter 7 for examples of
in the nearest sink or tub and let it straight pipe. If you scratch it you available equipment).
run for a few minutes. The hot water will see the shine of steel. It often has
a dark color from tarnish and a gal- Temperature Regulation. If you have
running through the pipes will grad-
vanized surface pattern you proba- done much darkroom work, you will
ually make one warmer than the
bly have seen on galvanized garbage have discovered long ago that there
other. If neither gets hot, you either
cans. are two main problems with temper-
have the wrong pipes or the wrong
ature regulation, either when mix-
sink, so try another sink before look- Plastic. A good way to identify plastic ing chemicals or when washing
ing for more pipes. If the line is very is to shave it slightly with a knife. The prints and negatives. The first is
hot (or if the furnace is not on and plastic can be shaved away whereas caused by your sink having two sepa-
the pipe isn't hot even with a faucet any other material will just be rate nozzles rather than one, with
running) it may be a line for hot scratched. hot water coming out of one and
water to radiators, which you should
Hubless Cast Iron. If you find this ma- cold out of the other. The only solu-
not cut into.
terial, you have probably encoun- tion is to make connections to each
Cold Water Supply Lines. These will tered a drain or vent. It will usually faucet with a threaded coupling and
usually look identical to the hot be larger than supply pipe and is have the two streams merge through
water supply in material and size and joined with either leaded joints or an attachment. However, you will
will normally run parallel to it. special connections. still be left with the second problem
that is intrinsic to all systems: keep-
Drain. This will usually be larger
ing the water temperature steady at
than the supply lines, with a diame-
ter of 1 1/2" to 2" (the main stack
Darkroom Planning and the temperature you require. To
Shopping make sure that the water flows
will run straight up and down and is
evenly at 68°F (20°C), buy a water
6" to 8" in diameter). Because the Before buying the materials you temperature regulator (see Chapter
drain pipe is not under pressure, it need, you should first think through 7 for available units). The installa-
must slope downward from the sink the basic requirements of your dark- tion of this device ensures that once
or tub outlet. Use a level to see that it room. What is the quality of the in- the temperature is set the water will
is sloping down. The slope should coming water? Is it too hard? Is it full remain at that temperature plus or
average about 1/4" per horizontal of suspended particles that will end minus the manufacturer's specifica-
foot. up as white spots on good prints, re- tions (usually 1/2"F).
quiring more time spotting and less

Number of Faucets. In addition to the Materials. Household plumbing for the new plumbing is done with a
water quality, you should also con- comes in a wide variety of materials, reducing T. The kind of T you re-
sider the number and types of out- with the most commonly used being quire is determined by the kind of
lets available on the sink. The major copper, galvanized steel, cast iron, pipe you are tapping into. The fit-
types are: and plastic. Copper is frequently ting required to tap into a galva-
used for supply lines because it satis- nized pipe is different from that re-
Regulated Output. This type is con-
fies the widest number of municipal quired to tap into a copper pipe.
nected through the temperature
codes. Drain lines are often installed
regulator and used primarily for Drain Lines. Plastic pipe is a relative
in plastic because it is acceptable in a
mixing chemicals, washing prints newcomer in the plumbing world,
wide variety of locations and is much
and negatives, and providing a water and as a result, its ability to satisfy
easier to work with than other mate-
bath for development. building codes is not yet uniformly
established across the country. You
A n Unregulated but Mixed Hot and
Supply Lines. Copper supply lines should check with your building de-
Cold Outlet. This unit can be used
come in two major kinds, rigid and partment to see if this material will
separately to clean equipment or as
flexible. Both have their advantages meet the local requirements. The
a unit to mix chemicals when the
and disadvantages, and you should big advantage of plastic, and the rea-
other outlet is being used to wash
make your selection based on your son it is being recommended in this
particular needs. Rigid pipe is easier book, is that it is by far the easiest
A Spray Nozzle. Normally found on to connect to fittings because its material to work with. Drain pipe
kitchen sinks. Attached to a long rigidity makes it easier to cut evenly made of galvanized steel or cast iron
hose, it can be used for such jobs as and keep straight. Flexible pipe or in the large sizes needed can be very
cleaning of equipment and the sink tubing is easier to install on long heavy when installed in long runs
itself. This nozzle should always be runs, especially those that have occa- and is therefore very difficult to
connected to the system with a high- sional obstacles preventing running work with. Plastic pipe, on the other
pressure rubber hose and a shut-off it in a straight line. Each time the hand, is no more difficult to use
valve. Both devices will prevent the rigid variety turns a corner even than the parts in building a model
hose from breaking while you are slightly, a fitting is required; the flex- airplane, and the only tools required
away from home. ible kind can be bent as required are a saw and glue. An additional ad-
It is helpful if all outlet faucets and lessjoining is needed. vantage is that it is not corroded by
swivel and are high enough in their Copper pipe and tubing comes in darkroom chemicals and will last in-
clearance to allow placing tall mix- three main types based on the thick- definitely without any problems. To
ing graduates under them. Nor- ness of its walls. This thickness deter- install the drain, you will need se-
mally, there should be a minimum of mines the amount of pressure the lected fittings and an adaptor to the
15" clearance from the bottom of line can safely handle: existing drain in addition to the pipe
the sink (or the top of the duck- itself.
Type K-Thick Walled
boards, if you use them) to the bot- Three main types of plastic pipe
Type L-Medium Walled
tom of the faucet. are on the market, and their in-
Type M-Thin Walled
Later in this section, we will de- tended uses are somewhat different.
scribe how to build a modular unit Flexible tubing comes in only The major types are:
containing all of these devices. The Type K and Type L. Type L, either in
PVC-Polyvinyl chloride
unit is designed to be detachable rigid or flexible varieties, is the most
CPVC-Chlorinated polyvinyl
and can move with you from dark- commonly used interior pipe and is
room to darkroom. suitable for the darkroom. In most
ABS-Acrylonitrile butadiene
cases, you will require adaptors to
tap into the existing lines in your
Required Materials house. You will normally tap into ei- All three can be used in cold water
and Tools ther a 3/8", 1/2", or 3/4" supply supply lines, but only CPVC can be
line. The size of the line to be used in hot water lines or a drain sys-
To install a plumbing system, special tapped can be determined by refer- tem. CPVC has been designed to
tools are required, as are certain ma- ring to the earlier section on "Get- withstand higher temperature with-
terials such as pipes and fittings. ting to Know Your Plumbing." The out failure.
This section will discuss the most reduction from a larger pipe to the
commonly available. 3/8" or 1/2" pipe you will be using

Typical Darkroom Plumbing
The typical darkroom plumbing re-
quirements are relatively simple. Materials needed to build modularplumb
This section shows most of the ele- ing unit with bothfiltration and tmpera-
ments that will be encountered in Shopping List ture regulation (described on pages 76-77)
the existing system and illustrates 5. Hot line filter
most of the materials needed for the General Plumbing-Supply 5. Cold line filter
new plumbing. It is an idealized 7. Copper pipe (rigid) 9. Temperature regulator
plan, but by using it as a guide, you 7. Copper tubing (flexible) 17. Elbows
should be able to design and specify 11. Saddle T adaptors 11. Ts
the materials you need for your own 11. T adaptors 7. Pipe
system. 17. 90" elbows 9. Faucet
12. Hose bibs 8. Long-necked swivel mixing faucet
11. Reducing Ts Caps (for unregulated outlet)
18. Adaptors to existing pipes 13. Hose
14. Couplings 6. Hose connection

Faucets i f not usingjlters and Drain

temperature regulators 3. Plastic drain pipe
Shopping ist for Plumbing 8. Long-necked swivel mixing 4. Adaptor
Installation. faucet 19. Elbows
This general plan for darkroom plumb- Spray hose attachment 2. Trap
ing illustrates and identifies all of the Plumbers putty 1. Sink strainer/drain
parts required. The numbers are keyed
to the shopping l i s t and t o the photo-
graphs on the opposite page.







19 PVC Emow

Roughing in the Plumbing

Installation Adapting off the Main

If you have to do major work to in- Supply Lines
stall the system, begin by roughing The next step after roughing in the
in the plumbing. Plumbing is in- plumbing is to make the connection
stalled in new construction after the between the new system and existing
room has been framed but before pipes. This is normally done with
the finishing wallboard has been put adaptors that serve three functions.
up. If you are not doing new con- The first is to provide an outlet from
struction, the plumbing can be hid- the existing pipe; by inserting a T-fit-
den behind cabinets, covered by a ting into an existing pipe run, you
false wall, or left exposed-although add a new outlet to which your s u p
that can become a dust collector. ply lines can be attached. The sec-
If you are installing the plumbing ond function is to marry together
in a newly framed (or exposed) wall, pipes of different materials. Special
you should consider recessing the Ts exist to connect copper pipe to
pipes into either the studs (the 2 x 4s copper, galvanized, or plastic supply
holding up the walls) or the joists pipe. The third function is to reduce
(the beams holding up the ceiling). the main line pipe size to the size
When doing this, there are a few pipe you plan on using. If you are
things to remember: connecting 3 / 8 ' copper tubing to a
3/8" copper supply line, all you re-
1. All holes in joists should be quire is a 3/8" T. However, you may
centered in the vertical direction, require a T that will reduce a 1" sup-
and the hole diameters should be no ply in galvanized steel to a 3/8" cop-
greater than one-quarter of the per pipe connected to your sink. See
depth of the joist. the description of a saddle T on
2. A notch can be cut in a joist as page 66 before committing yourself
long as it does not fall in the middle to any more complex method of tap-
and is as close to a support as possi- ping your existing system. Although
ble. The notch should be no more the illustration shows it being con-
than one-sixth the depth of the joist nected to a hose bib so that the sink
and should be reinforced with 2 x 4s can be connected through rubber
nailed under it (if it's on top of the hoses, saddle Ts can be used to con-
joist), or reinforced with a steel nect galvanized pipe to copper and
brace if the notch is on the bottom. so on. It is a time-saving device that
3. When notching studs, a notch eliminates having to cut and thread
cut into the top half should be no steel pipe.
deeper than two-thirds of the stud's
depth, but on the bottom no deeper
than one-third. The notch should
then be reinforced with a reinforc-
ing plate.

How to Support the Pipes

2"x 6" d I
..^C^. .-C


How to Support the Pipes. All pipes

should be supported with brackets or
hangers at regular intervals. W i t h plastic
pipe o r long runs of copper, leave the
hangers loose enough to allow for ex-
pansion and contraction of the pipes.

How to Make a Notch Cross Pieces

How to Make a Notch. Using a

crosscut saw, make two parallel cuts
into the stud or joist as far apart as the
pipe to be inserted is wide. Cut them t o
the necessary depth, and then, using a
wood chisel, knock out the piece of
wood between the cuts.
Cross Pieces. In those cases where
the plumbing is running parallel to the
existing supports, cross pieces can be
inserted against which the plumbing can
be attached. Be sure the plumbing is
recessed sufficiently so that the pipes
are hidden, but the fixtures will pro-
trude the correct distance after the
finish wallboard o r paneling has been

Installing Supply Lines
The advantages of using copper for when inserted. Now place the fit- Working with
supply lines are its quality, its ease of tings exactly where they will be in-
installation, and its ability to meet stalled in the system and measure
Copper Pipe
most codes. the distance from one face of the fit- Cutting. There are two ways to cut
ting (the end) to the other. Add this copper pipe. The first is to use a
measurement to the distance deter- hacksaw to make the cut and a file to
Measuring Pipe mined above (add it twice, for there smooth off the burrs. An easier
and Tubing are usually two fittings, one at each method is to use a tube-cutter, en-
end) for the total length of pipe re- suring a square and smooth cut in
How to Determine the Diameter Needed. quired. the pipe or tubing.
Most of the plumbing you install for
the darkroom will be 3/8" or 1/2" in Connecting Copper Pipe or Tube to Its
Measuring Pipe Fittings. There are four types of con-
diameter on the supply side and 1 !4"
or 2" on the drain side. It is impor- nections that can be made with cop-
tant to determine the size of the ex- per tubing or pipe: soldered (used
isting system into which you will tap for either rigid or flexible pipe);
to know what size adaptors to buy. threaded (rigid only); flared (flexi-
The outside diameter is not a com- ble only); and compression (flexible
pletely accurate guide, because the only). Compression fittings are the
diameter in which pipe is sold is de- easiest to use and require no tools
termined by the size of the hole run- other than a pair of wrenches.
ning through it. The pipe you nor-
mally encounter in the wall has all its Using a Mitre Box
holes covered (otherwise it leaks),
so you have to make a determination
based on the kind of material and
the outside circumference. The
table below will give a good indica-
tion of the size of the existing pipe.
Run a string around the pipe and
mark where it crosses. The distance
between the two points is the cir-
cumference of the pipe.
If you plan to work with threaded
Ifthe length of pipe, you can use the following table
thestring is: 2%" 3%" 3%''4, 4%" 5" to indicate how far you can expect When cutting with a hacksaw, it helps
the threaded pipe to go into the fit- to use a mitre box to ensure a square
The size of the pipe is: ting. Again, remember that there cut in the pipe.
and the @fie is
galvanized: %" 1" 1%" will be two fittings, so the distance
arc*eK: %" 1" 1%" that the pipe goes into the fitting Filing Off Burrs
should be doubled before adding it
to the face-to-face measurement.

Measuring the Length Distance Threaded Pipe Extends

into a Fitting
of Pipe Needed
When measuring the length of pipe Size qf pipe Distance into,fitting
required, take into account the fit- 1/2" 1/2
tings into which the pipe is eventu- 3/4' 1/2
1" 9/16"
ally going to be inserted. The easiest 1-1/4" 5/8
way to do this is first to measure the 1-1/2" 5/8"
distance from the end of the fitting 2" 1-1/16"
After cutting the pipe, be sure to file off
to where the pipe will be stopped the burrs left by the saw blade.

Cutting Pipe Applying Flux Bending Pipe


The tube-cutter works by revolving it

around the tube and gradually tightening
the screw handle so the rotary blade
cuts deeper and deeper into the wall of
the pipe. If you turn the handle too fast,
it can flatten the pipe and make a con-
nection difficult when it comes time t o Flux keeps the tube from oxidizing
connect it t o a fitting. when you apply the torch, making the
solder stick better to the tube and
fitting. Coat both the outside of the
Using a Reamer pipe and the inside of the fitting.

Applying Solder

All you have t o do after cutting with the

tube-cutter is t o rotate the reamer in
the opening until the sharp edge is
removed and a smooth end is made.

Cleaning End of Pipe I

The hottest part of the torch flame is
where the blue flame meets at a point. Bending. Copper pipe should not be
Apply this portion of the flame t o the bent, because it is too rigid. Bending
fitting (not the pipe). Keep touching the copper tube can be a problem, because
solder to the pipe and fitting where they if the tube is bent too fast o r too
come together. When the solder begins sharply the walls can collapse. This is
t o melt, fill the joint evenly (the solder fine when you’re trying t o impress
will automatically be pulled into the someone by bending a Coors can in one
joint by capillary action) until it is full. hand, but the plumbing inspector
Do not move the fitting or the pipe frowns on it in your plumbing system.
until the solder has hardened; other- There are two ways t o prevent this.
wise, you may eventually have leaks. The first is simple: bend it slowly from
the center of the bend outward while
supporting the side toward which it’s
Wiping Joint being bent with the thumbs of each
I I hand. Gradually work your hands out as
you continue the bending action. Make a
All surfaces should be cleaned and free
few passes along the pipe t o complete
of grease or dirt t o ensure a strong
the bend rather than doing it all at once.
joint. Use steel wool, emery cloth, o r a
The second and simpler method is t o
wire brush.
use a bending spring that distributes the
Before it hardens, remove excess solder force of the bending evenly along the
with a small brush or wiping cloth. tube and supports the tube so the walls
do not collapse.

Installing the Drain
If your building code permits the Fitting Drain in aWooden Sink Installing the Run t o Existing
use of PVC plastic pipe for drains, Drain Pipe
you are in good shape. To install this
material you basically need only a
saw and some glue. Additional tools
may be required where you tie into
the existing system. The installation
of a drain pipe encompasses three

1. Installing the drain outlet in the

2. Connecting a trap to the sink.
3. Running the drain pipe and con-
necting it to the existing DWV
(drain-waste-vent) system.

Drain Assembly
Installing the Run t o Existing Drain
Fitting Drain in a Wooden Sink. If Pipe. The P-trap should now be con-
your sink drain i s being installed in a nected t o the existing drain system. All
wooden sink, you should first drill or drain pipe must slope toward its outlet
saw the hole t o hold the unit. The nexI at the rate of I/4" per linear foot. To
step is t o recess the flange that keeps determine this, measure the height of
the drain from falling through the hole. the bottom of the trap outlet you have
If it is not recessed, water will build up installed and the horizontal distance
in the sink t o the top of the flange. The between it and the pipe t o which you
best way t o do this is to insert the unit will connect the drain. Multiply the 114
in the drain, draw a circle around the drop times the number of horizontal
outer part of the flange, and remove the feet and that will tell you how far t o
unit. A t this point, carefully cut the drop the pipe over the entire run. Sub-
circle out t o the depth of the flange. If tract that number from the distance
the sink bottom is made of plywood, between the bottom of the trap outlet
one of the levels of laminate will be and the floor; this determines how far
Drain Assembly. Buy a sink outlet approximately the same height as the up the existing drain you should make
unit that matches the drain pipe you flange. After the circle is cut, use the your connection. Most building codes
intend t o install (usually I 1/2"). Drill a knife to separate the top layer of ply- require, and common sense dictates,
hole in the bottom of the sink at its wood and remove it. that no part of the drain pipe can be
lowest point, and install the unit follow-
below the top part of the U-bend in the
ing the instructions that came with it.
Assembling the Trap trap. This is t o prevent the pipe from
Or use the illustration above as a guide.
acting as a siphon and emptying the
trap, which would allow sewer gas t o
enter the darkroom. This requirement,
when related t o the need for the pipe
t o drop I/4" for each foot that it runs,
means that a sink outlet can be no
farther than 4 114' from the stack if the
drain pipe you are using is I 1/4" in
diameter, or 5' if the pipe is 3". This
measurement can influence the location
of the darkroom, as well as the sink and
the sink's drain. Everythingshould be
Assembling the Trap. Install a P-trap done t o ensure that the outlet meets
consisting of three parts (usually avail- these requirements, because installing a
able as a unit): ( I ) a tail piece coming new D W V stack can be very expensive.
from the sink drain; (2) a J-bend; and
(3) a trap arm.

Cutting the Drain Pipe Aligning the Joint Adapting t o the Stack

Working with the Pipe. Insert the

pipe into the fitting t o make sure it fits.
Align the fitting on the pipe in the direc-
tion it will actually point. Mark the
location with a pencil.

Applying Solvent Cement

Cutting the Drain Pipe. Working

with plastic pipe is easy. First measure
the pipe run needed, as demonstrated
earlier in this section. Then, make the Connecting to the D W V Stack.
necessary cuts, using either a hacksaw Connecting the sink t o the existing
or special plastic pipe cutter similar t o stack requires that the stack be cut and
the one illustrated. When cutting with a a TY fitting inserted. Hold the M
hacksaw, use a mitre box t o ensure against the stack with the outlet cen-
straight, square cuts. tered where you have marked the cen-
t e r of the drain t o be. Mark the stack t o
indicate where the top and bottom of
the TY are to be.
Removing Burrs
If the Stack is Hubless Cast Iron. If
the stack is hubless cast iron, the stack
Remove the fitting and apply PVC sol- should be cut with a pipe cutter (which
vent cement t o the outside of the pipe can usually be rented). The TY is then
up t o the point where it will extend out inserted in the line and connected with
of the fitting. Also coat the outside of rubber sleeves and clamps (available at
the fittings. Quickly place the fitting your plumbing supply store).
over the pipe and align the pencil marks. If the Stack i s Copper or Plastic. If
Because of the speed with which the the stack is copper o r plastic, the lower
cement dries, this should be done cut into the existing stack should be
within one minute. about 8 below the center line of the
TY inlet. This allows room for a spacer
t o be inserted in the line to adapt the
TY t o the existing stack. First, make the
After cutting, all burrs should be re- connection t o the top cut with either
moved with a burring tool, and the end solder or cement (for plastic), and then
of the pipe cleaned of all dirt and cement o r solder a short spacer into
grease. the bottom of the inserted TY. Then
cut a spacer t o fill the remaining gap and
seal it to the spacer above and the
existing drain below with slip fittings at
both ends. These fittings should also be
soldered or cemented in place.

The Easy Way Out and Unique Solutions

A Unique Solution Making Flared Joints

If you are lucky, your entire plumb-
ing connection can be made be-
tween the sink assembly and the ex-
isting water supply in a matter of
minutes. All you need is a “saddleT.”
You can bolt this device onto the ex-
isting pipe and then drill through to
tap the water line (the water should
be turned off and the drill
grounded). Screw a hose bib into
the saddle-T fitting and connect the
sink to the water supply with the Shower Diverter. If you build your
high-pressure water hose used for darkroom in a bathroom, you can pur-
chase a shower diverter that allows you
washing machines. Either tap the
t o use the shower and, at the same
drain into the existing drain, or run time, provide a convenient connection
a rubber hose from the sink drain for a hose that can run t o the print
into the existing sink, bath, or washer or t o the sink. The diverter is
shower to provide drainage. easy t o install; remove the shower head,
screw on the diverter, replace the
shower head, and connect the dark-
room hose. These diverters by Alsons
are available in most hardware stores.
Saddle-T Assembly Making Flared Joints. Fit the
threaded portion of the fitting onto the
tube before beginning the flaring opera-
tion. Then slide on the metal gasket.
Insert the tube into the flaring block
so i t s end protrudes just slightly. Screw
the tapered head of the flaring tool into
the tube, making it flare into a funnel
Screw the male-threaded fitting into
the fitting that was first put on the tube.
Tighten it down with reasonable pres-

Making Compression Joints

Making Compression Joints. Slip

the female fitting over the tube, fol-
lowed by the metal gasket.
Insert the male fitting and, using
wrenches, tighten the joint.

Draining Uphill Pfefer Phittings.
The Pfefer Company distributes a com-
You may find that your darkroom
plete line of plumbing connecters for
does not have a drain to connect darkroom use. The ones shown below
with that is lower than the sink outlet are typical of the wide range available.
you plan to install. To get the waste
water out of the sink and up to the
drain, you will have to install a
pumping system. First, determine
the rate of flow of your pump. Your Y-Adaptor. Designed t o give two
plumbing store or plumber can help outlets from one water source, each
with separate shut-off valve. All fittings
you with this. Usually, installation in-
connect with garden-hose threads.
structions will be included with the
pump. If they are not, you can follow
the basic instructions covered in the
section "Installing the Drain" above. Swivel Hose Connecter. Has female
garden hose swivel. Models are available
t o connect t o 1/4", 3 1 8 , and 1/2" ID
(inner diameter) tubing.

Thermometer Well. Can be in-

serted in line t o hold thermometer in
water flow. Allows constant monitoring
of the incoming water temperature.

Barbed Hose Connecter. Designed

for use when connecting a hose t o any
tank or tray. Models are available t o
connect t o I/4", 3/8",and 112" ID hose
or tubing.
Snap Coupler. With all hoses and
fittings connected with snap couplers,
lines can be changed around quickly with-
out having to unscrew threaded fittings.
Pumping water uphill to an existing Makes connections quick and easy.
drain line was the least expensive solu-
tion when Rick Ashley installed his
darkroom in the basement of an older
Marblehead, Mass. home. The unit Adaptor. Models are available t o
consists of a holding tank with float connect garden hose t o 1/2" or 3/4"
valve, a pump, and a check valve. The male pipe threads.
water from the sink flows into the tank,
and its level is measured by the float,
which automatically turns the pump on
and off as needed. The check valve
prevents water from flowing backward
in the system.

Clamp-on Hose Adaptor. Connects

garden hose t o threadless faucets. Simi- Drain Alignment Mistakes. Installing
tar model has snap fitting t o connect t o a drain can be like digging a tunnel from
snap nipple. two sides of a mountain: if they don't
meet in the middle, they don't do much
good. If you find that your drain and sink
don't meet where you had planned, this
flexible connecter by Webstone can be
used to cover this mistake.
A Modular Plumbing System

The Components the unit or from the bottom, your Assembling the Unit. The unit should
mount may vary somewhat from be assembled using 1/2" copper
This modular unit consists of a tem- the one illustrated. If possible, use pipe with soldered joints.
perature-regulating valve by Mey- the type that is plumbed from the
nall, two in-line water filters by Determine the exact fittings re-
bottom and cut a 2"-thick piece of
Arkay, and an unregulated mixing quired for the assembly. Each
wood large enough to hold it. This
valve. right-angle turn will require an
can later be mounted to the ply-
elbow; each fitting will require a
Laying Out the Units. Cut a plywood wood panel with long bolts.
matching fitting that fits into or
panel (5/ 8" or 3/4") the length of 0 Mount the regulator valve on the
on it; each connection from the
your sink and at least 2' high. Assem- back panel.
main line to a branching line will
ble the basic components on the 0 Using a black pencil, draw lines
require a T.
boards in the rough positions they connecting the cold water lines
With this list of components in
will occupy. from the outlet side of the filter to
hand, visit your local plumbing
both the regulated and unregu-
Filters have an input and an out- supply store. A plumbing supply
lated valves. Make sure that they
put side, so align them as indi- store will probably be more useful
are fed on the correct side. Both
cated in the directions that come than a hardware store: the line of
units will be marked as to which
with them. parts is usually larger, and the peo-
side is hot and which is cold.
Determine the correct mount for ple are more knowledgeable
0 Using a red pencil, trace the hot
the unregulated outlet. Since about your needs.
water supply lines from the outlet
most faucets are designed to be If you are unsure about fittings for
on the hot water filter to the regu-
connected from either the rear of certain parts, take the parts with
lated and unregulated valves.

The plumbing system shown here is
mounted on a large panel over the
darkroom sink. It is connected to the
house plumbing supply with high-pres-
sure rubber washing-machine hoses.
This modular design allows the sink and
plumbing system to be moved into a
new darkroom. You can assemble the
unit at a workbench, which is usually
easier than assembling a unit perma-
nently on the wall.

you so that the salesperson can de- that they can be reassembled in
termine the right fittings. the correct alignment.
Begin the assembly by laying the Reassemble the soldered units on
fittings on the board in the places the panel and connect the fittings
indicated by the sketch you drew to the filters, and the faucets with
earlier while doing the layout. the threaded fittings. Be sure that
Measure the lengths of pipe all threaded fittings are tightened
needed to connect these fittings. securely and sealed with pipe-joint
Be sure to include the portion of cement.
the pipe that will fit into the fit- Connect the unit to its supply by
ting. attaching the high-pressure wash-
Cut the lengths of pipe needed, ing machine hoses (regular hose
and assemble the entire unit to be will break and flood your dark-
sure that everything lines up and room). They can be connected to
fits correctly. the existing supply lines with a
Remove the copper pipe and fit- saddle-T adaptor.
ting and solder all of the joints. Turn on the water and check for
Where fittings are to be set at vari- leaks.
ous angles, be sure to mark the
proper alignment (scratch the
pipe and fitting with a knife) so

Introduc tion to EIe c tricity
If plumbing is in timidating to the av- and less expensive than redoing the rent flows through a wire it gener-
erage person, electrical wiring can entire room wiring and is equally ates heat. If there were no fuses, and
be downright terrifjmg. Very few functional and effective. The unit you drew more current than the sys-
photographers have drowned while can be constructed on a kitchen tem was rated for, the wires would
installing plumbing, but you can bet table and, when you move, it can go become hotter and hotter until they
there have been a few shocks for with you and be plugged into the or the surrounding material caught
those installing their own wiring. next darkroom. Instructions on how fire. The fuses are made to break or
Electricity can be fatal, and this is es- to build this unit follow later in this interrupt the circuit if current flow
pecially true in a darkroom where section. ever exceeds the capacity of the cir-
the presence of moisture con- cuit. Never try to increase the capac-
Rewiring from the Service Entrance. ity of a circuit by inserting pennies in
tributes to electrical conductivity. When you want a permanent instal-
Wiring should be attempted only by the fuse holder or by increasing the
lation, you can wire the darkroom
knowledgeable people, and even rating of the fuse you install. Either
circuits from the service entrance
then it should be inspected by a li- of these solutions creates fire and
(fuse panel) to the darkroom outlets
censed electrician to be sure there safety hazards.
and switches. Before beginning this When wiring your darkroom it is
are no hidden flaws. Wiring over installation, you should check with
sinks, faulty grounding, or cables in important to know what your cir-
your local building department and cuits and fuses are rated at in amps
moisture-laden places all contribute become familiar with the relevant
to serious problems. If you are not (the higher the rating the more cur-
codes. Failure to follow the laws of rent the line can carry) and what
experienced enough to take on this your community could make your
job yourself and yet don’t want to outlets are currently on which cir-
insurance policy invalid should in-
spend a great deal of money, find an cuits. You also need to know what
jury or fire occur as a result of a the darkroom load on your circuits
electrician who will do the heavy faulty installation.
wiring (service entrance wiring, fuse is expected to be, as well as the load
panels, etc.) but will allow you to do on other outlets that may already be
the installation of cable runs, light wired into the circuit you plan to
switches, power outlets, and so forth, How Your Electrical use. If you calculate that your dark-
and inspect the job upon comple- Circuits Work room will require 12 amps and your
tion. This method will save money circuits are rated to carry 15 amps,
The electric current for your resi- you can wire off an existing circuit-
but also guarantee that the job has
dence enters from the street provided other outlets already wired
been done correctly.
through heavyduty cables. The first into the circuit are using no more
In this section it is assumed that
connection after they enter the than 3 amps. If they are using more,
you are confronted with one of two
house is to a fuse panel. This panel or if your circuits are rated at less
common situations.
(called a service entrance) performs than you need, you will either have
Utilizing an Existing Outlet. If your two functions. The first function is to to install an entirely new circuit or
darkroom has walls that have been take the incoming current and dis- split your darkroom load between
finished and you don’t want to get tribute it to a number of smaller cir- two existing circuits.
involved in any heavy construction cuits. This allows the house wiring
work, you can build an electrical and equipment to be of a smaller
control panel that plugs into an ex- size than it would be if all of the
isting outlet. The only requirement house current went through one
is that the circuit into which you are large circuit. In this respect it’s like
plugging can carry the expected an eight-lane expressway coming
load. To make these calculations use into the panel with a large number
the information in the next section, of one-lane exits leaving to various
“Electricity in the Darkroom.” This parts of the house. The second func-
method has several advantages. Pri- tion of the fuse panel is to prevent
marily, it requires no damage to the the wiring from catching fire or
existing room, so it can be recon- melting should it become over-
verted to its original purpose with- loaded. This is accomplished with
out any extensive work. It’s easier fuses or circuit breakers. When cur-

Fuse Panel How to Tell W h a t Outlets Are on W h a t Circuits

[f you plan to run the wiring off of an existing circuit, you should first
hgure out what outlets and current demands are already on that circuit.
rhese other outlets and their loads must be taken into consideration
Nhen determining if the circuit can handle the load your darkroom will
add to it.
The wall outlets and the lighting fixtures in a home or apartment are
;enerally installed and wired before the final wall panels are installed.
rhis means that the initial wiring is located for reasons of convenience
and economics. All outlets in all rooms are usually not on the same cir-
cuit. So be sure to check the entire house when trying to decide what
mtlets are on which circuits.

1. Draw the fuse panel (or circuit breakers) showing their arrangement
in the box.
2. Turn off the master power switch or pull the master fuse. This will
kill all of the electricity in the house and make it safe to pull one of
the circuit fuses. If your house is on circuit breakers, they are safe to
switch without turning off the master switch.
3. Remove one fuse or turn one circuit breaker off.
4. Turn the main power switch back on. This will restore all electrical
power, with the exception of the circuit from which you removed the
fuse or turned off the circuit breaker.
5. Using a voltage tester (see '"Tools and Materials for Electrical Work
below), or by plugging in a small lamp, check all of the outlets in the
house to see which ones don't work. These are all on the circuit from
which you removed the fuse. Also check all light switches to see
which lights are on the circuit; don't forget to check such heavy
appliances as the refrigerator, washing machine, and so on. Any ap-
pliance outlet or switch on each circuit should be noted on your
6. Turn the master switch off; turn the circuit breaker back on or re-
place the fuse. Take out another fuse and repeat the same process. If
working with a fuse panel, always turn off the main power before re-
moving or installing a fuse just to be safe.

When you have completed this chart, you should know what is al-
ready on the circuit to which you want to make your connection. If any
heavy appliances such as washing machines or space heaters are on the
same circuit, you should change your plans because their load is guar-
anteed to be too high. It may also be againstyour building codes to con-
nect into those circuits. In any event, whatever is already on the circuit
should be used in making the power calculations in the next section.

Electricity in the Darkroom
How to Calculate Power Calculating Power Requirements

Requirements A. Equipment B. Watts C. Number in Use D. Total Watts

When you are working in your dark-
Printing Safelights
room, you are drawing current from
Red Safelights
the house electrical system. Because
house wiring is designed to carry a
specific load and no more, it is im- White Lights
portant to be sure you will be within Light Table
those limits. If you are not, you will Exhaust Fan
be cursed with blown fuses or Air Conditioner
tripped circuit breakers. The easiest Dehumidifier
solution is to prevent problems ini- Radio
tially. This section will help you cal- Exposure Analyzers
culate the expected load so that cor- Print Dryers*
rective action can be taken before Dry-Mount Press*
you have problems.
Space Heaters*
Computing the energy require-
Other (including other
ments in your darkroom, and then
outlets on the same circuit)
comparing those with what the
Other* *
wiring will allow, is really very easy.
There are three units of measure- Other
ment involved:
Volt. A unit of measurement of the Other
electrical pressure in a circuit. It is
similar in this respect to measuring
E. Total Darkroom Requirements in Watts
air pressure in pounds.
* These items are unusually large users of power and should be placed on separate circuits if
Amp. Aunit of measurement for flow at all possible, or not used at the same time as the darkroom if they have to be on the same
in the circuit. Similar to measuring circuit.
**Under “Other” you should also refer to the chart showing what other outlets are on this
water flow in gallons per minute. same circuit and add those in this space.
Watt. A unit of measurement repre-
senting power consumption. 25
Most of the appliances you deal How to UseThisTable Timers
Exhaust fans 75
with consume a fixed amount of A. Column A lists the most com- Air conditioner 800-3000
power when they are operating. This monly used darkroom equipment. It Dehumidifier 550
amount is almost always expressed in is essentially a checklist of what you Radio (solid state) 25
watts. Unfortunately, your house cir- have now or might have in the fu- White light (fluorescent) 100
cuits are rated in amps. To find out ture. Under “Other,” list anything C. In this column, list the number
what power you need (in amps), you additional you plan on having. of similar pieces of equipment you
must add all of the devices expected B. In this space list the power re- will have. For instance, you will p r o b
to be on the circuit you plan to use quirements for the equipment in ably have more than one incandes-
so you know the total number of watts. If you already have the equip- cent light bulb in the room.
watts. Then convert this figure to ment, you can usually find its rating D. Multiply the number in Col-
amps to see if your circuit can ac- in watts on a plate that also lists addi- umn B times the number of units in
commodate the load. To do this, you tional information, such as manufac- Column C and enter the figure here,
can use the following table: turer’s name, serial number, and so in Column D.
forth. If you do not have the equip- E. Add all of the numbers in Col-
ment, use the following table of nor- umn D to grve you a grand total for
mal (or average) ratings: the darkroom. You now know what
Safelights 1540 your energy requirements are; now
Enlargers 75 convert the watts to amps to see if
White lights 40-1 00 your circuit will carry the load.

Converting from Typical Darkroom Circuits
Watts t o Amps
To convert from watts to amps, use
the formula:

If you live in the United States, di-
vide the results from Row E of the
previous table by 115 (the standard
American voltage) and you will
know how many amps are required.
In England or Europe, you would di-
vide by 220 for the same result.
You can also use the following

and you live

in the U S .
rfrm, (115 volts)
are usang your circuit
wattage must be capable Europe
between of canying 220 volts

0-100 0.9 amps 0.5

100-200 1.8 amps 0.9
200-300 2.6 amps 1.4
300-400 3.5 amps 1.8
400-500 4.4 amps 2.3
500-600 5.2 amps 2.7 Placement of Electrical Circuits in
600-700 6.1 amps 3.2 the Darkroom. This illustration
700-800 7.0 amps 3.6 1. Eliminate some of the equip- shows the typical arrangement of re-
800-900 8.0 amps 4.1 quired electrical fixtures, outlets, and
900-1000 9.0 amps 4.6 switches. The drawing shows three
2. Put some of the equipment on separate circuits for white lights, safe-
1000-1 100 10.0 amps 5.0
a separate circuit. Use your drawing lights, and outlets. There is also a mas-
1100-1200 10.5 amps 5.5
11.5 amps 5.9
to determine the closest convenient t e r switch controlling all power t o the
1300-1400 12.5 amps 6.4 one that is truly a separate circuit darkroom.
and notjust a different outlet on the All switches should be located near
same circuit. the enlarger as a matter of conve-
3. Do not use all of the equip- nience.
DoYou Have Enough ment at the same time. You can eas- All safelights should be located at
ily change your work habits so that least 4' from where light-sensitive
Amps inYour Circuit? you are not drying prints when the materials will be used, that is, the
In most modern American homes, enlarger is on, or vice versa. enlarger easel and processingtrays.
the circuits are wired up to handle a 4. Add a new circuit coming from The switch controlling the white-light
load of 15 amps. Older homes vary, the fuse panel rated at the capacity circuit should be separated from the
other switches t o prevent accidentally
and you should check carefully to you need.
turning the lights on when materials
determine what their rated capacity
Solutions NOT to use: are exposed.
is. If your answer to the previous cal- All electrical outlets should be
culation is less than the rated capac- 1. NEVER put pennies in fuse mounted at least 3' above the floor t o
ity of your house, you will have no boxes. eliminate the hazard of walking on
problem using the circuit you 2. NEVER put higher-rated fuses wires plugged into them.
planned. If your answer was more, in the box. You cannot do this safely
there are a few solutions: without changing the wiring.

Tools and Materials for Electrical Work
All of the materials needed to wire
darkroom circuits are available at
local hardware stores. Make a list of
all the parts you need before you go,
because once you are working on
electricity in the house, it will be dif-
ficult to safely turn it back on until
the job is completed.

Tools in the darkroom. The light will indicate Grounded Plug (I 5). All cords in the
if the circuits are on or off. darkroom should have grounded plugs
Voltage Tester (I). This device is similar t o the one shown. This ensures
Switch Outlet (I 0). You can use
used t o determine if a circuit is live. It that the equipment ground will connect
these outlets in place of regular outlets
will light up if there is voltage in the with the grounded circuits in the house
if you want to be able t o turn individual
circuit. It is also used t o determine what wiring.
outlets on o r off at the outlet itself.
outlets are on which circuits and t o W i r e Nuts (I 6). When connecting
make sure that the circuit is not live Cable ( I I). Most wiring today is done
with what is called N M (nonmetallic) cable, the wires are stripped about 318”
before working on it. back from the end and then two or
cable, which replaces armor cable found
Pliers (2). These are used t o twist more can be held together by one of
in older homes. Be sure to buy it with
together the ground wires, which are these “nuts.” The nuts eliminate the
two wires and ground. Also be sure t o
usually too heavy t o twist by hand. need for soldering and are available in
buy it with large enough wires t o carry
Wire Strippers (3). Wire can be different sizes, depending on size or
your load. In most cases, you can use a
stripped with a knife but wire strippers # I 2 wire, but after determining the load number of wires to be connected.
are better. The surface of the wire you expect t o put on the darkroom, Junction Box Cover (I 7). Once the
should not be damaged when stripping; check your building code to see if this is wires have been installed in a junction
such damage could cause a short circuit. sufficient. box ( I2), a protecting cover should be
Junction Boxes ( I 2). These are used screwed in place to close the box.
Equipment as a point t o connect two or more Wall Plates (I 8 and 19). After
cables: they are the only place where switches o r outlets are installed, they
Fuse Panel (4). A modern fuse panel cables should be spliced or connected are finished off by installing a plate over
with circuit breakers will be located t o each other. the box in which they are mounted.
near the source of the incoming electri-
cal lines. Switch Boxes ( I 3). These are similar Connecter (20). These are used t o
t o junction boxes, but somewhat attach the cable when it enters the
Fuses (5 and 8). Fuses in older panels smaller in size, and are used wherever a junction box o r switch. They should
will look like the illustrations shown switch or outlet is t o be connected. always be used, because they protect
here. One screws into place, and the They are mounted t o a stud so that the the cable from stress and abrasion.
other snaps into holding clips. front of the box will be flush with the Fasteners (2 I and 22). When in-
Wall Switch (6). Used t o control eventual wall surface. The switch or stalling equipment against wallboard,
power t o circuits and outlets in the outlet is wired into them and then these fasteners can be used t o mount
darkroom. covered with a face plate. in places where there is no backing into
Outlets (7). Used t o plug in darkroom Light Fixture ( I 4). These are inex- which screws can be fastened.
equipment. Always buy the type that pensive ceramic fixtures that attach t o
accepts grounded plugs. switch boxes recessed in the wall. They
Switch with Pilot Light (9). This are ideal t o use t o screw in bulbs or
switch can be used t o control all outlets safelights and are a great deal cheaper
than more elaborate fixtures.




Wiring the Circuits
How to Wire the Circuits



How to W i r e the Circuits. This copper wire. The bare copper wire is 5. The black wire is the hot wire
drawing shows a typical darkroom the ground and should always be and should always be connected t o the
circuit with a master switch controlling twisted together with all other ground brass terminals on switches and outlets.
separate circuits for white lights, safe- wires in the same box and then fastened When wiring switches, it is the black
lights, and a general circuit for the dry t o the box itself. This will ensure that all wire that is connected t o the switch.
side. Wiring can be run directly from circuits and boxes are a t the same elec- 6 . Always use connectors when
the fuse box, or it can begin from an trical potential as the earth, and if there running cable into a junction or switch
available junction box-provided the is a short, the current will go through box. These connectors protect the
load is within the limits of the circuit the ground wire and not you. cable from being cut by the rough edges
being tapped. 3. Always buy outlets that will ac- of the box and also from being pulled
cept the 3-pronged grounded plugs. If loose.
Things to Remember you don’t, then the equipment itself will
I. Before working on any circuit, be not be grounded, even though the cir-
sure you pull the fuse or interrupt the cuit is, and you will be in danger and
circuit breaker in the service panel. T o have wasted your time grounding the DANGER! No wiring should be
be safe, shut down the master power circuits. attempted without having it in-
switch and ALSO remove the fuse for 4. The white wire in the cable is the spected. Failure to do so can be
the circuit you are working on. Use a neutral wire (this does not mean you extremely dangerous and in viola-
voltage tester or plug in a lamp t o be can touch it with the power on) and tion of local laws. The material in
sure the circuit is not hot. Do not be should always be connected t o the this section is for descriptive pur-
careless, since you can be fatally injured silver terminal in outlets. When wiring a poses so you can discuss it with a
by failing t o follow this step. switch, the white wire is connected licensed expert. Do not use these
2. Always use grounded cable for all straight through t o the other white drawings and captions as a guide
circuits. Grounded cable consists of a wires and should never be connected t o to wiring.
white wire, a black wire, and a bare the switch terminals. I

Wiring In a Junction Box and trimming the end off the wire, so Connecting Wires to Switches
that when it is rescrewed into place no
Wiring In a Junction Box. Run the bare wire is exposed.
cable into the junction box leaving 6" of WRONG WAY
cable past the point where the connec-
tor will fasten it t o the box. Mark the
point where the cable is flush with the
inside of the connector.
Remove the outer sheath of the
cable at the place marked, being sure
not t o cut into the insulation of the
wires inside. A small knife blade can be
used t o cut outward through the plastic Connecting Wires to Switches.
sheath, ensuring that the wires are not Those wires that are to be connected
cut. to terminal screws on switches o r out-
lets should be twisted together and
bent t o fit around the screw head on
the switch. They should be installed
with the wires pointed in the same
direction that the screw will be turned
to tighten it, that is, clockwise, so that
they will not be pushed out by the
Attach the connector t o the box, Twist the ground wires together screw as it is tightened.
using the nut that comes with it. tightly. In some junction boxes, the
Run the cable through the connector ground wire can be attached with a clip
so that the end of the sheath comes t o the side of the box.
flush with the inside of the connector.
Wiring on the Surface

The completed wiring in the junction

box will look like the one in this illustra-
tion, with all of the wires tightly con-
nected by wire nuts. Now, carefully fold
up the wires and place them in the
junction box and screw the cover into
Carefully remove the insulation from place.
the last 318" o r so of the wires.


Wiring on the Surface. If you are

converting a room that is already pan-
RIGHT WAY elled, or made of some material such as
concrete block that you cannot run
wires through, you can choose t o run
all of the darkroom wiring on the sur-
face rather than behind the wall. To do
Hold the exposed wires together
this, you will need special fixtures made
and screw the correct-sized wire nut
especially for this purpose. Junction
over the ends t o hold them together. If
boxes can be surface mounted, then the
too much insulation has been removed,
three items illustrated replace the usual
you will see bare wire when the nut i s
bulb receptacles, outlets, and switches.
screwed tightly into place. This should
The cable can be stapled into place or
be corrected by removing the wire nut
hidden inside conduit.

Modular Control Panel

Building a Master Electric Building the Case

Control Unit
When installing a darkroom in an
apartment, or in a finished room
that may eventually be converted
back to its original use, it is wise to
do as little interior conversion as
possible. This section shows you how
to build an electric control panel
that will put all of the electrical con-
trols at your fingertips. All that’s re-
quired, once it’s built, is to plug it in.
It has the following advantages over
rewiring the room:

1. It can be built in your shop, on

your kitchen table, or by a friend,
and then installed in the room just
by plugging it in.
2. It can be taken with you if you
move. All you have to do is plug it in 6 3/4‘

the next apartment or house.

3. It has two outlets for safelights,
each on separate switches.
4. It can be adapted to allow the
unit to be plugged into two separate
outlets (provided they are on sepa- Building the Case. The first step in
rate circuits; see “How Your Electri- assembling the control panel is to build
cal Circuits Work” earlier in this a case t o hold the switches and outlets.
chapter), thereby dividing the dark- This case can be cut, to the dimensions
room load so it does not exceed the indicated, from I/2” plywood. The back
limits of a single circuit. sides and ends are glued, then nailed
5. It can be used to feed a remote together. The front panel is attached to
power strip installed elsewhere in the case with wood screws, so that it
the room as a power supply. If the can be removed if necessary t o repair
control unit is mounted on the dry
side near the enlarger, the remote
strip would be near the wet side
(never close enough to the sink to
get wet), or vice versa. DANGER! No wiring should be
attempted without having it in-
This unit is based on the actual spected. Failure to do so can be
switches listed. If you use different extremely dangerousand in viola-
switches, the wiring will be different. tion of local laws. The material in
Wiring diagrams usually accompany this section is for descriptive pur-
electrical parts and can be used as a poses so you can discuss it with a
guide. licensed expert. Do not use these
drawings and captions as a guide
to wiring.

Wiring Diagram


mor oumr OUTLET ourur oumr oumr
LIGHT #270 4’274-291 #274 -291 #274-29/ X 274-291

Wiring Diagram. This wiring diagram

is for a series of switches and outlets
identical t o the ones listed. As all
switches vary in their design, switches
other than those indicated will require
slightly different wiring.
This view is from the back of the
switches. The best approach is to
mount the switches t o the front panel
of the case before attemptingto wire
them. This will keep them from shifting
about and lessens the chance of an
inadvertent short circuit.
Never work on the panel with
power supplied to the circuits. Also,
have the wiring checked by a licensed
electrician prior t o using it. All wiring is
potentially dangerous, and it pays to be
sure that it has been done correctly.
This switch panel should be kept
well away from sources of water, and all
switches should be grounded t o ensure
that shorts will not be dangerous. The Assembled Unit. This photo-
graph shows a completely assembled
unit built from the plans given on these
pages. The top switch (white) is the
master power switch that controls all
other circuits. At the end of the session
in the darkroom, turning off the master
switch shuts down all darkroom cir-
There are two outlets controlled
only by the master switch, and four
outlets controlled both by the master
switch and by their own switches.

6 Building the Inside
The Lighting Circuits
Lighting Equipment
Building a Darkroom Sink
Building a Sink Stand
Installing Counters
Building a Print-Drying Rack
Making the Drying Frames
Building a Light Box
Mounting the Enlarger
Building an Adjustable Enlarger
Air Quality
Those Added Comforts
The Lighting Circuits

Lighting the Darkroom little light or too much of the wrong ered with a large safelight filter so
kind can seriously affect your deci- that it can be left on while printing
Lighting a darkroom has similar sion. Light that is too bright will (this will work only if you are print-
considerations to taking pictures: make prints look weak and washed ing in black and white), or it can be
eliminating unwanted light and con- out, whereas light that is too weak controlled with a dimmer switch.
trolling the light you do want. Later will make them appear to be too
we will discuss making the room Luminous Tape or Paint. You should
dark. The solution is to have a view-
dark by eliminating unwanted light. consider the use of phosphorescent
ing light in the darkroom that best
This section deals with controlling tape or paint to identify key items in
represents the light in which the
the light you do want. the room that you might need to
print will eventually be viewed.
find in the dark, such as focusing
With black and white prints, all
General Lighting. There should be magnifier, print tongs, and drawer
you need worry about is light inten-
sufficient illumination when the handles. It's also helpful to indicate
sity. If you are printing for gallery
main lights are on to clean the room any sharp corners so they can be
display, remember that the gallery
and to do general work that is not in- avoided in the dark. Even with good
lights are much brighter than in the
volved with light-sensitive materials. delighting, the room will be dark
average living room or bedroom.
For this purpose, regular incandes- when working with film and color
Most galleries will have lighting of 80
cent or fluorescent fixtures are nor- materials.
to 100 foot candles, and that inten-
mally used. The switch for the lights sity should be matched by the print-
on this circuit should be separated viewing light. A dimmer switch, avail-
from the other darkroom lights or able in hardware stores, can be used
should have a switch guard to pre- on the print-viewing light and cali-
vent it from being turned on by mis brated to various viewing environ-
take. The number of lights depends ments.
to a large degree on the size of the With color prints, the light in the
darkroom or workroom. Generally, darkroom ideally should also be the
two 100-wattfixtures are sufficient. same color balance as the light by
Safelighting Safelighting provides fil- which the prints will be finally
tered light that will not affect light- viewed-often, though not always,
sensitive materials. Each type of ma- daylight. For convenience, many
terial has a specified filter. Using the photographers simply match their
wrong filter can reduce the safety darkroom light to a daylight bal-
factor or offers no protection at all. ance. Kodak recommends for view-
The intensity of the safelight desired ing color prints a light of 50 foot
varies from photographer to photog- candles or more, a color tempera-
rapher. Some like a darkroom that is ture of approximately 4,000' K, and
as bright as possible, and others a a color-rendering index of 85-100.
more moody room with cones of Deluxe cool-white fluorescent lights
safelight only at key spots near the come close to these requirements.
enlarger and printdeveloping trays. They should not be used for viewing
Use your own judgment in selecting in conjunction with ordinary incan-
the type of lighting for the room you descent lights, which are of a differ-
plan. ent color balance.

Print-Viewing Lights. When the print Light TabEe. It is generally helpful to

comes out of the fixer, it's usually have a light table built into or sitting
evaluated to determine what should on the dry-side counter. A light table
be modified to make the next print is the ideal way to view negatives
better. To make an accurate evalua- while making selections for enlarge-
tion you need proper lighting. Too ments. The light table can be cov-

Lighting Circuits Calibrated Print-Viewing Light

If you want to make prints that

are adjusted for the brightness of
light available where your pho-
tographs will be viewed, you can
calibrate your darkroom print-
viewing light using a regular light
meter, a standard photographic
gray card, and a dimmer switch
installed on the print-viewing
light. First determine where the
prints will be viewed, either in the
home or in a gallery. Place the
gray card in the position the print
will occupy and illuminate it with
the lights that will be used to illu-
minate the print. Take a reading
from the gray card with the light
Now place the gray card under
the darkroom print-viewing light
in the position where prints will
normally be set for evaluation. In-
stall the dimmer switch according
to the instructions. While watch-
ing the light meter, gradually in-
crease the light intensity until the
reading matches that obtained at
the position the print will eventu-
ally occupy. Mark the dimmer
switch to indicate its position so
you can repeat the setting without
additional measurements. If you
print for a number of viewing
General Lights. These are standard conditions, you will eventually
ceiling fixtures giving sufficient light t o have a dimmer switch with vari-
work and clean the room when light- ous settings indicated. Experi-
sensitive materials are not being used. ment with a trial print on the par-
Safelights. The number of safelights is ticular printing paper you are
determined by the size of the room and using, because some papers dry
the intensity of the light desired. Safe- down to a tone that is darker than
lights should be no closer than 4' from when they are wet.
enlarger baseboard o r processing trays,
otherwise fogging of paper is possible.
Print-Viewing Light. Most photogra-
phers like t o check their prints after
they have been in the fixer for a few
minutes. It's convenient t o have a light
nearby, because prints cannot be evalu-
ated accurately under safelighting re-
gardless of how bright it is.
Light Table. A small light table built
into the counter is handy t o use in
selecting negatives.

Lighting Equipment
Choosing a Safelight Kodak Safelight Filters
Safelights contain a bulb and a col-
ored filter. As the light from the bulb Kodak SafelightFilters are scientifically designed for safelight lamps to provide
passes through the filter, portions of maximum safe illumination plus protection from white light when using sensi-
tized materials:
it are blocked and only light of a cer-
tain color is allowed to pass: this OA (greenish yellow)-for black-and-white contact and duplicating materi-
als, and projection films
light will not expose your enlarging
paper (it will affect film, however). OC (light amber)-for contact and enlarging papers
Although the light from a safelight is 00 (light yellow)-for flash exposure technique with Kodak Contact
dim, it does allow you to see in the Screens (available only in 5 1/2" diameter)
darkroom while making proofsheets No. 1 (red)-for blue-sensitive materials, most photo-typesetting materials,
and enlargements. Two considera- Kodagraph Projection, and some Linagraph Papers
tions when buying a safelight are No. 1A (light red)-for slow orthochromatic materials, Kodalith and Koda-
where to put it and what kind of fil- graph orthochromatic materials, and high-resolution plates
ter to use. No. 2 (dark red)-for fast orthochromatic materials, some green-sensitive x-
ray films, Ektaline Papers, and Orthochromatic Linagraph Papers
No 3 (dark green)-for some panchromatic materials
No. 6B (brown)-for blue-sensitive x-ray films
No. 8 (dark yellow)-for some Eastman Color Print and Intermediate Films
No. 10 (dark amber)-for Vericolor slide film 5072, Vericolor print film
411 1, and Panalure papers
No. 11 (appears opaque, transmits infrared radiation)-for use with infra-
red scope and similar inspection devices (available only in 5 1/2" diameter)
No. 13 (amber)-for all Ektacolor, Panalure, Panalure and Resisto Rapid
Pan Papers
GBX-2-for all blue- and most green-sensitive medical and dental x-ray films

Safelight Location What Kind of Filter

b Q
Where to Put It. Safelights can be utwr What Kind of Filter. The instruction
screwed into existing ceiling o r lamp sheet packed with your paper (open the
fixtures, mounted on the wall, or placed package only in the dark t o remove it)

directly on your counter. To reduce the specifies a particular type of filter. Most
chance of fogging (an overall graying of enlarging papers require a light amber
your paper), keep in mind that the filter, such as a Kodak Wratten OC.
safelight (with a I5w bulb) should be Safelight filters are usually purchased
located at least 4' (I I/4 m) from where separately from the safelight itself and
your paper is exposed and processed. come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Print-Viewing Light. A small wall-
mounted light t o use in evaluating
prints is very useful. This model from
Utility Safelight. The Kodak utility
Edmund Scientific has important
safelight model D is a good example of a
features, such as a shielded light for
safelight that can be suspended from the
increased brightness, and a swivel
ceiling. The light is then reflected down-
bracket that allows it t o be posi-
wardfrom the ceiling for even illumina-
tioned as needed. The arm also slides Kodak Two-way Safelight. This
tion throughout the room.
into a closed position only 3" long Kodak two-way safelight" is a Dooular
I ,

and extends out t o I I". model. It is inexpensive and effective. Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company
The light is directed in two directions
for even illumination. To install, screw it
into an existing socket and you're ready
to print.
Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company

5 112" Round Safelights. This 5 1/2"

safelight system consists of a housing,
filters, and a universal base. It uses
standard 5 112" filters available from
Kodak and others. The universal base
can be mounted on a wall or ceiling or
stood on a counter top. An alternative
socket base allows the safelight t o be
screwed into an existing light socket.

Illuminated Magnifier. A combina-

tion magnifying glass and flashlight that is
useful for examining 35mm contact
Thomas Sodium-Vapor Safelight. This sodium-vapor safelight puts out light proof sheets.
from a very narrow part of the spectrum, one which has the least effect on photo-
graphic papers, but t o which the human eye is most sensitive. The result is a light
bright enough t o read the fine print in the next contract for your photographic ser-
vices. This is an excellent choice if you want a bright darkroom in which t o work.

Building a Darkroom Sink
A sink is a basic piece of darkroom Making the Sink Sidewall Frame
equipment. A long sink made out of
wood, plastic, fiberglass, or stainless
steel will hold print-processing trays

plus the print washer.

Darkroom sinks make it easier to
keep the darkroom clean by con-
taining spills that, at the end of a ses-
sion, can be flushed out with a hose.
Because many chemicals dry to a
powdered state that can be carried
by air currents onto sensitive materi-
als, it is essential that they be re-
moved, and the sink provides the
most efficient way of doing so. In ad-
dition to improving cleanliness, a
darkroom sink allows all of the pro-
cessing trays to be immersed in a Making the Sink Sidewall Frame. The sink frame can be made out of a variety of
water bath to help maintain their materials but the most popular is I/2" or 3/4" plywood. Because the sink will be
correct temperature. painted, a lower grade of plywood called "plug and touch," which is finished on one
You can buy a sink, but the vast side, is suitable for its construction. The sides should be approximately 8 deep and
majority of photographers build long enough and wide enough t o hold the number of processingtrays you plan on
their own sinks out of plywood, using (see the section on "Wet-Side Cutouts" in Chapter 4 for various sink sizes).
which is then caulked and sealed After the pieces are cut to the correct length they should be glued and then nailed or
screwed into place. Use a carpenter's square t o ensure that the corners are square
with epoxy or other waterproofing
when assembling.

Sink Frame

Rail to Lean On

_- SfDE

Rail to Lean On. Neither 1/2" nor

3/4" plywood provides much of an edge
to lean on. Since you will want t o lean
on the sink while rocking trays, it helps
t o install a piece of I/2"-wide casing (or SINK 0 O m M
molding) along the front sink frame to
widen the top edge. This will make the
sink front much more comfortable t o Building and Installing the Sink Bottom. After you have finished the frame,
work on. measure the inside dimensions. Cut a piece of 112" plywood so that it fits into the
sink side-wall frame with as little clearance on all sides as possible. As a starting
point, the plywood should be cut 1/8" shorter and narrower than the inside dimen-
sions of the sink frame. If it does not fit, sand off the excess wood until it fits snugly
into the frame.
Waterproofing the Sink
The assembled sink must be made
waterproof before it is used. The
first step is to caulk all of the seams
Measuring for Bottom Slope on the inside of the sink using an
acrylic caulking compound, which
comes in tubes and is available at
most hardware stores or lumber sup-
ply houses. Run a bead around the
bottom of the sink and up the four
corners. To make it form a smooth
surface use a large 3/4" to 1"
wooden dowel to make a curve in
the caulk. This is done by running a
A '8 C
bead of caulk the length of the seam
and then running the dowel along
the bead, smoothing it as it is pulled
Measuring for Bottom Slope. After the sink bottom has been cut t o size, it must
be installed in the sink so that it t i l t s enough t o drain toward one end or the other.
Do this by installingthe bottom supports at gradually increasing heights along the The sink can now be painted with
length of the sink. Cut these supports out of I x I" or I x 2" lumber t o a length a waterproofing material. Epoxy
equal t o that of the sink end pieces. paint can be used, or you can fiber-
To build in the slope at the bottom, draw a sloping line down both long sides of glass the inside. The demands put
the inside of the sink frame as a guide line for nailing in the cross pieces. Make one on the typical sink do not require
mark at point A and A flush with the bottom of the sink frame. Halfway down the the use of fiberglass cloth but it is
sink, make a mark at B and B' 1/8 above the sink frame bottom, and at the other end commonly used. (Strips of fiberglass
of the sink (C and C'), place a mark indicating a point 1/4" above the sink bottom. cloth can be used in conjunction
Connect these three points with a straightedge and you will have a sloping line as a with epoxy resin to seal the seams if
guide for where to nail the bottom edge of each support piece.
you choose not to use acrylic caulk.)
If your drain will be in a far corner and you decide that you also need a front-to-
Epoxy by itself will tend to crack if
back slope, you can raise the A, B, and C, or A, B', and C' measurements an addi-
tional 118' above the measurements on the other part of the frame. the sink is moved or pushed out of
alignment. We can recommend the
following sink coatings:
Sherwin-Williams Tile Clad IIcomes in
two parts and, when mixed and ap-
Installing Bottom Supports plied, dries to a hard surface finish.
Epoxy Resin is the most commonly
used coating. It can be applied like
paint directly on the wooden sink
and will provide sufficient water-
proofing. Seams can be sealed by
embedding cloth tape in the wet
epoxy and then repainting the top
surface with more epoxy.
One of the best places to find
I I good sink-waterproofingmaterials is
Installing Bottom Supports. Hold each support cross piece in position and drive a marine supply store. Anything
a long nail through the front of the sink and into the support. Since you will be nailing used to keep water out of a boat can
blind, it may help t o first measure where the support is to be located inside the sink also be used to keep water in your
and then transfer this measurement t o the outside. Nail the support on the other sink. New waterproofing products
side (back) of the sink, and continue with each of the subsequent cross pieces. Make come on the market frequently, so
sure that the bottom of each cross piece is aligned with the guide line that indicates you should visit a good store if you
the tilt of the sink bottom. want to know what the latest prod-
When all of the supports are nailed in place, insert the sink bottom and nail it into ucts are.

Building a Sink Stand
After the sink itself has been com- Leveling the Sink
pleted, it is necessary to find a place
to put it other than flat on the floor. CARPENTER‘S
If the darkroom is in a bathroom or LEVEL
other room that is used for more J
than one purpose, the sink can be
mounted on chair rails (1 1/2” x 1
1/2” molding) along three walls of
the room. This allows the sink to be
removed easily and the chair rails do
not detract from the room. Leveling the Sink. Once the sink
However, you may want to build a stand has been finished, it should be
permanent sink stand that is sturdy installed in the darkroom and leveled.
enough to hold the sink and can also Use a carpenter’s level and small pieces
provide additional storage space. of wood such as shingle. Put the level
This section covers both of these on the top rail and level the sink length-
possibilities. wise using the wood pieces t o raise the
low end. After you level the sink in the
long direction, follow the same proce-
u dure t o level it front t o back.
PIECE OF SHINGLE N ow place the sink itself on top of
USED 70 RAISE the sink stand. The sink bottom’s built-
LOW EN0 in tilt should now be at the correct
angle for proper drainage.

Building the Sink Stand. The sink

stand should be constructed with 2 x 4s
nailed or bolted together. The outside
dimensions should be the same as the
outside dimensions of the sink itself.
Begin by cutting the base rails t o the
same lengths as the sink side walls.
Make two sets t o provide support at
both the top and bottom of the sink
N ow cut the four legs t o the height
you want the sink bottom above the
floor. Because the sink bottom is actu-
ally a few inches above the bottom of
the sink side-wall frame, cut the legs a
few inches shorter than the ideal height
t o allow for the difference.
Assemble the two sets of side-rail
frames for the stand, and then belt or
nail the legs in place as shown in the
Building Undersink Storage


rws S ~ C CAN



Building Undersink Storage. The space under the sink can be utilized for storage
of trays and chemicals, or even for a permanently installed print-drying rack.
The simplest method is t o cut a piece of plywood t o fit on the lower side rails
providing one large expanse of shelf. This would be fine for chemical storage.
One-half of this shelf can be converted to a tray storage area by mounting small
wood strips across i t s width with additional strips, offset a few inches, nailed across
the bottom of the top side rails. Pieces of masonite can be cut so that when installed
they divide the space into a series of sloping compartments wide enough t o hold the
The bottom shelf can be tilted toward the front of the sink t o ensure drainage
should you ever store wet trays. Nail a thin strip of wood no thicker than 1/4" along
the back rail before nailing in the plywood shelf. When the plywood is nailed on top
of this piece it will slope toward the front of the sink stand.

Installing Counters

Installing Dry-Side Currently, pre-formed counter Wall Cabinets. Wall cabinets are also
tops cost less than $15 per running available from building supply com-
Counters and Storage foot. A counter top for a large dark- panies and can be installed above
Counters and storage cabinets can room with a 10' dry side (minus 30" the dry-side base cabinets for addi-
be custom-made for a darkroom, but for the enlarger base) would cost ap- tional storage. They come in the
they can be very expensive. The proximately $115. It would be diff- same standard widths as the base
know-how required to build them cult to custom-build one for less, es- cabinets, but are only 12" deep.
yourself is also extensive. The ideal pecially if tools had to be purchased.
solution is to use kitchen cabinets
and post-formed (seamless) counter
tops. Cabinets can usually be picked
up quite cheaply at sales or in used
condition. Since visual appeal is not
as important in the darkroom as it is
in the kitchen, damaged units, poor
sellers, and inexpensive units all be-
come candidates for your Dark- Dry-Side Wall Cabinets Dry-Side Base Cabinets
Base Units. Counter base units come
in standard widths from 9" to 42" in DOOR/DRAWER
increments of 3".They are standard- uwr
ized at a 24" depth.
Counter Tops. Pre-made counter tops
are available in long strips 25" wide;
the building supply company can
cut them to the length you need.
There are two styles available, one
with a flat lip on the front edge and
one with a rolled lip. Avoid the
rolled lip since large items such as a
paper trimmer will not rest flat on
the counter.



Dry-Side Wall Cabinets. Wall cabi- Dry-Side Base Cabinets. Base cabi-
nets come in lengths of 24" t o 4 8 in nets are available in sizes ranging from
increments of 3". They range in height 9" to 4 8 in increments of 3". They
from 12" to 30". come with doors, drawers, o r a combi-
nation of both. Although their standard
height is 34 1/2" (36" once the counter
top is installed), they can be raised by
building a base under them.

Dry-Side Assembly



Dry-Side Assembly. This view shows

how the dry-side cabinets can be assem-
bled t o accommodate the enlarger
mount, adjustable easel baseboard, and
light table.
When ordering pre-formed counter
STRIPS SCREWED TO CABIffETS FOR tops, you can have them custom-cut
roE Room ADJUSTABLE ENLARGER BASEBOARD and finished for both the enlarger and
the built-in light table.

Professional Cabinets. This dry-side

cabinet is a good example of a profes-
sionally designed and manufactured unit.
Such units are extremely well-made, but
the high quality comes with a relatively
high price tag.

Building a Print-Drying Rack
A homemade print-drying rack framing members can be bought ei- that exact measurements for the
utilizing fiberglass screens is easy to ther in long lengths or precut to the printdrying rack can be taken from
build and can either be made to size you desire. Wooden canvas the actual unit (see "Building a Sink
stand alone or built-in. The rack stretchers available in artists' supply Stand" above). This will ensure that
consists of two major elements: stores also work quite well and are al- the rack fits into the existing space.
ready pre-cut, making tools unneces-
1. Frames with fiberglass screen sary.
stretched over them. The frames If you choose to make the racks The Easy Way Out
provide the rigidity required to keep out of aluminum framing, you will A simple print-drying rack can be
the fiberglass flat and tight. The also need what is called "Spline," the made with a long piece of fiberglass
fiberglass screen supports the print, rubber gasket that locks the screen screen, two wooden dowels, and
but at the same time allows air to cir- into the frame, and an installation some string. The dowels are stapled
culate freely on all sides of the print, tool. to each end of the screen and the
contributing to even, fast drying. unit is suspended like a hammock.
Fiberglass screen should be used be- 2. Rails on which the frames will When not in use, it can be rolled up
cause it is impervious to darkroom slide in and out and a cabinet to and stored. It's also easy to keep
chemicals and will not rust. It is also hold them. The rail can be either clean because it can be washed in
nonabsorbent, so if a poorly washed aluminum angle iron, wooden rails the sink.
print does come in contact with it, made out of 1"x l",or wood mold- If you use an old (or new) window
the screen can be washed clean to ing that is L-shaped. Regardless of shade roller in place of one dowel
protect subsequent prints. which is chosen, they should be in- and attach it permanently to a wall
The frames on which the fiber- stalled level and parallel so the you can pull the screen out when
glass screens are stretched can be frames slide in and out easily. They needed. Just attach it to a hook on
made out of 1"x 1"wood cut at a 45" should be spaced approximately 3" an opposite wall. When finished, you
angle to make corner joints similar or more apart to allow for free air unhook it and it rolls back up by it-
to a picture frame. For this you need circulation in the rack. self. Be sure the roller is mounted
a mitre box and saw. Frames can also If the printdrying rack is to be in- with enough space between it and
be constructed out of aluminum stalled under the sink, be sure to the wall to allow the fiberglass screen
window screen frames. Aluminum build the sink and its stand first so to roll all the way up.

"Hammock" on Window-Shade Roller "Hammock" Drying Screen

Print-Drying Rack

Details of the Frame Supports

Building the Print-Drying Rack. The cabinet needed to hold the fiberglass
frames can be made out of either I/2" or 3/4" plywood. The thicker material will give
a more stable cabinet. Begin by determining the size frame you need to hold your
prints, and then calculate the size cabinet you will require to hold frames of the cho- WOOD SCREWS
sen size.
Measure the two side pieces so they are the exact length of one of the dimen-
sions of your frames. The back piece should then be measured off so it is as wide as

the other dimension of the frame, plus an additional amount at each end (either I /2" CHANNEL
o r 3 / 8 where it will overlap the side pieces).
The back and side panels should be the same height. The height depends on
where you plan on putting the cabinet and the number of drying frames you want it
to hold.
Measure the top and bottom panels of the cabinet. They should be the same
width as the back panel and the same length as the sides, plus an additional 1/2" or
3/4" where they will overlap the back panel.

Now measure where the rails on which the frames will rest will be placed. They W O O SCREWS
should be 3" apart. Begin by measuring down from the top of the side panels 3" and ALbMINlUAt CHAMEL
draw a line across each panel.
Measure off another 3" and do the same. Continue doing this for the entire length
of both panels. Now cut I " x 2" lengths o f wood as long as the panel is wide. Cut as
many as you have marked on the side panels. Nail and glue them into place using the
lines drawn to ensure that they are level and parallel. Details of the Frame Supports.
Nail and glue the side panels to the back panel, and then do the same with both These drawings show how various types
the top and bottom panels. The cabinet is now complete with the frame guides in of frame supports can be attached to
place. the side panels o f the print-drying rack.

Making the Drying Frames
After the cabinet has been com- Frame Assembled with Stanley “Sure-Drive”
pleted, the next step is to build the
frames to hold the fiberglass screen.
There are three principal ways to
make these screen frames: wooden
frames, canvas stretchers, and alu-
minum frames.

Wooden Frames Brace two pieces of wood in position to

be joined.
Place Sure-Drive across joint. Remove
Wooden frames can be made out of driver and insert corrugated nail with
any lumber from 1” x 1“up to 1”x sharp edge down.
3”. Begin by measuring the inside of
the printdrying cabinet. Make the
frames about 1/8” to 1/4“ smaller to
allow them to slide in and out easily.
The frames can be mitred or square
cut at the corner joints. Because
there is very little weight on the
screens, the joints do not have to be
extremely strong. The corners of the
Replace driver and hammer firmly. keep- When guide line isflushwithtopof holder,
frames can be joined with screws, ing track of guide line on driver. nail will be seated flush with sutface of
nails, angle irons, or corrugated joined pieces.
nails. A Stanley “Sure-Drive’’set can
save you a great deal of time. This +ame Assembled with Stanley
makes firm joints and is both easier “Sure-Drive.” This fastening device and Attaching the Screen to
and faster than using either nails or tool is ideal for making a large number of Wooden Frames
joints in a very short time. Be sure to buy
screws. Wooden frames should al- corrugated nails no deeper than one-half STAPLES
ways be painted to keep them from the thickness of your frame.
absorbing chemicals.

Frame Assembled with

Frame Assembled with
Angle Irons Screws FRAME

SUNU HOLE Attaching the Screen t o Wooden
Frames. After the wooden frame is
assembled, staple the fiberglass screen t o
it so that the screen is tight and free of
wrinkles. The easiest way is to use a staple
gun to staple the screen in place. Because
galvanized staples are almost impossible t o
buy, the heads should be touched up with
varnish t o prevent them from rusting. It is
also advisable t o paint or varnish the
wooden frames before attaching the
screening. This will keep them from ab-
sorbing chemicals that can contaminate
subsequent prints.
Canvas Stretchers Aluminum Frames

6. Cut screening to outside dimensions

of frame. Cut carefully between two
screen wires to keep screening square.
Place frame on table and scatter scraps
of frame section in the center area to
1. Measure the width and depth of the hold screening level with top of frame.
nside of your print drying rack. Mark two On large frames you may want to nail
engths (depth minus %”) of screen sec- small %“-thickblocks around frame to
,ion for the side frame pieces and two maintain squareness as shown in illus-
Canvas Stretchers. Wooden canvas ddths (width minus ’/a”) for the top and
stretchers are available from most art tration 2.
xdtom of frame pieces.
supply stores. They come pre-cut in differ-
ent sizes and can be easily assembled in a
variety of combinations. The joints are
pre-cut to slip together, and they can be
glued or nailed to give the joint greater

2. Remove the U-shaped splines or glaz- 7. Line up screening with the outside
ing channels from all the frame members. edge of the screen groove at the side
and end of the frame shown. Bend the
screening into the side and end grooves.
When using fiberglass screen it should fit
down, across, and up inside of grooves.

3. Mark 45degree angles at the mea-

sured points.

45’ANGLE 8. After completing operation along one
4. Saw off the ends, using a fine-toothed side (as in step above), cut off excess
coping or hack saw. Smooth cut ends screen cloth along line even with outside
with file or sandpaper. edge of groove in other adjacent leg.

9. Cut U-shaped splines 1/16” less than

length of spline groove; make butt joints
at the corners. Next, tap spline into
groove using block of wood with round-
ed front comer (on one long frame
5. Insert corner locks into the two short piece) to hold screening securely. In the
Aluminum Frame Members and
frame pieces. Slip the two long frame same manner, form screen cloth on the
Fiberglass Screen. These photographs
pieces onto one of the end pieces. Final- two short sides, cut off excess screen
show what the aluminum frame members
ly, add the other end as shown to com- cloth, and insert spline. Then, complete
look like. The round material is the
plete the frame. fourth side.
“spline” and is used to hold the fiberglass
screen in place once the frames have been
assembled. Fiberglass screen comes in Aluminum Frames. You can either buy pre-assembled aluminum frames from a win-
rolls of different widths. Buy the size dow supply house, or you can assemble them yourself. To do a complete job, you will
closesf to the width of your frames. need frame members, a mitre saw, a “spline” tool, and fiberglass screen.

Building a Light Box
A light table built into the dry-side on both sides of each) and located
counter makes it much easier to directly over a drawer or other un-
evaluate and select negatives for obstructed counter surface.
printing. This is especially true if you Purchase a metal rim frame, such
use medium or large film formats. as what is used to mount a sink on a
Holding a 4" x 5" negative up to a ceramic working surface into a
bare ceiling bulb gives a very un- kitchen counter. It requires only a
evenly illuminated image. With a saw to cut a hole in the counter and
light table, you can also evaluate an the rest of the assembly is easy. Buy a
entire roll of 35mm film. piece of white acrylic cut to fit the
To build a light box, select a space frame; small pieces of acrylic are
separated from the enlarger by a at low cost from the Round Fluorescent Fixture. This
short distance (leave working room scrap bin in supply stores. round fluorescent fixture by Sterling
Lighting is ideal for illumination of a light
table installed in the counter top.


Locate the desired position of your Position the frame assembly, right side Assemble your light table insert by
light-table insert on the counter top, up, on top of the counter in the loca- placing the frame upside down on a flat
usually close t o the enlarger for conve- tion desired (step # I above) and trace surface and applying an adequate bead
nience, and check for proper clearance. around the frame as shown. of caulking (such as clear silicone bath-
Be sure that the compartment under Cut along the traced line carefully. This tub seal) around the under-inside top
the location is a t least 2" wider and can be easily accomplished by drilling a edge of the frame-top flange.
deeper than the overall size being used. 3 / 8 starter hole just inside the traced After caulking the inside of the
This will assure sufficient room t o fas- line and cutting along the line with a frame, insert the piece of white acrylic.
ten the holding lugs. Be careful not t o medium or fine-tooth electric saber With the insert positioned in the frame,
cut the supports on the underside of saw. Be sure t o keep edge of saw verti- bend one of the perforated press-out
the counter top. cal. A manual key-hole saw may also be locking tabs in the frame, on each side
used t o make the cutout. Use only a of the assembly, inward t o hold the
fine-tooth saw for manual cutting, and insert in the frame for installation. This
cut only on the down stroke t o avoid need not be a tight fit, as the installation
splitting and delaminatingthe counter lugs will secure the assembly firmly
top surface. when installed.
(NOTE When using an electric saber
saw, it is advisable t o cover the counter
top surface on the outside of the traced
line with masking tape t o protect the
surface from being scratched by the
vibrating base, o r foot of the saw.)

I 04



Seal the frame on the outside by apply- Use the drawer under the counter, or Wire the light using either a regular on-
ing a uniform bead of caulking t o the build in a box t o hold the fluorescent off switch, or a dimmer switch made for
under-outside edge of the frame-top light fixture. The inside should be fluorescent lights. Mount the switch on
flange. painted white t o give an even distribu- the front of the drawer where it will be
Install the light table assembly into tion of light. within easy reach. The junction box for
the counter top cutout. From the un- the connection should be under the
derside of the counter top, attach the counter and out of the way. Be sure the
lugs onto the hook of the frame leg. line running t o the drawer has sufficient
Always place two lugs as close as possi- slack in the wire t o allow you t o open
ble t o each side of the corner bends. the drawer t o change the tube when
Space and tighten lug bolts evenly and necessary.
firmly until top flanges of the frame are
clamped tightly t o both the counter top
and the insert. Caution: Do not over-
tighten lugs. Additional unnecessary
pressure may distort the frame causing
Courtesy Hudee ManufacturingCo.

Mounting the Enlarger
Normally when you purchase an en- The Pendulum Effect EliminatingVibrations
larger, it comes mounted to a
wooden or composition baseboard. SCREW
With minimal effort, you can make
improvements in two significant (
areas: reducing vibrations and in- WIRZ
creasing the size of prints that can be c


The sharpness of an enlarged print
depends on the sharpness of the
camera and enlarging lenses, the
type of film used, and the shutter The Pendulum Effect. The enlarger
column acts as an inverted pendulum. The
speed or firmness of support used at
vibrations that are picked up by the base-
the time the picture was taken. Afac- board are magnified as they go higher up
tor quite often overlooked is the the column. The column will no longer act
steadiness of the enlarger at the time as a pendulum if the top of the column is
the enlargement is made. There is supported. This would be the same as
holding the bottom of a pendulum and
vibration in every enlarger column.
This vibration is either picked up
from the surrounding environment
preventing it from swinging. ‘BLOCK OF WOO0
(such as passing trucks, trains, or
kids running in the apartment above DampingVibrations
EliminatingVibrations. The enlarger
the darkroom), or it is induced
Enlarger A can be made more steady, giving sharper
when you make adjustments to the ”.. I
prints, by attaching the top of the column
enlarger while preparing to make a t o a wall or other very solid surface. Be
print. Because the enlarger acts as careful, however, since this will not help,
an upside-down pendulum, the vi- and in fact can make things worse, if the
wall is not solid and stable. Buy some
brations picked up by the base are
. , , I . . . * . picture hanging wire, a screw eye, and a
magnified by the time they reach the *c-

small turnbuckle in the hardware store.

Enlarger B
enlarger head perched on top of the ”.
. I Cut the wire into two lengths and attach
column. t o either end of the turnbuckle. N o w
Since all enlargers, regardless of screw the screw eye in the wall directly
behind the enlarger and fasten one of the
manufacturers’ claims, are subject to
wires t o it. Fasten the other t o the en-
vibrations, the true science should . , , , . . . I .
larger (you may have t o drill a hole for it).


be applied to reducing vibrations or Now tighten the turnbuckle just enough

Vivitar VI Enlarger
damping them out of the system as ”.. t o put pressure on the enlarger column.
far as possible. As long as the col- I Too much pressure will distort the col-
umn, so be gentle.
umn is not oscillating at the time the
If you want the enlarger farther out
print is made, the image will be from the wall, insert a block of wood of
sharp. Part of the damping of the vi- the necessary length behind it. This will
brations will be a result of good de- keep the enlarger from moving backward
sign on the part of the enlarger man- as the turnbuckles are tightened.
Damping Vibrations. Contrary t o what
ufacturer. The rest depends on you might think, making an enlarger col-
where you use the enlarger and how umn more rigid (or stiff) will not help t o
you mount it. The best design in the dampen out the vibrations faster. In fact, a
world will not make an enlarger stiff column will only vibrate at a higher
frequency, which makes vibrations last
steady if it is used on an unstable
longer. These graphs show how the Vivi-
base. tar IV enlarger, by using a more flexible
column, actually dampens vibrations faster
than a more rigid enlarger would.

Increasing Print Size Wall-Mounting the Enlarger
The major factor that determines
how large a print you can make with
a given lens/film format combina-
tion is the distance between the neg-
ative and the paper on which the
print is being projected.
Most enlargers are capable of
making prints up to 11"x 1 4 on the
baseboard, and longer columns are
also available with options allowing
prints as large as 16" x 20" to be
made. In either case, larger print
sizes can be made by wall-mounting
the enlarger.
Wall-mounting the enlarger is
usually done in conjunction with
building an adjustable enlarger LAG BOLT LONG
baseboard. This increases the range THROUGH MOW
of print sizes that can be made con- ANDZ"IN70
veniently. The following pages illus-
trate how to build one of these units.
Most enlarger manufacturers
make wall-mount units for their en-
largers that are relatively inexpen-
sive. You can also build your own,
Wall-Mounting the Enlarger. The first step in mounting the enlarger is t o devise a
provided you are handy with tools. support t q which it can be fastened. The type of support will vary, depending on the type
Before doing so, it is wise to check of flange used t o bolt the enlarger t o its base. The easiest support can be made from a
how steady the wall in the room is. few feet of 4" x 4" lumber from a local lumber supply store. If the flange on the enlarger is
Exterior walls are generally well- larger than 4" buy a 6" x 6" o r larger piece of wood. This can be bolted t o the wall studs
made since they are designed to (not t o the plaster o r plaster board) with long "lag bolts," and then the enlarger can be
mounted t o it. The top of the column should then be supported with turnbuckles and
carry the weight of the house. Inte- picture-hanging wire t o eliminate any vibrations in the column.
rior walls are either load-bearing or
not; the ones that are not load-bear-
ing are usually less steady. If possible, Another Wall Mount
use an exterior wall or an interior
load-bearing wall to mount the en-
larger. Generally, shorter walls will
be more stable than taller walls, be- BOLTS TO ATTACH ENLARGER COUNTERSUNK FLAT-
cause their supports are closer to-
\ \



Another Wall Mount. In some cases it may be necessary t o build a more complicated
support on which t o mount the enlarger. If the flange on the enlarger is wider than 6", it
Using Two Turnbuckles. A single is generally better t o use a 2"-thick plank, wide enough t o accommodate the enlarger-
column enlarger can be made even stead- mounting flange. This plank can then be mounted horizontally t o the wall by cuffing sup-
ier by using two sets of turnbuckles. ports for both ends out of the same plank.
Building an Adjustable Enlarger Baseboard
With a given film format/lens com- Determinng Shelf Selecting the Easel
bination, the sole determining fac-
tor as to what size prints can be
Heights Shelf Size
made is the distance between the When making an adjustable en- The size of the enlarger baseboard
negative and the paper surface. This larger baseboard, you should take you need is based on the size of the
can be increased by raising the en- into account the size of the prints largest easel you plan on using. If
larger head up the column, but at you make most often. The shelf for you normally print 8" x 10" but occa-
some point it can go no farther. In this print size should be placed at sionallywant to print up to 20" x 24",
addition, problems with vibration countertop height for maximum the baseboard should be designed to
are increased as the head is raised comfort. Very much larger print handle the easel for a 20" x 24' print
higher. sizes will be lower and very much in either a horizontal or vertical
An adjustable baseboard can be smaller print sizes higher, but be- alignment. This will require a shelf
built to allow for greater print sizes. cause they are made less frequently, size of at least 28" x 28"; the shelf,
It is essentially a unit that decreases the resulting discomfort is mini- side, and back panels, plus the shelf
or increases the negative-tc-easel dis- mized. supports, should be cut accordingly.
tance by raising or lowering the shelf Most enlargers will print up to 11" Be sure to allow for the size of the
on which the easel rests. The lower x 14' on the baseboard, and some easel, not the print, plus handling
the shelf, the greater the size of the will go as high as 16" x 20". There- room on either side of the easel.
enlargement. fore, it is likely that one of these sizes The shelf can have handles at-
will be the one placed on the shelf at tached to the top side on both sides
counter-top height. to make it easier to lift in and out
Keep in mind that if you crop when it's being raised or lowered.
Print Sizes your prints considerably,you may ac-
tually be enlarging to 16' x 20" size
to obtain the 11"x 14" print youwant.

Negative-to-Easel Distance

Negative-to-EaselDistances. When making an enlargement fro& a given neg-

ative size, the significantfactor determining the size of enlargement that is pos-
sible is the distance between the negative and the paper on which the image is
projected. Secondary factors that influence maximum print size include in-
creased exposure times, reciprocity failure, loss of contrast, and vibration, but
for the moment these will be discounted. This table is designed to give you the
approximate distance your negative must be from the paper (easel surface) to
obtain a specific print size from the most common film format/enlarger lens
focal-length combinations. Decide first what print sizes you want to make.
Once that size is established, you can determine what range of distances has to
be obtained for the minimum and maximum sizes you want to print. If, for in-
stance, you want to make both 5" x 7" and 20' x 24" prints using a 50mm lens
and 35mm film, you must be able to increase the distance between the negative
and the easel from a minimum distance of approximately 11" to a maximum
distance of 36", or a total range of 25". Some enlargers can accommodate this
range on the baseboard that comes with the enlarger, but on most, you will ei-
ther have to project the image on the floor, tilt the head to project on a facing
wall, or build an adjustable enlarger baseboard.
Print Sizes. The enlarger projects a If Your Film F m t Enlarrinc LRns Cambination Is:
cone-shaped image that grows in size Print size 35mmjlm 2% ~ 2 %
j%n 2% ~ 3 % j%n 4 x5film
the farther it gets from the enlarger desired 50mm enlarffing lens 75mm lens lO0mm lens 150mm lens
lens. T o obtain a larger image, the easel 8x10 18" 15" 17" 18"
must be placed farther from the lens in 11 x 14 26" 20" 22" 23"
a wider section of the cone. 16 x 20 34 27" 30" 30"
20 x 24 37" 33" 36 36"

How to Build It



Fotar Enlarging Table. This enlarg-

ing table from Colenta America is ex-
tremely sturdy. It's expensive, but a
butcher-block baseboard and ease of
operation would make it worthwhile for
someone making a great many prints
and changing print sizes frequently.


2 3/4" PLYWOOD PANEL 303/4'x 40. /SIDE PANEL J
I 3/4"PLYWOOD PANEL 29 7/8"x 29 7/8'(8ASE8OARD SHELF)

How t o Build It. Cut the shelf and Special Lenses. There are also special
three side panels from a sheet of 3/4" Assembled Unit enlarging lenses that can be used t o
plywood. The back panel should be cut increase the size of the prints you make
the same width as the frames, plus 118" with a given negative-to-easeldistance.
for ease in getting the frames in and out. Wide-angle and zoom enlarging lenses
The side panels should be cut t o the are available, although those of high
same length plus an additional 3/4", quality are very expensive. For more on
because they will be screwed into the enlarging lenses see Chapter 8.
3/4"-thick back panel. The back rails
should be the same width as the back CLEARANCE
panel. The side rails should be only long BErwmv rop
enough t o be flush with the front of the ENLARGER MOUNT
unit and with the back rails. /
Assemble the three large plywood
panels, and then measure and install the
back and side shelf supports.
Mount a plank at least 2" thick t o the
top back of the unit as a support on
which t o mount the enlarger. The first
(top) shelf support should be low
enough t o provide clearance for the
easel t o fit between the top shelf and
the board on which the enlarger is
mounted, otherwise you may not be
able to center the image on the easel.

Air Quality
The quality of the air in the dark- VentiI ation How to Find the Size Fan
room directly affects both the qual- You Need
The minimal controls required in a
ity of work done there and the
darkroom concern air flow and
health and enjoyment of the pho-
turnover. The air in the darkroom Air in the darkroom should be
tographer. Several aspects of dark- changed every six to eight min-
room air have to be considered. must be changed every six to eight
minutes for comfort. To make this utes. To determine the size fan
needed you have to know the
possible a fan and vents must be in-
number of cubic feet in the room.
Humidity stalled. The fan should always be fil-
Fan capacities are rated in cfm
tered, and the air stream should (cubic feet per minute). To de-
The ideal darkroom humidity is be- enter the darkroom from the dry termine the cubic feet in your
tween 45 and 50 percent. In some side. Outlet vents should be over the darkroom, measure the room's
parts of the country, this is easy to sink on the wet side. This arrange- width, length, and height. Multi-
maintain without controls, but ment increases the pressure in the ply these dimensions to give you
sometimes control is an absolute ne- room, so that unfiltered air from the total cubic feet in the room.
cessity. Air that is too damp will rust outside does not carry dust into the Divide that figure by 6 to deter-
equipment and make it perform in- darkroom. The flow from the dry to mine how many cubic feet per
accurately; air that is too dry will cre- the wet side keeps the vapors from minute the fan must move if it is
ate static electricity problems and in- to change the entire room every
the sink contained, and the outlets
crease problems with dust. A six minutes. Example: if the room
over the sink provide a way for the is 8' wide, 10' long, and 7' high: 8
dehumidifier can help a damp room air to be carried from the room. All x 10 = 80; 80 x 7 = 560 cubic feet.
(a side benefit is that the water run vents and fans should be light-proof. 560 divided by 6 = 93 cubic feet
off from the dehumidifier can be per minute. The fan should be
bottled and used as distilled water approximately 100 cfm rated.
for negative processing). A room Dust
that is too dry can be corrected with
Dust must be kept out of the room,
the addition of a humidifier.
or removed if any dust seeps in. The
best device is an electrostatic air
Temperature cleaner to filter particles out of the
The ideal darkroom temperature is
approximately 68"F, the tempera-
ture at which most photographic
chemicals are used. If temperatures
vary considerably, time is spent wor-
rying about water baths, comfort,
and the timing of the various devel-
opmental processes. To control the
temperature, you can install heaters
or air conditioners. Air conditioners
are especially useful because they
will also filter and dehumidlfy the air
as they are cooling it. If you use an
air conditioner, try to have the air
flow from the dry side to the wet
side, so that steam and vapors rising
from the sink are not carried over to Electrostatic Air Cleaner. Eliminating dust from the darkroom can be a full-time
the dry side. Be sure to buy an air job. If you don't get it out of the air, you have t o get it off of the negatives. If you
conditioner that can operate on fan don't get it off of the negatives, you have t o spot the prints. If dust is a problem, you
only, so that the room can be venti- can install either a wall-mounted or tabletop electrostatic air cleaner. It works by
lated without being cooled. charging dust particles so that they will adhere t o a collector with an opposite
charge. Because the dust builds up on these collectors, you should also consider their
ease of cleaning. This model collects particles down t o .O I microns. The collecting
screen is washable.

Darkroom Air Flow

Darkroom Air Flow. If the fan is

mounted t o blow into the room, the fan
should be installed on the dry side of
the darkroom with the vents on the
wet side. The air entering the room will
keep it at a positive pressure, and air
will flow out of the cracks in the room,
which keeps the dust out.
Should you decide t o use the fan as
an exhaust fan blowing air out of the
room, it should be mounted on the wet
side, so that the moist air from the sink
and chemicals exit immediately without
being distributed throughout the room.

Ventilator Fan. Special light-proof Exhaust Vents. Darkroom vents Humidity and Temperature Indica-
fans are baffled t o prevent light from should be light-proof. Spiratone supplies tor. This combination humidity and
leaking through the fan opening. They these 4“-diameter “Darkroom temperature indicator is a good item
are often hard to find, so most photog- Breather” vents. for the darkroom. Then again, perhaps
raphers just use a regular bathroom fan ignorance i s bliss.
and build a light-proof baffle around it
themselves. In some cases, you may be
able t o vent the fan into a dark attic o r
basement and avoid the need for a
Light-proofing is essential to prevent available in sewing supply stores. Light-Proofing a Shade
light-sensitive film and paper from One part of the tape can be perma-
fogging. Many prints lack contrast nently mounted to the window
between shadow and highlight areas frame and the other sewn to the
because the paper or film was ex- cloth. The two can then be stuck to-
posed to non-imaging light that gether and pulled apart as need be.
made the contrast muddy. This ef- When the cloth is not being used, it
fect is sometimes so slight that it can is easy to fold and store.
be discovered only by running a A third method is to use masonite
proper test, but once comparison paneling and either Velcro tape or
prints are made, the loss of quality screws to hold it in place. These pan-
will become immediately apparent. els can be made cheaply and are to-
Film, with its higher speed, is tally light-proof.
much more susceptible to light than Windows facing sources of sub-
is enlarging paper; therefore, a dued light can be covered with red
room in which printing is done need plexiglass to act as a safelight.Always
not be as light-proof as a room in run a safelight test after doing this. If
which film is handled. A kitchen or paper fogs, use a double thickness of
other temporary darkroom can usu- plexiglass.
ally be light-proofed sufficiently to The cheapest and easiest method
make prints (or you could print only of all is to paint the windows black,
at night), and film can be loaded but this works only if you never want
into reels and placed in daylight light through them.
tanks inside a changing bag. To be Light-Proof Shade. These are perfect
sure a room is light-proof enough to for the room that must serve more than
print, first stand in it with the lights Doors one purpose. Release the latch and ZAP
out for at least five minutes so your . . . the light is back in the room and the
The ultimate door is a revolving one, shade has disappeared. Reasonably priced,
eyes have a chance to adjust com- but most people cannot afford the custom-made models are available from
pletely. If you then cannot see a expense. An alternate solution is a Draper Shade Co.
plain white paper held against a light trap, which is inexpensive but
dark background the room should does require a lot of floor space. Sev-
be safe. A few small leaks around Light-Proofing with Panels
eral possible designs are shown in
doors and windows are safe if they
are not near the enlarger or process-
ing trays or paper cutter. Such leaks
Chapter 4. These entryways are
ideal, because they allow people and
air to circulate freely without light

can be eliminated, however, with entering the darkroom. Light traps

aluminum foil crumpled and stuck should not face a bright light source
into holes or taped in sheets over because reflections can work their
larger openings. Larger areas can be way into the darkroom. If this is im-
covered with light-proof cloth or possible to avoid, the entrance can
black garden plastic and tape. be covered with a hanging cloth with
a chain or weights sewn in the bot-
tom to hold it down.
Windows can be light-proofed using
special shades made specifically for VELCRO TAPE
the purpose. These shades are rela-
tively expensive but are convenient Light-Proofing with Panels. Use
if the darkroom must be used for either one large panel o r a series of
smaller panels fastened t o the wall o r
other purposes. A somewhat less ex- window frame with Velcro tape. This will
pensive method is to use light-proof allow for easy installation and removal.
cloth fastened to the wall or window Handles on the top and bottom of each
frame with Velcro tape, which is panel make the chore even easier.

Light-Tight Drawer or Light-Proofing a Door
Paper Safes
A place to store paper when the
lights are on is a real convenience. It
is time-consuming and bothersome
to work directly from the paper box,
especially when large numbers of
prints are being made. Better to
build a light-proof drawer or buy a
paper safe.

Vents, Fans, and Heaters

All equipment installed in the walls Changing Bag. Many darkrooms are
of a darkroom should be light-tight. safe t o print in but have too much light
Some vents and fans are made to load and unload film safely. The soh-
specifically for darkroom use. If you tion is t o use a changing bag that i s
choose to use a regular fan, a lou- completely light-proof. Film can be
Light-Proofing a Door. A light-proof loaded onto developing reels and placed
vered box can be made to cover it door still has t o open and close. You
making it light-safe. You should also in a daylight tank.
can light-proof the door, and still allow
remember that some space heaters it t o be usable, with inexpensive
have radiating coils that can emit weather stripping and a rubber door-
sufficient light to fog paper. If you sweep available at any hardware store.
plan to use one that emits a glow, be
sure to run the safelight test given
on page 112. If the darkroom is lo-
cated near the furnace or hot water Light-Proofing a Window
heater, make sure that, if they sud-
denly turn on, the light emitted
won’t fog your prints.
Unique Solution

Light-Proof Drawer Because of the high cost of en-

ergy, a variety of ingenious en-
ergy-saving interior storm win-
dows are on the market. Many use
plastic channels that attach to the
window frame and hold a rigid or
flexible vinyl storm window. In
order to light-proof using these
products,you will have to locate a
light-proof, rigid or flexible vinyl
to fit the channels. Masonite will
usually fit the rigid models, and
two layers of 4 mil. garden plastic
Light-Proof Drawer. A light-proof should work with the flexible
drawer makes the printing process a models. These units are easy to
great deal easier. The one illustrated Light-Proofing a Window. The use and have the added benefit of
here has a top, sliding in grooves, that techniques used t o light-proof a window conserving energy. Most of them
closes automatically when the drawer is range from painting it black (which is are made by small companies and
closed. The piece of wood on the top hard t o remove the next day), t o just a variety of types are manufac-
slide hits the piece of wood on the lowering the shades and printing a t tured, so visit a few different
bottom of the counter top and closes night. A more flexible method is t o building supply stores to find out
the interior lid. The springs attached cover the entire window with a sheet of what is available.
between the drawer and the wall en- masonite (or plywood) edged with felt
sure that the drawer closes automati- weather stripping (or foam tape); your
cally. All of the interior surfaces of the room is light-proofed, but you can easily
drawer should be painted a flat black t o remove the masonite whenever you
reduce reflections. want.

I I3
Those Added Comforts
It’s rare that you will have a reason to
fill your sinkwith champagne bottles
as Gil Amiaga did for the opening of
his new studio. There are, however,
small things that can be added to a
darkroom to make it a more pleas-
ant place to be when all of your list-
less friends are lying on the beach.

To avoid the dilemma of having to
hurry up with a print or miss a call
from your editor, an extension
phone permanently installed in the
darkroom can save time and pic-
tures. It’s also a good way to keep in
touch with the outside world when
performing some of the more bor-
ing aspects of your work.

Adequate heat in the darkroom isn’t
only for your comfort, but also helps
keep chemicals at the proper tem-
peratures when processing. If you
can keep the darkroom temperature
at 68°F ( 2 0 ° C ) ,it greatly simplifies
temperature regulation. You need a
heater that doesn’t emit any light
that could fog your film and paper.
Radiant heaters with quartz or elec-
tric coils are out, because they light
up when in use. A large variety of
models at discount stores have con-
cealed heating elements that don’t
emit light. A built-in thermostat is
also useful, because it will help keep
the room consistently at the right
temperature. Be sure your heater
has a special mercury switch that au-
tomatically turns the unit off if it’s
tipped over and a three-prong
grounded plug for additional safety.

Floor Mats
Standing on a hard floor all day was
fine in a nineteenth-century sweat-
shop, but in a comfortable dark-
room it is definitely out. There are
commercial floor coverings, such as
Ace Core-Lite and Leedal floor mats,
made especiallyfor the darkroom. A
piece near the enlarger and a strip
along the front of the sink will usu-
ally suffice if you don’t want to do
the entire floor.

A radio or extension speakers from a
good stereo will add a lot to the en-
joyment of printing.

Believe it or not, there are photogra-
phers who have filters taped over
their television sets so they can watch
the football game while printing.
They have a tendency to get their
zone systems confused with zone de-
fenses, but that’s one of the hazards
of doing two things at the same time.

Photograph by Gil Amiaga.

7 Processing Equipment
Water Quality
Temperature Regulation
Automatic Temperature
ProcessingTrays and Tongs
Wet-Side Accessories
Roll FilmTanks and Reels
Timing Systems
Chemical Storage and Waste
Most beginning photographers start
by putting trays of chemicals on the
kitchen table or counters. They soon
learn that spills are impossible to
avoid and temperatures in the trays
difficult to hold at a constant level.
In addition, the cleanup time is
longer than need be because of the
care with which the counters and ta-
bles have to be cleaned. The solu-
tion is a sink large enough to hold all
of the processing trays. Photo-
graphic sinks should have a large
area and a shallow depth. They can
be equipped with temperature con-
trol faucets, standpipes, and duck-
boards to make them even more ef-
ficient. You can build your own of
wood, as shown in Chapter 6, but
commercial models are available Stainless Steel Darkroom. This Calumet darkroom setup illustrates equipment
that are perfect for the home dark- for a high-volume operation. The sinks provide for bulk-processing of film and prints
room. and have all of the best possible features, including temperature regulation, gaseous
burst agitation, stainless steel construction, and daylight tanks.
Commercial sinks come in either
plastic or stainless steel models.
Stainless is extremely long-lasting
but much more expensive. Stainless
sinks also tend to be a little noisy
with trays and tongs banging against
them, but their durability and ease
of cleaning make them a dream to
use. Plastic sinks are equally efficient
at keeping the spills contained, are
easy to clean, and, given reasonable
care, should outlast even the
youngest photographer. Sinks can
be ordered from suppliers either
with or without stands. The stands
make them portable if you are mov-
ing. They can also be built in without
using the stand, but in doing so you
are making it much more difficult to
remove and install in another loca-
tion. Be sure the stand is made of a
corrosion-proof material or is well
painted; the chemicals used in pho-
tography will badly corrode most
steel stands, and rust scaling will de-
tract from the cleanliness and ap-
pearance of the room.

Sink with Ribbed Bottom. This NuArc plastic sink features the dump trough in
the back and a ribbed bottom making duckboards unnecessary. A simple straightfor-
ward design.

Arkay Sink. This Arkay sink is represen-
tative of the many well-designed stainless
steel sinks available commercially. The key
features are the high splashboard and the
rounded corners in the sink that make for
fast and easy cleaning. This illustration also
shows a standpipe inserted. When the
sink is filled, the water rises only t o the
top of the standpipe and then overflows
into it and down the drain. A number of
standpipes of different heights allow you
t o fill the sink t o different levels, depend-
ing on what is in the water bath. Trays
would need a low level of water t o keep
them regulated, but developing tanks
could use a higher level.

Plastic Sinks. This ABS plastic sink by

NuArc has a unique design that allows you
t o dump chemicals without affecting the
temperature bath for processing trays.
The trough running along the back of the
sink is connected t o a fast-emptying drain.
The sink also features a ribbed bottom
that allows water t o circulate freely under
the tray for more efficient temperature
control. It comes equipped with a built-in
viewing area that doubles as a light table
and squeegee board-ideal for those
working with large negatives o r graphic
arts materials.
Note the sink sprayer that makes
cleaning up easy. This device can be in-
stalled on any sink, including one you build

Sink Accessories. When building or

buying a sink, there are several accessory
items that can be considered. The illustra-
tion here shows a knee-operated mixing
valve from Eljer that allows you to mix the
water at any temperature you desire using
your knee, which leaves your hands free
t o hold the processing trays, film, or
whatever. The high faucet is ideal, because
it allows for the placement of large gradu-
ates and bottles under it for filling. The
faucet with the rubber hose attached does
Foot-Operated Kohler makes a
the same thing and also eliminates noisy
foot-operated control valve that allows
drips, since it lies on the bottom of the
you t o vary the temperature of the water
sink when not in use, and any water com-
flow while keeping your hands free. De-
ing Out 'lips quietly Onto the sink bottom.
signedfor hospital work, it can also be
The illustration of the drain and standpipe
used in the darkroom.
shows how it is assembled.
Courtesy Eljer Plumbingware

Water Quality

Water quality in this section refers to Hard and Soft Water Air in the Water
everything but its temperature,
which is discussed in the next sec- Hard water can make chemical mix- Air in water and solutions causes
tion on temperature regulation. ing difficult, and soft water can bubbles to build up on film and
There are several basic components soften the gelatin on film and paper paper surfaces, preventing develop-
that affect the quality of water used after long washing cycles. The range ers and other chemicals from com-
in photography. of allowable hardness of water is ing in contact. This should be pre-
from 40 to 150 parts of calcium car- vented if uniform development,
bonate (CaCO,) per million. To find fixing, toning, and washing is to be
out the range of your own supply, achieved. Either boil the water to
Suspended Solids call the local water authority. drive off the air, or add an aerator to
the incoming line. The aerator
These small, solid particles exist in forces large bubbles into the water,
all water systems. They originate at Purity and these combine with and remove
the source, or enter into the water at the smaller ones before rising to the
some point in the distribution sys- Only a very expensive filtration sys-
tem can remove anything but sus- surface.
tem, and can be removed by using When stirring chemicals, it also
water filters. Their removal becomes pended particles. For badly polluted
sources, one solution is to use dis- helps to use a stirring paddle with a
increasingly important if you are wide blade and narrow handle. The
using a temperature-regulating valve tilled water, at least for washing the
negatives. You can store water that narrow handle disturbs the surface
that can be damaged by solid parti- of the solution less than a larger ob-
cles in the water. runs off of the air conditioner or de-
humidifier cooling coils. Because of ject would and prevents additional
Although these particles have rel- air from entering. Some chemical
atively little effect on prints, they concern with water quality, it is pos-
sible to buy very inexpensive dis- mixers are designed to go one step
have a tendency to adhere to nega- further and are magnetically oper-
tives, and once they have dried to tilled water at your local market.
This water is sometimes labeled in- ated paddles without handles so very
the surface, it is impossible to re- little surface disturbance occurs.
move them. fant or baby water. However, if there
is plain distilled water, it is the same
thing and a bit less expensive.

Water impurities

If you are using water from a source other than a municipal water supply, you
should have it analyzed by a lab to determine its contents. The following table
gives some of the maximum allowable limits for commonly encountered
Practical Limits for Common Impurities in Water Used for
Photographic Processing
Impun'ty Maximum or Range or Content (pjnn*)

Color and suspended matter None

Dissolved solids 250
Silica 20
PH 7.0 to 8.5
Hardness, as calcium carbonate 40 (preferable) to 150
Copper, iron, manganese (each) 0.1
Chlorine, as free hypochlorous acid 2
Chloride (for black-and-white reversal) 25
Chloride (for color processing) 100
Bicarbonate 150
Sulfate 200
Sulfide 0.1
*parts per million 0 Eastman Kodak Company 1967,1974
Water Filter. Filters are rated by the
size of the particles that they remove
from the water. The largest filter you
should use for photographic processing
is 50 micrometers. A smaller filter will
make the water cleaner and the filter
dirtier, requiring more filter changes
without noticeable effect on your nega-
tives or prints.
Water filters come in cold or hot
models. The basic difference is their
respective ability t o resist temperature
damage. The hot-line filter is usually
designed t o withstand high temperature
and pressure over a sustained period of
time. The cold filters are not subjected
to this stress, so their quality (and
price) is not as high.
This illustration shows a Leedal
model and the filter element inside.

Temperature Regulation

The more heat you have in photo- trolled water valve. These can be In the absence of a temperature-
graphic processes, the faster things preset to maintain a temperature regulating valve and standpipe, the
happen. It is easy to understand the within a given design range (usually water bath temperature can be
importance of temperature regula- 1/2"), despite changes in line tem- maintained with either an immer-
tion in controlling the rates of chem- perature or pressure. They are a sion heater or recirculating unit.
ical reactions found in developing, good investment and significantly The temperature can also be con-
fixing, toning, and washing. As a reduce the problems involved with trolled by adding hot or cold water
rule of thumb, a 10°Fchange in tem- working in a darkroom. occasionally to raise or lower the
perature will double or halve the temperature.
rate of a chemical reaction. Solution It helps to have a stainless steel
temperatures can be regulated in Controlling the graduate to use for changing the
several ways to ensure that processes Temperature of temperature of small volumes of
occur at expected rates and can be chemicals. Stainless steel is an excel-
Water Baths lent conductor of heat, and immers-
Chemicals can be maintained at the ing it, full of the chemical, into a hot
proper working temperature by im- or cold bath will quickly change the
ControlIing mersing the container in which they temperature of the solution it con-
Ambient Conditions are held in a water bath that is main- tains. The same effect can be ob-
tained at the correct temperature. tained with a plastic graduate, but it
Having the room temperature close The larger volume of the water bath takes much longer to obtain the
to the temperature at which chemi- makes the temperature more stable same degree of change.
cals are used helps reduce the need and will keep the smaller volume of Temperature regulation of the
for more exotic controls. It is not chemical solutions from changing water in most darkrooms will de-
necessary to make conditions per- temperature. A water bath can be pend to a large degree on the
fect, but perfect conditions can save made by immersing a tray or tank in amount of hot water available to
a great deal of time, because if a larger one into which water at the your house or apartment. You may
stored chemicals are at the correct correct temperature has been well find after spending $300 on a
temperature, they can then be used poured, The larger the amount of temperature-regulating valve that
without additional heating or cool- water in the bath, the easier it is to your hot water capacity is sufficient
ing. obtain and control a stable tempera- for only half an hour or so of water
ture. If you have a sink, it can be at the desired temperature. It's bet-
plugged with a standpipe that you ter to know beforehand what the ca-
Controlling the can buy or make out of a plastic pacity of your heater is, what your
Temperature of graduate. The standpipe will allow consumption is expected to be, and
IncomingWater the water in the sink to rise only to how the two relate. If you have to in-
the top of the pipe, at which point it stall a larger hot water heater for the
When mixing chemicals, washing overflows into it and down the drain. darkroom, you can derive a side ben-
prints, or trying to maintain a con- The large volume of water in the efit (the whole family can take long,
stant temperature in a water bath, it sink will maintain a stable tempera- hot baths one after the other).
helps to have a thermostatically con- ture for a longer period of time.

Ice Cubes in a Plastic Bag



Ice Cubes in a Plastic Bag. If you

overshoot and your temperature climbs
too high, it can be lowered without
diluting the mixture by placing ice cubes
in a plastic bag into the solution. The
melted water is retained in the bag.

Recirculating Heater. The basic
application of a recirculator is t o keep Immersion Heaters. The least ex-
the water at a constant temperature pensive way t o control temperature in a
without adding any new water t o the fixed body of solution is with an immer-
system. This conserves water (however, Stainless Steel Graduates. Stainless
sion heater. They work on the same steel graduates are great conductors of
it consumes electricity), because the principle as electric probes used to heat
temperature of the water in a water heat and can be used for raising or
a cup of coffee. The electricity raises lowering the temperature of solutions
bath can be raised without adding new the temperature of the heating element
hot water. The recirculator pumps the placed in them. Immerse the graduate in
and that heats the water. Some immer- a water bath at the desired tempera-
water out of the sink o r bath, heats it, sion heaters are quite sophisticated,
and then returns it at the preselected ture, or do what Neal Slavin does and
with thermostatic controls and circulat- use a hot plate t o bring the temperature
temperature. Look for the rated capac- ing pumps, so the temperature is main-
ity of the recirculator in terms of both up quickly.
tained uniformly throughout the solu-
flow rate (gallons per minute) and tem- tion. Without adequate circulation, the
perature range. It's also helpful t o know temperature would be uneven.
what i t s range is in relation t o the ambi-
ent temperature of the room. Can it
hold 68" on a minus 32" day in your
northern Maine darkroom?

Thermometer in Fitting. If you

don't go all the way with temperature
regulation, it's at least helpful not t o
have t o hold the thermometer in the
stream of water with one hand while
trying t o adjust two faucets with the
other. The solution is a fitting into
which a thermometer is permanently
mounted. You still have t o regulate the
temperature manually, but at least you
can check the temperature without
standing there holding the thermome-
ter. This model is by Pfefer.

Water Bath. One way to maintain a water bath requires a heating element, a tem-
perature-control device, and a circulating pump. The pump is necessary to ensure
evenness of temperature throughout the solution. This model has all of these ele-
ments combined into one and can maintain the water within one-tenth of a degree of
the preset temperature.

Automatic Temperature Regulation

For photographers who spend a

great deal of time in the darkroom,
one of the main problems is regulat-
ing the temperature of the water
flow into water baths and print and
negative washers. It is a great luxury
to be able to avoid constantly moni-
toring and adjusting t h e tempera-
ture of the incoming water. Manu-
facturers have developed a number
of units that reduce or remove this
onerous chore; this section illus-
trates a n d describes some of the
most popular ones.

MeasuringYour Outlet’s
Flow Rate

When it comes time to order the

temperature regulator for your
sink you will have to specify the
flow rate at which the tempera-
ture-regulating valve will nor-
mally operate. This allows the
supplier to install a collar that will
allow you to use the temperature-
regulating valve without having
the water on full force. Measuring
the flow rate is a simple matter.
Find a fivegallon can and con-
nect it to a sink outlet with a rub-
ber hose. Turn the water on at
the flow rate you intend to use.
Time how long it takes for the
fivegallon can to fill. Divide that
time by 5 and you will have the
gallons-per-minute flow rate you
will be using.
The flow rate will vary season-
ally, with the lowest rate likely to Thermostatic Valve. Thermostatic mixing valves work by the same basic principle
occur in the hot summer months on which the thermostat in a home heating system works. When the water tempera-
when neighbors are watering ture in the outflow drops, the supply of hot water is increased and vice versa. Most
their lawns and filling their pools. valves work best at o r near their highest rated flow capacity. Be sure that you do not
This should be taken into consid- buy one that is always operating at the lower limit for which it was designed. The con-
eration when measuring the rate venience of these devices comes from setting the required temperature only once and
of flow. then having the valve hold it automatically, freeing your hands and mind for other things.
Most well-made units have a vacuum breaker that prevents the siphonage of water
back into the water supply system. In many areas this is required by building codes.
Because most units operate best at their maximum rated capacity, it’s important that
you determine the flow rates you will be dealing with and notify the company from
which you are buying what range you expect from their valve. For most home dark-
rooms, a flow rate from 112 t o 2 gallons per minute will suffice for all operations, in-
cluding washing.

Water Chiller. In some areas of the
country, at certain times of the year, the
incoming cold water is at a higher tem-
perature than the darkroom requires.
Most photographers grin and bear it, but
the more affluent consider the installa-
tion of a water-chilling unit.
A thermostatic mixing valve requires a
sufficient difference be&een hot and
cold supply lines to operate accurately.
So if you are considering installing one of
these valves in areas of the country
where the cold water is above 60°, you
may find that the mixing valve will not
work without the installation of a water
chiller. Check this with both your water
department (they can tell you the highest
temperature to expect) and the manufac-
turer of the valve and chilling unit This
unit i s from California Stainless.

Processing Trays and Tongs

It’s been said that all Edward Weston
had in his darkroom were a light-
bulb, a printing frame, and three
wooden developing trays. This indi-
cates either the importance of trays
or the lack of importance of every-
thing else. The primary function of
trays is to hold chemicals, but varia-
tions in design, materials, and pur-
pose do affect, slightly, the useful-
ness of the various models. Leedal Tray Rack. A great deal of
The trays should be deep enough space can be saved by using a tray rack
to prevent unwanted overflow when that holds trays one on top of the
agitating the tray full of chemicals. other. If you are concerned about possi-
And they should be large enough to ble contamination from chemicals
handle a print easily, either by hand splashing from one tray t o another as a
or by tongs, without trapping the result of this arrangement, use the tray
print between sides that are too rack to hold two fixing trays and the
close together. Ribs on the bottom water holding tray. This way contamina-
reinforce the tray and also make tion, should it occur, will have no effect
on the prints. The prints should always
picking up prints easier.
progress from the top down to reduce
Inexpensive trays can be too small the danger of contamination. If you have
to hold the sized prints for which t o use developer, stop bath, and fixer in Plastic Print Trays. These Paterson
they are marked. Rather than buy a the rack, put the developer on top, then trays are typical of high-quality plastic
more expensive tray, however, you stop bath, with the fixer on the bottom trays that are perfectly suitable for
can buy the larger size of the less ex- level. This Leedal model is made of darkroom purposes. The pouring lip
pensive one and save some money. stainless steel. A somewhat less expen- makes pouring the chemicals back into
A tray should be rigid enough so sive, but well designed, model is avail- the bottle o r down thesink much
that you can lift it when full of chem- able from Richard. easier.
icals without it bending under the
weight and spilling chemicals. Try
flexing the tray by holding the cor-
ners and twisting. If there is too
much flex, buy another model.
To reduce the possibility of tray
contamination, label the trays for
developer, stop bath, and fixer and
then use the same tray for each
chemical every time. Use entirely
separate trays for such things as ton- Deep Hypo Tray. There is a ten-
ing solutions. dency for prints t o back up in the hypo
tray, and the added agitation required
makes it desirable to have a deeper tray
than is needed for development or
stopping. This problem has been solved
by trays such as the Arkay deep hypo

Print Drums. Print drums were ini-
tially designed t o allow development of
color prints in a well-lit room. They also
have the advantage of requiring a
smaller quantity of chemicals t o get the
job done. Drum agitators are available
t o keep the solutions moving, making
the entire development process easier.
These drums are also available in larger
sizes for mural processing. They are
often used for color printing, because
safelights generally cannot be used and
it’s easier t o develop the print in a drum
than in the dark. With black and white
printing, however, drums remove the
excitement of seeing the print emerging
from the white paper.

Print Tongs. Print tongs are giant

tweezers that allow you t o agitate and
remove prints from processing trays
without using your fingers. They reduce
contamination and keep your fingers
clean, so that the next time you change
a negative in the enlarger you don’t ruin
it with fixer. A good print tong should
hold the print securely but not at the
expense of damaging the emulsion.
Plastic tongs are usually the best: they
combine cleanability and holding power.
If you buy tongs with rubber tips that
are subject t o contamination, mark
them t o indicate which is for developer,
stop bath, and fixer.

Wet-Side Accessories

Just as the kitchen of a good French

chef is made more enjoyable and
more productive as a result of high-
quality and useful accessories, so is
the darkroom. Not having a gradu-
ate large enough to mix a solution,
or a stirring rod long enough to keep Funnel. A funnel is almost a necessity if
you want t o pour chemicals from a large
your hands out of the solution when graduate into a bottle with a narrow neck.
mixing, are frustrations that can and Two funnels are handy t o have because
should be avoided. These pages de- you can mix your chemicals right in the
scribe some of the accessories that storage bottle using one funnel t o pour in
the dry powder and the other t o pour in
are available and what questions to
the water. Funnels are usually cheaper in
consider when buying them. the hardware store than in the camera
store and serve the same function.
Illustration courtesy of Nalge Company, Divi-
sion of Sybron Corporation

Stirring Rods. Stirring rods are useful

when mixing powdered o r liquid chemi-
cals. They are usually designed with nar-
row handles and larger blades on the
bottom. The narrow handles reduce the
amount of disturbance at the surface,
preventing air from entering the solution.
The blades increase the agitation below Towels. It helps t o have towels t o wipe
the surface and are available in a wide your hands and t o clean up spilled chemi- Aprons. When mixing chemicals it
range of styles, including ones with holes cals. The least expensive method is t o use doesn’t take much of a slip t o spill them
and others with heads that can be used paper towels, but occasionally it helps t o on your clothes. To be on the safe side, it
for crushing powdered chemicals. have some that are lint-free. Photowipes, might be worthwhile t o have a vinyl apron
When buying a paddle, make sure that made by the Photo Materials Co., are handy. They only cost a few dollars and
the handle is long enough t o provide you handy t o have around. They are too ex-
can save their purchase price in ruined
with a grip when fully immersed in the pensive t o clean the floor with, but are clothes. This apron is from BelArt; EPOl
largest mixing container you use. very convenient for equipment.
and Kodak have similar models.

Graduates. Graduates are containers

with scales marked on their side, used for
mixing, holding, and measuring chemicals.
Every well-equipped darkroom should
have a variety available. The basic graduate
comes in either plastic o r stainless steel.
The stainless is much more expensive, but
it is useful for temperature regulation.
Because stainless steel is a greater con-
ductor of heat, you can raise or lower the
temperature of chemicals quickly by pour-
ing them into the graduate and immersing
the graduate in either hot o r cold water
as the situation requires. The same effect
can be achieved with a plastic graduate,
although it takes longer.
A tall, thin graduate is also useful for
measuring small quantities of chemicals.
Trying t o measure I ounce of stop bath
concentrate t o mix with I gallon of water
is very difficult with a large, wide graduate.

Thermometers Liquid in Glass with Metal Backing.
Some thermometers are reinforced
Thermometers can be divided into with a metal backing to prevent
classes based on the principles by them from rolling or breaking as
which they operate. Your selection easily. These are ideal for tray ther-
should be based on accuracy, cost, mometers, but if the scale is on the
and durability. backing and not on the tube itself,
Liquid in Glass. This type is identical the thermometer can get out of reg-
in principle to the thermometers ister and indicate the incorrect tem-
that we take our own temperatures perature.
with. It consists of a bulb full of a Dial Thermometer: These thermome-
fluid, usually alcohol, and a long ters have large dial faces that are
narrow tube marked in degrees. As very easy to read. The needle moves
the fluid heats or cools, it either ex- because of the expansion or contrac-
pands or contracts. tion of a bi-metallic strip. These ther-
These thermometers are ex- mometers are also quite accurate
tremely accurate, relatively fast-act- and durable but, because of their
ing and long-lasting-if you don't mechanical nature, are more sensi-
break them. If the thermometer tive to physical abuse. If a glass ther- Tray Thermometer. This Kodak tray
overheats, you may break the tube. mometer breaks you will know it, but thermometer is typical of those made t o
To work accurately, the entire col- if one of these does you may not. be left immersed in developer trays for
umn of liquid that indicates the tem- quick and easy monitoring of the solu-
The dial face is also prone to leak- tion's temperature. Be gentle with ther-
perature should be immersed in the ing, because the seal between the mometers such as this, because the scale
liquid you are measuring. glass and metal case will not last for- is not on the glass tube itself. If the tube is
ever. Occasionally calibrate them by slid up or down in the metal case, it will
comparing with a thermometer that read an incorrect temperature.
is known to be accurate. Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company

Electronic Thermometers. These ther-

mometers are available with digital
readouts and even audible ones. It is
sometimes difficult to read the tem-
Glass Thermometer. This glass tube perature on a glass or dial ther-
Kodak thermometer is fast-acting and mometer because of parallax and
reliable. It is a little slippery t o grip with the small numbering on the ther-
wet hands, so handle it carefully. As a mometer itself. This problem is
safety precaution, wrap a rubber band
around the end t o provide you with a
eliminated with the digital ther-
better grip. It will also help prevent it mometer that gives you a direct nu-
from rolling off the counter. If you jar a merical readout of the temperature.
glass thermometer, you will sometimes However, they are sensitive to me-
find that an air bubble has entered the chanical damage and moisture be-
column of alcohol. If this happens, you can
heat the thermometer gradually until the
cause of their electronic nature. Dial Thermometer. The advantage of a
column is filled entirely with alcohol. dial thermometer such as this Kodak
When it cools, the column will usually be model is that it is extremely easy t o read.
rejoined. Overheating, even a little, will The light will not be defracted, as it can be
pop the top off the glass tube. This model with a glass thermometer. In some models
has a range from 30" t o 120°F. a mirror is used t o reflect the needle, and
when the needle and its image are seen in
Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company perfect alignment, viewing parallax has
been eliminated. This ensures that you
Kodak Glass with Metal Backing read the correct temperature by showing
Thermometer. This glass thermometer YOU the correct viewing angle.
is longer lasting because it is attached t o a
metal backingthat provides support for Courtesy Eastman Company
the glass tube.
Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company

Roll FiImTanks and Reels
Photographers using 35mm or 2 1/4
format film are confronted with the
difficulties of developing a long strip
of film. The most common solution
is to coil it on a reel so that there is
sufficient space between the sur-
faces to allow for the circulation of
chemicals, but not so much that the
coil occupies a large space. This
basic principle is packaged today in
three variations: stainless steel tanks
and reels, plastic tanks and reels,
Stainless Steel Tanks. These stain-
and a combination of stainless steel less steel tanks from Burleigh Brooks
tanks with plastic tops. Traditionally, are representative of what most pho-
most pros have used the all-stainless- Plastic Reels. This Paterson plastic
tographers tend t o use. They are well- reel shows the mechanism by which it
steel tanks and reels because they made and durable. Some reels by other can be widened o r narrowed t o accom-
perform extremely well and last al- manufacturers have different catches for modate different film formats. The small
most forever. However, one problem the end of the film, and some of these bearing on the right is part of the self-
is that they may leak around the top designs work better than others. It’s loading device that makes these reels
if the tank is inverted during agita- best t o take a piece of film with you extremely easy t o load just by turning
tion. This difficulty has been solved when you buy t o see how easy it is to the sides back and forth.
by marrying a plastic top to the stain- insert and how well it is held.
The long rod is used t o raise and
less steel tank. The seal is tighter and
lower the reels. Always buy enough
less susceptible to leaks. Many pho-
reels t o fill the tank and use them all if
tographers use the all-plastic tank you are developing one roll of film and
and reel, which has the advantage of you agitate by inverting the tank. If one
a reel that can be widened or nar- reel slides up and down the tank, devel-
rowed depending on the film format opment will be affected because of the
you happen to be using. With the increased agitation.
stainless steel reels, you will need a
set for each format you shoot.
Stainless steel tanks will lose or
gain heat more quickly because of
the conductivity of stainless steel, so
if the room is a good deal hotter or
colder than the chemical solution,
use either a water bath or change to
plastic tanks that will act as an insu-

Film-Developing Tanks. Paterson

Super System 4 is representative of the
many film-developing tanks on the mar-
ket. It is unbreakable, fast-filling, and
comes in a variety of sizes.

72-Exposure Reels. The introduction
of 72-exposure film cassettes has led to
the manufacture of developing reels
capable of handling these longer lengths
of film. llford makes a reel for these film
lengths that fits into a standard develop-
ment tank.

Daylight Developing Tank. There’s

nothing new about using a daylight
developing tank. Any tank, once loaded,
can be used in normal room lighting.
But the Jobo #2400 tank does more. It
allows you not only t o develop your
film in daylight, but t o load it in daylight,
too. You can also load and develop
partly exposed film in this tank; you
simply load and develop the exposed
part in full daylight, then cut the film and
Daylight Tank for Sheet Film. Jobo put the unexposed portion back into
sheet film reels and film loaders provide the camera.
a daylight tank system for large format
Film Cartridge Openers. If you have work. The film loader holds the sheet
a I954 Ford convertible, you might be film reel on a flat base. The film guide
able t o find a “church key” in the trunk permits easy insertion of each sheet
or under the back seat. It will work fine into a separate groove-without crimp- Automatic Film Loader
for opening 35mm cassettes. If you want ing, binding, or scratching. As the reel
to step up, you can buy something like rotates, each groove clicks into position
this Nikor cassette opener. Kodak also for positive film loading.
supplies openers for I I0 and I26 car- Each reel holds 6 sheets of 4 x 5 film.
tridges. Two reels can be used with the tank t o
make roomlight processing of up t o I 2
sheets of film as convenient as process-
ing roll film. Also, this economical day-
light system uses only half of the chem-
istry required for processing in
hard-rubber tanks.

Automatic Film Loader. Loading

stainless steel reels requires the devel-
opment of a “feel” for when the film is
reeled up correctly. This takes practice,
and you cannot let the first few
attempts discourage you. If you want t o
try a more mechanical (but not neces-
sarily more effective) method, you can
buy automatic film loaders.


The washing of prints and negatives because the film is in a coil, the
is absolutely essential if they are ex- water flow will not be evenly distrib-
pected to last. Many photographers uted along the film but will tend to
are careless with this step, not fully wash better in the direct stream
realizing that the effects of poor from the faucet. To compensate for
washing may arise days or years after this, several new washers have been
the processing. Prints and negatives developed to ensure that the water is
that are not fully washed of chemi- evenly distributed throughout the
cals deteriorate and, unfortunately, tank, and that heavy chemicals do
contaminate other prints and nega- not rest on the bottom of the tank as High-speed Print Washer.
tives with which they come into con- they would if water were poured in
tact. If a poorly washed print is from the top.
placed on a drying screen or run
through an electric dryer, that
screen or dryer is contaminated and Print Washers
will affect the prints that follow. The key ingredients in good print
There is no excuse for not washing washing are to keep the prints sepa-
well-it is the one unforgivable sin rated so that wash water can freely
of photography. circulate around them, and to follow
The quality of the washing de- the paper manufacturer’s directions
pends on the number of complete regarding the time they should be
water changes in a water cycle. washed. To shorten washing times,
To be effective, wash water must you can use Hypo Clearing Agent
circulate on all sides of a negative or made by Kodak or PermaWash man-
print. Its failure to do so will leave ufactured by Heico.
spots that continue to be contami- Washing prints for archival pur-
nated even when the rest of the print poses is not an easy task. Maintain-
or negative is safe. Just laying prints ing an adequate rate of flow and
in a tray with a hose circulating water keeping the photographs separated
over them is not enough. The flow are not enough to ensure complete
must be enough to change all of the washing. The dynamics of fluid flow Auto Print Washer. Paterson Auto
water in the washer at least five (that is, the wash water) depend on Print Washers for RC, fiber-based
times. prints.
several factors; the placement and
orientation of prints in a washer can
affect the flow. If all of the prints are
Negative Washers horizontal, they can have air pockets
Leaving the reels in the developing or pockets of low water flow regard-
tank and running water in the top less of how high the water flow is
does not provide for even washing of elsewhere in the washer. To be ab-
the negatives. The water tends to solutely safe, buy a washer designed
wash those at the top faster than it for archival purposes and follow in-
washes the ones at the bottom, and structions.

Revolving Drum. This Arkay Loadmas-
ter washer is typical of washers using a
revolving drum. A gate in the drum is
opened and the prints are placed inside.
The jet of water entering the washer acts
like a millrace and the drum revolves like
Built-in Washer. The Paterson film a water wheel. The level of water never
developing tanks are designed with a built- completely the drum, so as the
in washer. The hose is connected at one drum revolves, the printstend to become
end to the top Of the washer and at the dislodged when they reach the surface of
other t o the faucet. The water enters the water, ensuring that they do not stick
from the bottom of the tank and leaves to the drum and wash unevenly. These
from the top, taking the chemicals with it. washers are effective but can me-
chanical damage t o prints, such as bent
corners, and so on. A similar design is
available from Pako.

Tray Siphon. Kodak makes a very efficient tray washer that also contains a siphon. The
design assures that the heavier chemicals that tend t o accumulate on the bottom of the
tray are removed by the siphoning effect. If you were t o place a hose in a tray and expect
the water flow t o lift the chemicals over the rim, the washing times should be greatly
increased. This siphon lifts the water from the bottom of the tray, reducing the time
needed for washing well.
To be washed effectively, prints should be placed in a tray twice their size. This allows
the water coming from the siphon t o spin the prints and gives them much needed agitation.
Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company

Timing Systems
Electronic sophistication is affecting EnlargingTimers
traditional darkroom equipment
primarily in the design of exposure When making enlargements, you
meters and timers. In most cases, the need a timer that is extremely accu-
absolute accuracy of many of the rate in the range of approximately 5
newer units is not necessary; what is seconds to 1 minute (or longer for
necessary is that your timer repeat color printing). The timer should
each timing cycle exactly the same as also have the capability of turning
every other. If the timer takes 65 sec- off the enlarger at the end of the
onds to indicate a minute, that’s preselected timing cycle. It is also
okay, as long as it does it every time. convenient to have a reset device
The only exception to this rule is that allows you to repeat a preset pe-
when you are working with color ma- riod of time. This is especially help-
terials that are much more sensitive ful when making a large number of
to the absolute timing of processes. identical exposures, such as proof-
Timers can be broken down into sheets. A luxury is to have the timer Gralab Timer. For practical timing of
two main classes, mechanical and programmable so that it stops and both development and enlarging, there
electric. Mechanical timers are oper- starts at different intervals during its isn’t anything quite like the Gralab
ated by winding a spring; electrical cycle, allowing you to time a variety timer. This timer is probably the most
of continuous activities without hav- used timer in the field, and although it
timers require a source of energy
ing to reset the clock for each step isn’t digital or electronic, it’s proven and
from either a wall outlet or a battery.
it works well.
Electric timers can use either motors It has a large dial, it glows in the
or transistors. Electronic timers will dark, and it has a timing range from I
often have a digital readout. second t o 60 minutes. It also has a
The old standby in most dark- circuit to turn off the enlarger at the
rooms is the Gralab timer, which is end of the preset cycle.
used for timing everything from de-
velopment, to printing, to making
coffee. Its timing range from 1 sec-
ond to 1 hour makes it useful for
timing many activities. Many of the
newer timers now on the market are
designed for specific purposes and
should be used only for those for
which they are designed.

For a timer to be useful for all dark-
room activities, it must accurately
measure short intervals in printing
exposures and longer intervals in
film development. It is also helpful if
the dial is large and glows in the
dark. If it is to be used as a general
timer, it should also have some of
the best features of enlarging timers,
such as electrical switching capabil-
ity and repeatability.

Mechanical Timer. Humble?Yes, but
you can still develop your film when the
electricity is out. Kodak still makes this
versatile mechanical clock with a timing
range of I second t o 60 minutes. It has
both minute and second hands and a
switch allows you t o stop the timer and
reset without resetting the hands.
Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company

Footswitch. A footswitch t o turn the

enlarger on and off is handy when, for
example, you’re confronted with a 10-
second exposure in which you have t o
Digital Timer. The advantage of a dodge or burn for 8 seconds. By press-
digital timer is the to have short ing the switch with your foot, it will
enlarger times that are accurate and turn on the enlarger and leave your
repeatable. This timer shows the hands free t o do other things.
amount of time that has elapsed, a
feature that is handy when burning or

Multi Timer. This unit allows the

timing of several operations at once-
ideal for those who need t o keep track
of more than one thing at a time. The
memory feature allows you t o store
times that are used repeatedly.

Mechanical Enlarging Timer. This

Omega 60-second timer is an excellent
example of a relatively inexpensive
mechanical timer. The electric cord
provides power t o the enlarger when
the clock is switched into its timing

Chemical Storage and Waste Disposal

Chemical Storage
Storing chemicals is really a two-part
problem. The simpler problem is
where to store unmixed chemicals
such as developer or fixer. An easy
solution is to keep them in a storage
cabinet somewhere outside of the
darkroom, which will protect boxed
or half-used containers from the
high humidity. The more difficult
problem involves storing mixed
chemicals. If you are a prodigious
photographer and process through
developer, stop bath, fixer #1, fixer
#2, hypoclearing agent, and toning,
as well as negative developers, wet- Storage Containers. These Falcon
ting agents, and possibly color-pho- chemical containers have become the
tography chemicals, storage of standard in the field. They are well
mixed chemicals can be a trouble- made, durable, and have a convenient
Bulk Storage. Large quantities of labeling system that allows you t o iden-
some matter. The basic rules that
mixed chemicalscan be stored in plastic tity the chemical, the date it was mixed,
should be considered when plan- and any other pertinent information.
ning for mixed chemical storage are: storage tanks. To make Sure they are
stored properly, use a tank with a float-
ing lid. This lid prevents air from coming
1. The chemicals should be
in contact with the stored chemical and
stored in containers that do not weakening it. If the tank is more than I
react with their contents. gallon, it is almost a necessity t o have a
2. The chemicals should be spigot with which to draw off chemicals.
stored conveniently near where they These tanks are good examples of bulk
are used, such as a shelf over the chemical storage tanks. Kodak makes
sink. bulk storage tanks with floating lids in
3. They should be accessible. If 7-, 14-, 30-, and 55-gallon sizes.
you mix in large quantities for econ- Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company
omy or because you use a lot, it’s eas-
ier to plan on containers with spigots
than it is to lift 5-gallon containers
every half hour.
4. Containers should be airtight
and preferably have a system to keep
all air away from the surface of the
chemicals. When air interacts with
chemicals, it oxidizes them-an un-
desirable effect-so the less surface
exposed to the air the longer your
chemicals will last. The two best Air Evacuation Bottle. Falcon has
techniques for accomplishing this also developed a way t o keep chemicals
are containers that collapse as solu- at top form longer. These bottles allow
tion is removed, which keeps the air you t o squeeze the air out, thus pro-
out, or floating lids for rigid storage longing the life of the chemicals by
keeping air from contacting the surface.
5. The bottles for the chemicals
should be opaque or amber colored,
because light speeds the degrada-
tion of the chemicals.

Waste Disposal Recycling
Because darkroom work by its very Since the earth and its resources are
nature produces waste products, the finite, photographic chemicals
photographer should be aware of should be conserved whenever pos-
the nature of these products and sible. The use of replenishers in-
what can be done to minimize their stead of one-shot chemistry is ad-
impact on the environment. vised where feasible. The main
The factors affecting waste man- darkroom chemical that is recycled
agement are volume of effluent (the is silver. It can be removed from fix-
waste flowing out of the darkroom), ing baths by several methods-
temperature of effluent, types of metallic replacement, electrolytic re-
chemicals used, and the ratio of covery, and ion exchange. For
chemical waste to wash water. The ef- larger, commercial darkrooms with
fluent from personal darkrooms is high flow rates, electrolytic or ion
within most established sewer codes. exchange are economically reason-
The pH (measure of relative acidity able. For personal darkrooms with
or alkalinity of a liquid) is between much lower flow rates, metallic ex-
6.5 and 9, the temperature is less change makes the most sense.
than go", and there are very few sus- Metallic exchange is a very simple
pended solids. Most commercially process in which a more active metal
available processing solutions con- than silver (usually iron) replaces
tain no grease or oils, nothing flam- the silver and goes into solution.
mable or explosive, and they do not The insoluble silver metal settles out
have much color or odor. Photo- as a solid. There are several com-
graphic chemicals are generally mercially available systems on the
biodegradable and will not harm market. Photographers can make
municipally run biological treat- their own by placing steel wool in a
ment systems. It is not advisable to drum and pouring the fixing bath
discharge photographic wastes di- into it. The silver will form a sludge
rectly into a septic tank and/or in the bottom. This sludge is sold or
leach field, unless the amount is given to a recycling company that re-
small in comparison to domestic dis- covers the silver. The silver content
charge volumes or has been greatly of the sludge is hard to determine,
diluted. so most companies will not pay for it.
Many states require the installa- They pick it up for free and make
tion of a back-flow prevention valve what profit they can. Even though
in the inlet water supply of the dark- the photographer receives no mone-
room. The valve prevents chemicals tary compensation, the feeling of
from being sucked back into the do- having made an effort to help the
mestic water supply if a vacuum is ac- environment is payment enough.
cidentally created in the municipal
The silver in the waste water is in
the form of soluble silver thiosulfate
from the fixing bath. It is not in the
form of toxic, free-ion silver. The
thiosulfate is converted by munici-
pal processing plants into insoluble
silver sulfide and some metallic sil-
ver. These are removed with other
solids during clarification.

8 Enlarging Equipment
Enlarger s
Enlarging Lenses
Focusing Magnifiers
Negative Cleaning and Dusting
Printing and Exposure
Negative Storage and Proof
Enlarger s
The wide array of enlargers on the With enough time and patience, al- tailed the print will be. Sharpness
market is confusing to the prospec- most every other enlarger shortcom- isn’t everything, however, so other
tive buyer because the criteria for se- ing can be overcome, but there is characteristics have to be taken into
lection are somewhat obscure. What nothing you can do about this ele- account. The major types of light
separates a $150 enlarger from one ment except make sure you have the available are:
that costs $2,000? Is the additional best or buy another lens. In many
1. Point source. This is a light
expenditure worthwhile and, most cases, the lenses that come with an
source emitting rays that are almost
importantly, will it show in the prints enlarger are inexpensive and are
parallel and give an extremely sharp
themselves? thrown in as part of a package deal.
print. With 35mm film excessive
The most important elements in With camera optics being what they
sharpness can be a problem, be-
a black-and-white enlarger are that it are today, almost any camera will
cause small imperfections such as
be steady, optically aligned, and have outperform a cheap enlarger lens.
dust or scratches will be magnified
a first-rate enlarging lens. The next This means that what you are getting
in proportion to the size enlarge-
most important criteria are the char- on the negative is not what you are
ment being made. The sharper the
acteristics of the light source. This is getting on the print. If possible, al-
image and the greater the enlarge-
secondary only because its choice is ways buy the enlarger without the
ment, the more these imperfections
as much aesthetic as practical. Al- lens, or try to get a package price
become apparent. Point source illu-
most all other criteria for enlarger with a good lens substituted for the
mination is rarely used because of its
selection fall outside of the area of one that comes with the enlarger.
ability to highlight these imperfec-
necessity into the area of conve-
Light Source. The type of bulb used in tions. Its major application is in the
nience and comfort. Let’s take a
an enlarger is relatively unimportant making of large-scale photo murals.
look at these criteria.
in black-and-white printing, but it 2. Condenser heads. The conden-
Steadiness. If an enlarger moves in becomes critical for color work. ser enlarger uses a lens to focus the
any direction while an exposure is There are three major types of bulbs light from the source onto the nega-
being made, the movement will de- in use today: tive plane. Because the light is fo-
crease the quality of the print. The cused, the image is sharp and imper-
1. Tungsten. These bulbs have
edges will lose definition and the fections in the negative are obvious
been around for a long time and are
overall sharpness of the image will on the print. Its quality of magnify-
perfectly suitable for black-and-
be degraded. In many cases, the ef- ing imperfections is overridden by
white printing. They are less suitable
fects are wrongly attributed to the its advantages in terms of sharp im-
for color work because they tend to
film, camera, or enlarger lens. En- ages and fast printing times. For
degrade in intensity over their life
larger design certainly affects how these reasons, it is the major form of
span and change color balance.
steady the system is at the time of the black-and-white enlarger design.
2. Quartz-halogen. These bulbs are
exposure, but any enlarger, even a 3. Diffusion heads. The light from
used in color enlargers because they
heavy-duty one already securely at- a diffusion enlarger source is unlike
have a steady output throughout
tached to a sturdy stand, can be a condenser system in that the light
their life cycle and do not develop a
made more solid by providing addi- is highly diffused (less collimated).
build-up of emissions on the glass
tional support for the top of the col- This diffusion is achieved in several
envelope-which on tungsten bulbs
umn. The steadiness of some enlarg- ways: opalescent glass can be in-
changes the color characteristics of
ers is improved by wall mounting serted in the light path to mix the
the transmitted light.
(see page 107). light; the light can be bounced back
3. Fluorescent tubes. Some enlarg-
and forth in a mixing chamber to
AZignment. It is essential that the lens, ers will use a series of fluorescent
scramble it; in the old Vivitar VI,the
negative, and printing surface be in tubes as the light source. This is re-
light was diffused by bouncing
perfect alignment to avoid image ferred to as a cold light head and is
against the walls of a light pipe. In all
distortion, unevenness of illumina- discussed in more detail later.
cases, the goal is to have the light
tion, and variations in focus from
Light Quality. The quality of light scrambled at the point where it
corner to corner.
used in an enlarger varies from a reaches the negative plane. This
Quality of Lens. This is probably the highly diffused light to one where scrambled light results in a softer
single most important element in the light rays are as nearly parallel as image on the printing plane and im-
any enlarging system, and is covered possible. Generally, the more nearly perfections in the negative are less
in detail in the section called “En- parallel the light rays (called colli- obvious on the prints.
larging Lenses” (see pages 144145). mation), the sharper and more de-

4. Cold-light heads. These are the make provision in case yours size of prints that can be made with a
ultimate in diffused light. The high changes too. given lens/film format, because the
level of scrambling is achieved by main determinant for image size is
Negative Flatness. If the image is to
having a very diffused source, which the negative-to-easel distance. Most
be undistorted and in focus at all
is usually a series of fluorescent enlargers have a column long
points, it must be held flat in the
bulbs in the shape of a grid to cover enough to print up to 11x 14 on the
negative carrier. In 35mm this is nor-
a wide area of space. Because the baseboard, which is the size range
mally accomplished by sandwiching
source itself is large in relation to the that most photographers use. If you
the negative between two sheets of
negative area, and because it is not want to make larger prints, buy an
material that hold it flat but that
focused through a lens system like enlarger that accommodates them
have an opening over the image
the condenser system, it reaches the on the baseboard, provides a capa-
area. If the carrier is well designed,
negative plane with the light rays bility to tilt the enlarger head to
this should be sufficient to keep the
heading in many directions. focus the image on a nearby wall, or
negative from buckling. Some en-
build an adjustable baseboard (see
Format. Enlargers work best in a rela- largers in 35mm-and many in
Chapter 6). One shortcoming of tall
tively narrow range of film formats. larger formats-use carriers with
columns is that they have a tendency
If you plan on printing both 35mm glass plates to hold the negative.
to be unstable and cause vibrations
and 8 x 10 negatives, it is not a good These plates are made from special
that result in unsharp images. For
idea to buy an 8 x 10 enlarger and glass that does not make Newton
economy and convenience, the ad-
use it in both formats. Generally, en- rings where it comes in contact with
justable baseboard is the best an-
larger design is good enough to en- the negative. These glass carriers
compass a small range of film for- hold the negative flat but provide ad-
Keep in mind that the size of en-
mats and can do equally well with ditional surfaces for the light to re-
largement you want may be under-
35mm and 2 1/4 square, for in- fract off of, which lessens sharpness.
stated. For example, if you print 11x
stance. An enlarger to handle both 5 They are also notorious collectors of
14 and buy an enlarger that accom-
x 7 and 8 x 10 negatives also makes dust and fingerprints.
modates that size you may be disap-
sense. pointed. If you decide to crop an
Tilting Lensboard. Some enlargers
Qualib of Construction. The quality of have a provision for tilting the board image heavily you may discover that
construction is a main criterion for on which the lens is mounted. This to make an 11 x 14 print of the sec-
choosing an enlarger. This quality allows for the correction of distor- tion you want you must enlarge the
will become apparent if you take the tion known as “convergence of par- total projected image to 16 x 20-
time to work with a few enlargers be- allels.’’If you have ever taken a pho- beyond the capacity of your en-
fore making a buying decision. The tograph of a tall building from close larger.
ease and smoothness of operation, up and had to tilt the camera to get
Filter Drawers. If you plan on using
the positive control of locking and the whole building in, you may have
variable contrast papers or experi-
focusing mechanisms, the quality of been surprised at what you saw when
menting with color printing, you will
materials, and the detailing on the the print came back. The parallel
need a place to put the filters be-
enlarger itself should all be consid- lines of the vertical walls of the build-
tween the light source and the nega-
ered. It is definitely worth it to buy a ing will not be parallel in the photo-
tive plane. A good enlarger will have
quality enlarger. graph butwill converge as they move
a drawer into which they can be
farther from the camera position.
Modular Design. A fully equipped en- placed. If the enlarger does not have
This effect is not unlike the appar-
larger is expensive and long-lasting. such a drawer, you will have to buy
ent convergence of railroad tracks as
A modular design allowsyou to buy a much more expensive filters that
they recede into the distance. A tilt-
basic black-and-white enlarger now can be placed between the lens and
ing lensboard will help correct this
and add equipment to it as your in- the easel.
distortion by tilting the image the
terests change or you shift into color
other way when printing and
printing. Regardless of what you
thereby reversing the effect. The
think you may be doing five years
end result is a print with parallel
from now, it is still wise to buy a mod-
ular enlarger. People’s minds
change, and since modular design Size of Enlargements. The height of
costs little extra, you might as well the enlarger column determines the

Enlargers, continued

Modular Design. Although many

photographers s t a r t by making black-
and-white prints, Kodak's RA print
system makes color so easy that many
would like t o switch. Enlargers now
come in modular designs that allow the
replacement of the condenser head
with a dichroic head. The head makes
changing variable contrast filtration
much easier as well as providing the
necessary filters for color work.

Perspective Correction. This en-

larger head twists t o allow you t o cor-
rect perspective problems with an

Level. Saunders supplies a level designed specifically t o be used to align on an en-

larger. Its small size allows it t o be used t o level the negative stage and ensure that it
and the baseboard are in perfect alignment.

How DoYou Know the Lens, Negative, and Easel Are Parallel?

Having all the elements in the enlarger light path parallel is important if the
image is to be sharp from corner to corner and undistorted. Project the image
and focus as you would if you were making the final print.
Gradually move the enlarger or its
lensboard to correct the image area to
make the parallel sides equal in
Correctly Aligned Image. If the projected
image is perfectly parallel to the nega-
tive plane, as it should be, the parallel
sides of the image area will be equal in
length. In this diagram, the parallel
sides A and A' are of equal length to
sides B and B'. Large Prints. This enlarger allows you
Incorrectly Aligned Image. Measurements t o make mural-size prints by easily
of the image area in the improperly turning the head assembly and project-
aligned image reveal that although the ing the image onto a wall.
parallel sides B and B' are of equal
length, those of A and A' are not. This
indicates that either the easel surface,
lens, or negative-or all three-are
out of alignment.

Printing a Black Border

Photography is like all other art forms in that it is periodically swept with waves
of fashion. O n e of the recent waves is that what you shoot is what you print.
That is, some photographers prefer to do all cropping in camera at the time the
picture is taken, then print the entire image plus a narrow border of the sur-
rounding unexposed film (clear on the film, black on the print). The black bor-
der has the added benefit of holding together what might otherwise be a loose-
ly organized image. Here’s how it can be done: The edges of the window in the
negative carrier are filed down to increase the opening to a size slightly larger
than the image area of the negative. Draw guide lines on the carrier and file
both halves at the same time. Some carriers will already be slightly bigger than
the image area and others will be slightly smaller so the amount of filing neces-
sary varies. File only a small amount, insert the negative and hold it up to the
light. If a narrow area shows around the negative image area it will print black
because the light coming through it will be unrestricted by negative density. If
the border around the negative area does not show, file in gradual steps until
it does. File corners carefully-either rounded o r squared, but all four the same.

Slide Copier. The dichroic head is

turning upside down to provide a light
source that is cool and even. Using the
built-in filters allows color correction of
the slide.

The filing should be done as evenly as possible but mistakes can be evened
out in the print by adjusting the blades of the printing easel. With the negative
in the carrier focus the enlarger on the easel surface with the image enlarged
to the size you want. Now, instead of using the easel blades to make sharp edges
on the sides of the image area they should be backed off slightly to leave room
for the black border. The distance the easel blades are backed off from the im-
age area makes any fine adjustments of the width of the black border.

Aristo Cold-Light Head. Aristo

manufactures cold-light diffusion heads
for many of the major models of enlarg-
ers. Because of the type of light source,
there is no heat on the negative plane
and the highly actinic (photographically
active) rays produce extremely fast
printing speeds. The VCL 4500 is a
variable contrast head that fits enlargers
from 35mm to 5 x 7.

Enlarging Lenses
A chain is only as strong as its weak- the lens before buying it, there are W h a t Enlarger Lens
est link, and the chances are that in ways to check its quality. Focal Length?
most darkrooms the weakest optical
Evenness of Illumination from Corner to
link is the enlarging lens. Most of us
Corne?: For each lens aperture set- Ordinarily, the focal length of the
are quite willing to spend a great
ting, expose a sheet of the paper size enlarger lens needed to provide
deal for a new wide-angle or tele-
you normally use sufficiently to give even illumination for a given size
photo lens, but are happy to accept a negative is the same as the focal
you a middle gray tone. Try to ob-
lens that came as part of the “pack- length of the taking (camera)
tain the same tone on each sheet
age” when the enlarger was pur- lens for that format. Going one
(the Kodak enlarging calculator in
chased. A top camera lens will not step back, the normal taking lens
the “Kodak Darkroom Guide” can
overcome the deficiencies of a of the camera is approximately
be used to adjust times as apertures
cheap enlarger lens, so it’s worth the equal to the diagonal of the nega-
change). Compare the prints to see tive. This means that the normal
extra money to upgrade your en-
if any show the image tone becom- lens for a 35mm negative is 50mm
larger lens if need be. You may dis-
ing lighter toward the edges and cor- for both the camera and en-
cover after printing with a better en-
ners. If so, those apertures should be larger. For a 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 nega-
larger lens that your camera lens is
avoided or the lens returned. tive it would be 75mm.
better than you thought.
When purchasing an enlarger Resolution. Using a Kodak test nega- Focal Lengths
lens there are several factors to con- tive and a low paper grade to reduce
Negative Enlarger lens
sider. contrast, make a print at each of the
size focal length
lens’s aperture settings. Compare
Optical Quality. Enlarging lenses dif-
them to see if they are sharp across 35mm 50mm
fer from camera lenses: they are de-
the entire image area. If not, select 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 75mm-105mm
signed to project a flat image (the
the one that is sharpest, and you 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 lOOrnm
negative) onto a flat plane (the
have at least determined your lens’s 6cm x 7cm lOOmm
easel). When first buying a lens, you
optimal setting. 4x5 135rnm-150mm
may have to rely on brand names to
determine quality, but if you can test

Beseler HD Series Enlarging

Lenses. Beseler lenses are high-quality
lenses that meet the most critical de-
mands of the amateur photographer.

Schneider Componon Lenses.
Schneider Componon lenses have an
excellent reputation. They perform
extremely well through their entire
range of apertures. They are expensive
but worth every penny if you care
about obtaining the sharpest possible

Wide-Angle Lenses. Bogen was one

of the first t o introduce the concept of
wide-angle enlarging lenses. These
lenses reduce the negative-to-easel
distance required for a given enlarge-
ment. They also reduce the vibration
problem caused by raising the enlarger
head on the column, because they re-
duce the height to which it must be
raised for a given image size.

Lens-Cleaning Cloth. Much handier

than old lens-cleaning solutions (espe-
cially when on location) that required
the moistening of a lens surface, then
using a special tissue t o wipe it off-
which was almost impossible t o do
outside. If kept clean and used with
care, it will last a long time and give
excellent results.

A seeming misnomer, enlarging How to Select an Enlarging Easel
easels are so named because early
photographic enlargers were hori-
1. Determine the largest paper size you commonly print (for very large prints,
zontal devices, and upright artists’ you will want to bench-mount or wall-mount your enlarger).
easels were used to hold the print
2. Decide what type of easel is best suited to your requirements-bladed, bor-
material in front of the lens. The
derless, single-size (speed easel), or multi-print.
steady evolution of these paper hold-
3. When going to a camera store to look at easels, take along a fresh sheet of
ers now offers the darkroom enthu-
unprocessed paper of the maximum size you’ll be printing (don’t roll it and
siast a wide choice of easel types,
don’t take a processed print, since paper often stretches after processing).
styles, and, of course, sizes.
4.Examine the easel you are considering on a solid table at a normal working
To the beginner, an easel is often
height. After reviewing the instructions, operate the easel a few times to get
an afterthought, selected on the used to it and then try loading and unloading it with your eyes closed. You will
basis of lowest cost to complete the be surprised at the difference in registration and handling characteristics be-
enlarger outfit. Even limited dark- tween different easels.
room experience, however, will show
5. Check for border accuracy by tracing the blades with a sharp pencil. (Be sure
that the proper choice of easels will your test paper is, in fact, square.)
pay dividends in printing speed,
6. Hold the easel at eye level and sight across the face, checking for flatness,
convenience, and accuracy. More-
over, like the enlarger, the easel, if 7. Look for good finish, a skid-resistant bottom, smooth edges, good fit in
hinges and working parts, accurate scales, adjustments that stay put, and blades
properly selected, is usually a one-
that are absolutely flat and square.
time purchase whose useful life is
usually measured in decades. The
all-purpose easel is a bladed type,
which permits adjustable border
sizes. Most low-cost easels are two-
bladed styles that are satisfactory for
the beginner, although they have
two limitations. First, paper is always
registered into the upper left-hand
corner and to position the paper
under the enlarger lens, the easel is
moved down and to the right of the
baseboard. When making small
prints, the easel can hang over the
edges of the baseboard, which can
be awkward. Second, the range of 4-in- I Easels. This Premier 4-in- 1 Borderless Easels. Borderless prints
border treatments and sizes is lim- easel is typical of models that allow you in the past were made under glass, until
ited. Most professionals prefer a to make more than one image size on a Saunders introduced their unique bor-
single easel. This model has three sizes derless easel with angled paper retain-
high-quality four-bladed easel that
on the front and a border for 8 x 10 ers. This easel is now widely imitated,
always stays centered on the base- printing on the back side. but quality among other brands varies.
board and that permits making bor- These easels work on the “cone of
ders up to 2” or more. However, if light” principle, permitting the projected
price is crucial, you are better off light from the enlarger t o expose the
with a goodquality two-bladed easel very edges of the paper, even while the
than with an inexpensive four- print is securely held by retainers
bladed one. There are also available whose front edges match the projection
a large number of special purpose angle. In judging these easels, look for
easels, ranging from ones that make smooth and straight paper retainers
test strips to ones that hold the that are usually extruded aluminum.
Check for perfect base flatness and
paper flat with either static electric-
smooth finish. The non-skid material on
ity or a vacuum. the bottom of the base is most impor-
tant, and the best borderless types use
long cork strips along all sides.

Single-Size Easels. When making
quantity prints, or for sheer speed and
convenience, single-size easels are the
logical choice. Ganz makes a full selec-
tion of easels of this type that are
loaded by sliding the paper into a chan-
nel. These easels are lightweight and can
be taped t o the baseboard t o prevent
their being pushed out of position.
All single-size easels have fixed bor-
ders, usually 3/16” or 1/4” all around.
This is fine for publicity prints, catalog
shots, o r commercial shots that are t o
be placed in frames or folders. Four-Bladed Easel. The Saunders Omega easel is the standard in the industry
when it comes to four-bladed easels. The four blades allow you t o center the image
on the paper, leaving a white border on all sides. This makes the prints more attrac-
tive if you do not want t o trim and dry mount them.

Vacuum Easels. Rather than use

blades t o hold paper flat for printing, it
is also possible t o use a vacuum. This
Kodak vacuum register pumps the air
out from behind the paper so air
pressure holds it flat against the easel
Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company

Focusing Magnifiers
When making an enlargement, it is This allows you to watch the mag-
always desirable to have the image nified grain go from fuzzy to sharp
projected onto the paper plane as to fuzzy again as you adjust the
sharply as possible. If it is not, the re- focus. You can then select the point
sulting image will be blurry and the at which the image is the sharpest.
quality of both the taking and en- Since focusing on the film grain it-
larging lenses will be undercut. Fo- self rather than on a part of the
cusing with the naked eye is ex- image (which might have been de-
tremely accurate, assuming you have liberately left out of focus) is the best
extremely accurate vision, but nat- way to ensure a sharp image, one of
ural selection being what it is these these devices can be a real time saver
days, a lot of photographers cannot and can help to make better prints.
see as well as they should. In order to The main features to look for
compensate and make us all equal, when buying a magnifier are the
manufacturers have developed vari- amount of magnification, the dura-
ous focusing devices, all of which op- bility, and the lens construction. As
erate on the same general principle. with everything else in photography,
They focus the projected image price is usually a general indicator of
through an eyepiece so that what quality, but you must determine
you see is the image as it appears on what price meets your own needs ad-
the easel surface but enlarged many equately. Focusing Magnifiers. A focusing
times, making a small part of it very magnifier works by reflecting some of
easy to see. the light from the enlarger up into an
eyepiece that magnifies the reflected
image. The unit is designed so that the
distance of the light path from the en-
larging lens to the focus magnifier’s
mirror, and then t o its eyepiece (A), is
How to Get the Sharpest Print identical t o the distance of the light path
from the enlarging lens t o the base-
board on which the magnifier rests (B).
All focusing magnifiers are designed to focus on the same plane upon which
This design allows you t o see the small
their base rests. Therefore, if you focus with the grain magnifier on the easel
image grains in the negative exactly the
surface and then use a piece of double-weight paper on which to make a print,
way they appear on the baseboard. This
you have not focused and printed on exactly the same plane. To eliminate this
allows you t o focus the image very
problem, you can put a piece of paper similar to the one on which you print
finely and also explains why the magni-
under the base of the magnifier. If you use the same paper regularly you can
fier needs t o be resting on the same
glue a piece to the base of the magnifier, which eliminates the need to think
surface that you print on, since it’s
about it every time you want to focus.
designed to bring that point into focus.
When focusing, the best way to find the sharpest image is the same way you
Place a piece of the paper you are
would with a microscope or a ground glass on a view camera. You focus until
printing on under the magnifier when
the image comes into focus then goes slightly out. You then back up to the
sharpest image and go slightly past it, repeating this back and forth while grad-
ually narrowing the range of movement until you have the image focused with-
out doubt.
Each f-stop of the enlarging lens will have a slightly different focus, so either
focus using the f-stop at which you plan to print, or at least print at a smaller f-
stop (which has more depth of field).

Omega Micromega Critical Enlarg- Paterson Micro-Focus Finder. This
ing Focuser. This focuser is the ulti- modern focus finder has a very bright
mate focusing device, with several image and an adjustable eyepiece to
unique features: customize it t o your eye.
It can focus almost everywhere in the
projected image, giving you a chance
t o compare the focus of the lens at
the center of the image and at the
edges. The focus will normally be Paterson Major Focus Finder. This
better at the specific aperture for tall focus finder is convenient for focus-
which the lens was designed, and the ing large prints since the head of the
point of focus at the center and edges enlarger will be high above the easel.
will generally get farther from each
other as you move the f-stop farther
from the best one for your particular
lens. If you can’t bring them together
by focusing, perhaps you need a new
lens (test a new one before you buy
The mirror surface i s deposited on
the front of the glass surface rather
than behind it. This lessens the distor-
tion brought about by light passing
through a surface.
It has a blue filter t o help compensate
for chromatic aberration in the en-
larging lens. Visual focusing is done at
4800 t o 5600 angstroms in wave-
length, and black-and-white printing
paper is most sensitive t o light from
3800 t o 4300 angstroms. The blue
filter eliminates some of the higher
wavelengths in the tungsten light
source, which allows you to focus on
the shorter ones that are closer t o
what the paper will actually record.

Negative Cleaning and Dusting

Negative Dusting negatives. (If you use a bathroom for Even if you take these precautions,
a darkroom, don’t use talcum there will still be dust on your nega-
Dust on negatives leaves enlarged powder.) tives, but by then the problems
white spots on prints because the 2. Store negatives in envelopes or should be minor and controllable.
dust enlarges at the same rate as the pages as recommended in the last At the time of printing this remain-
projected image. This can be espe- section of this chapter. ing dust can be removed with an
cially serious with 35mm photogra- 3. Install a doormat at the out- aerosol can of compressed air or an
phy because of the high magnifica- side of the entrance to the dark- antistatic dusting brush.
tion required to go from a small room to reduce the amount of new
negative to a large print. It is usually dust brought in.
easier to ensure that the negative is 4. Install filters over all vents and Negative Cleaning
clean before printing it than it is to fans through which air enters the In addition to dust, negatives are
spot the print later. Dust on nega- darkroom. sometimes marked with chemicals
tives can be caused by several factors, 5. Install an electrostatic air or fingerprints. The best solution to
including the general cleanliness of cleaner to circulate the darkroom this problem is prevention, but if
the darkroom, the protective mea- air and remove dust from it. something does happen to one of
sures that have been taken, and the 6. Keep the humidity between 45 yom negatives, you should clean it.
storage of the negatives themselves. and 50 percent to eliminate as much The acid in skin d s is especially
Techniques to reduce the dust static electricity as possible. You harmful and if left on the negative
problem to a minimum include: might remember childhood days can eventually etch itself perma-
that were extremely dry when you nently into the emulsion. You can re-
1. Do not mix dry chemicals in could rub your feet across the living move fingerprints with Kodak film
the darkroom. Fixer is especially in- room carpet and zap your sister or cleaner or by careful rubbing with a
jurious to negatives, but any chemi- brother with a jolt of static electric- very clean antistatic cloth. Should
cal powder will hang in the air to set- ity. This same effect is encountered chemicals of any kind come in con-
tle somewhere eventually. Mix these in the darkroom, and static electric- tact with your negatives, rewash
chemicals in another room separate ity attracts dust and holds it to nega- them immediately.
from the darkroom and your stored tives. Moderate humidity lessens this

Falcon Dust-Off. When it comes to

making dust-free prints, there may be a
conflict between your concern for the
prints and your concern over the ozone
layer. Many photographers have chosen
to sacrifice the ozone layer, because i t s
remoteness and size make it harder t o
comprehend. Aerosol cans containing
compressed air, such as this product by
Falcon, are effective for blowing dust off
of your negatives.
When using an aerosol can, remern-
ber that you should never shake it
before using. Shaking makes the propel-
lant mix with the chemical and escape
through the valve. The sudden decom-
pression can dramatically lower the
temperature of the propellant and can
actually freeze your negatives, causing
serious damage.

Leland Power Clean 1. The Leland
Power Clean I is an environmentally
safe (and very stylish) addition t o the Kostiner Anti-Static Brush. Special
area of compressed gases that photog- synthetic brush fibers use resistance
raphers use to remove dust from their flow t o eliminate dust and static elec-
negatives or any type of equipment. The tricity. There are no radioactive ele-
problem with it is that it has a rounded ments, and no chemicals.
bottom and will not stand up, taking up
more counter space than necessary.
Antistatic Cloth. If you are very
careful, you can use a cloth such as this
Beseler antistatic cloth for negative
cleaning. To be effective, it must be
perfectly clean; any dirt on it can
scratch a negative.

Cotton Gloves. When doing exten-

sive handling of negatives (or prints), an
ounce of prevention is worth a pound
of cure. The best insurance against
fingerprints is t o wear a pair of clean,
lint-free cotton gloves like these from
Porters Camera Store. They are inex-
pensive and reduce the worry of damag-
ing the negatives as a result of a mis-

Compressed Air. Compressed air, although somewhat luxurious for most dark-
rooms, is invaluable for chasing dust from negatives and equipment. If you have ac-
cess t o a small electric compressor, make sure the air is made dry and oil-free by
proper filtration.
Photo by Metzger Studio, Rochester, New York

Printing and Exposure Controls
Beginning photographers often ex- The Work Print
perience difficulties when making
their first prints. The density of their The time on the part of the test strip
negatives tends to vary from greatly that looked right is then used to ex-
underexposed to greatly overex- pose the entire image on what is
posed. Each print becomes an ex- called a work print. This print is de-
ploration in patience when you try veloped and fixed and then evalu-
to find the proper exposure. The ated in terms of the tonal values.
problem is compounded because Some areas may be too dark and oth-
densities vary within the negative it- ers too light. At this point a decision
self, and therefore there may not be must be made as to how to change
a perfect printing exposure for the the various tones. You can accom-
entire negative. Luckily, there are plish this by changing paper grades Kodak Projection Print Scale. This
(the higher the grade, the higher projection print scale consists of a
devices available and certain tech-
the contrast) or by local burning plastic sheet with each pie-shaped slice
niques that can be learned to make
and dodging. Burning means in- having a different density. When placed
it easy to find the correct exposure over the printing paper so light passes
for the print as a whole and also to creasing the exposure time for vari-
through it during the exposure, the
m o q the exposure of various por- ous parts of the print to make them
finished print will show wedges of vary-
tions within the print. darker; dodging is holding back
ing darkness. By comparing the one that
light from sections to make them seems right with the print scale, you can
lighter. determine the correct exposure time
The Correct Exposure for the work print.
Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company
Expensive electronic exposure me- The Final Print
ters are not necessary for making
high-quality prints. They are used by The final print can be the same as
labs making large quantities of the work print if everything is satis-
prints, but most photographers pre- factory. Normally, however, the final
fer the quite accurate method of print will have to be manipulated to
making a test strip, which is a piece some extent to make it a more inter-
of printing paper on which a series esting or effective image. The tools
of exposures are made at progres- needed to control the values in the
sively longer times. By reviewing the print are simple and can be made
test strip after it has been developed out of cardboard. Some are also
and fured, it is easy to pick out the available commercially and are de-
part of the strip that looks best. scribed in this section.

Enlarging Exposure Meter. This

Paterson meter is typical of exposure
meters used in making enlargements. If
you work with widely varying negative
densities, they can help you save paper
by reducing the number of test strips
you will need t o make.

Dodging and Burning
You can make dodging tools at
home out of pieces of black card-
board cut from empty printing
paper containers and taped to a
piece of wire coat hanger. Circles or
other shapes of various sizes can be
made to hold back light from larger
or smaller areas.
Burning tools do the opposite of
dodging tools: they hold back the
light from the majority of the print
while increasing the exposure of a
Vignetter. This Testrite vignetter can
relatively small portion of it. Several be varied in size to fit the size area you
pieces of cardboard, each with a dif- wish to vignette. It can also be used as a
ferent size hole, will be useful. The burning tool by changing the size t o fit
holes can be circular or cut to the the area you want burned. Oscillate it
general shape of the area you want smoothly and continuously in the light
darkened. Vignetting tools are simi- beam while making the exposure. Kodak produces many sources of tech-
lar to those used in burning, but nical information. The reader may want
they generally have a larger open- t o avail themselves of this extensive
ing, often with a serrated edge, so body of information by obtaining a list
of these publications from their local
that when the tool is moved about in
camera store. This one is a must for the
the beam of light from the lens, it
darkroom beginner, but also is a good
will leave a smooth and gradual line reference guide for the experienced
between the dark and light areas. printer.

Test Strip. This test strip is typical of

how they can be made. Each successive
strip has an increased exposure over
the previous strip. By looking at the
strip, you can tell what the correct
printing time should be. One of the key
points to remember is t o place a part of
the print that shows all of the tonal
values t o be considered in each segment
of the test strip. If this is not done, it
will be impossible t o judge the correct
exposure as it relates t o both highlights
and shadows.

Negative Storage and Proof Printers
After the camera has been unloaded given negative it is important to transparent, but it actually has some
and the film developed, it’s impor- print all of your proofsheets to the density (called film base plus fog).
tant that the negatives be stored same standard. In this way you can To determine the correct exposure
carefully and that you can see what is tell by looking if the negative is you have to determine at what point
on them. A negative is an irreplace- under- or overexposed or is satisfac- the area around the sprocket holes
able record and should be treated tory. turnsjust as black as they are. Here’s
with the care that all such items de- how:
serve. The history of photography is
replete with stories of valuable nega-
How to Standardize 1. With a negative in the enlarger,
Proofsheets focus it as if you were planning to
tives being destroyed. Many Civil
print a full-frame 11 x 14 enlarge-
War negatives on glass plates, includ- Many photographers try to make ment. Remove the negative.
ing some Brady negatives of Lincoln, their proofsheets look like a series of 2. Make a test strip using the neg-
were recycled into such useful items little gallery prints. The problem atives and proof printer, giving in-
as greenhouses. You may not want to with that approach is that it makes it creasingly longer exposures to each
preserve your negatives for posterity, difficult to evaluate negatives that successive strip, that is, 5, 10, 15, 20
but you may want to make prints are selected for enlargement. It seconds.
from them in the future, so they makes a great deal of sense to stan- 3. Process the print sheet and ex-
should be maintained in as good a dardize the exposure given to all amine it under good lighting. You
condition as possible. proofsheets so you can tell immedi- will notice that the area under the
Contact-printed proofsheets can
ately by looking at them if a given sprocket holes turns pure black
be made to show you what the nega- negative is wellexposed or is under- much earlier than does the area sur-
tives contain. They are made by lay-
or overexposed. You will also be able rounding them. At some point on
ing the negatives, emulsion side to tell if you are consistently under- the test strip, the holes should no
down, on a sheet of printing paper, exposing or overexposing the film. longer be distinguishable from the
holding them flat with a piece of To standardize the printing of surrounding area because both the
glass, and exposing them with the proofsheets you must determine the holes and the surrounding area are
enlarger light. The resulting images exact exposure time required to pure black. The time of exposure
are the same size as the negative print pure black in the areas of the needed to make this happen is the
image. Making proofsheets serves negative lacking in detail (very correct exposure to make all subse-
several purposes: dense shadow areas). This is accom- quent proofsheets.
1. It lets you more easily find a plished by testing to determine how
If as a result of standardizing you
given negative by allowing you to much exposure is necessary to ob-
tain pure blacks in the unexposed find that all of your proofsheets are
look at positive images rather than
edges of the film. too light or too dark, you will know
holding negative strips up to the
The edge of 35mm film has a se- that you have a tendency to over- or
ries of sprocket holes used to trans- underexpose. You should make the
2. If contact sheets are made cor-
port the film when it is advanced in correction at the time the picture is
rectly, the proof will tell you not only
the camera. These holes are com- taken (or later, when the print is
the subject matter of the negative,
made), and not tinker with the
but also its quality in terms of expo- pletely transparent because the film
sure, density, sharpness, and so has been removed from them. The
forth. To determine the density of a area around the holes appears to be

Negative Carrier. Saunders has

developed a negative carrier that can be
used in a 4 x 5 enlarger to make en-
larged proofsheets. The problem with
standard 35mm proofs is that it is very
difficult to evaluate accurately the image
because of its very small size. W i t h this
unit, the proofsheets have enlarged
images that are easier to evaluate.

Print File. Although some negative
storage envelopes on the market re-
quire you t o remove the negatives from
the sheet t o make a proof sheet, this
step has been eliminated by some of the
newer envelopes that allow you to print
through the sheet holding the negatives.
In addition t o being a great time-saver
this also subjects the negatives t o less
handling and therefore reduces the
possibility that they incur any dam- Large Print Files. Used for storing large size prints.
age. Print File makes a complete line of
these negative storage envelopes for
different film formats. They are also
designed t o fit any 3-hole binder which
eliminates the additional expense of
having t o pay a higher price to fit a
nonstandard storage binder.

Proof Printer. Print File and others

also make proof printers that hold the
negatives flat against the printing paper,
which is absolutely necessary if your
proof sheets are t o have accurate, sharp
images. This can be done with a piece of
clear glass but if you print a number of
rolls at one time the hinged proof
printer makes it much easier and faster.

Print File Hangers. These plastic

inserts allow Print Files t o be used in a
standard Pendaflex filing system.

9 The Color Darkroom
Introduction to Color
The Color Darkroom
Color Enlargers
Color Analyzers and
Drum and Tank Color
Introduction to Color

With the introduction during the Equipment Common to All Color Processes
past few years of greatly simplified
color-print chemistry and affordable
processing equipment, there has
been a phenomenal increase in in-
terest in color printing. More and
more home darkroom photogra-
phers and professionals are making
their own color prints. Until a few
years ago, the time, effort, and ex-
pense involved made it impractical
for anyone but a technical expert to
do what anyone can do today.

The Starter Darkroom

One of the first questions a teacher
Enlarger (page 142)
of color photography is usually
asked is, %hat kind of darkroom do
I need?” The assumption is that
something very elaborate is re-
quired. However, a color darkroom
can be even simpler than one de- Dichroic Filter Enlarger Head
signed for black-and-white process- (page 163)
ing. One of the main differences
pertains to safelight illumination.
Color printing paper is sensitive to
light of all colors, so it cannot be ex-
posed to bright safelight illumina-
tion. (Some papers allow the use of
dim safelights, but the illumination Safelights (page 93)
is so weak it provides little help.)
This shortcoming is easily overcome;
once the paper is exposed under the
enlarger it is placed into a light-tight
drum or tabletop printmaker for
This section is a general overview;
additional information can be
found in the following sections of
this chapter. As a primer, however,
here are the basic materials needed
to set up a color darkroom or to con-
vert a black-and-white darkroom to

Print-Viewing Filters (page 165)

Equipment Needed for ConventionalTray or Drum Color Process

One of the many types of enlarging

paper for making prints from negatives.

Plastic Print Trays (page 126)

Kodak’s RA Chemistry in the 10-Litre Size. It may seem like a lot, but it lasts a
long time if the developer is not mixed with the activator (not shown) until just
before use.

Print Processing Drums (page 167)

Chemistry Kit for Developing Color Negatives (C-4 I) from JOBO. Makes I
litre of working solution, which can process I 2 to I 6 rolls of I35/36 color negative
film or the equivalent area of other sizes.

The Color Darkroom

The RA Color System

Several years ago Kodak introduced
its RA color system for printing color
negatives. It is a simple two-step
process using only a developer and
bleach/fur with a very short process-
ing time. Colors prints are now
processed, depending on tempera-
ture, for as little as four minutes.
The paper chemistry combination
has very consistent color balance
from one batch to another. The low
tar buildup makes it ideal for color-
processing machines.

Beseler ACP Table Top Color Processor

The RA Color Darkroom

sufficient (see “Timing Systems” in 6. Beseler ACP 505 Table-Top

The RA Color Darkroom. The
simplicity of the RA process reduces Chapter 7). Processor.
the amount of processing equipment 2. Color Printing Filters or a Color 7. The Kodak Color Print Viewing
needed t o make color prints. The basic Head on the Enlarger. Needed to Filter Kit. To help guide you in evalu-
requirement is a light-proof room with control color balance in the print. ating your prints and obtaining the
sufficient counter space t o set up the correct color balance (see “Color
3. Safelight. Most people do not use a
enlarger and printmaker. In addition to Analyers and Calculators” later in this
safelight when printing color. Kodak
the enlarger and printmaker, you will chapter).
advises that a No. I 3 will be safe, but it
also need the following items: 8. Easel. An easel holds the paper flat
is too dim to be useful.
I. Timer. T o time the exposure and 4. RA Paper. Comes in glossy and
and positions it under the enlarger. Easels
the processing of the print a standard are available with moveable blades that
smooth-lustre surfaces.
darkroom timer with a range from adjust the size of the image on the
I second t o 60 minutes should be 5. RA Developer. paper. (See “Easels” in Chapter 8.)

Color Enlargers
Color printing has several problems head. The farther the filters are month from then, the filtration will
that are not encountered in black placed into the light beam, the more be off because of a change in the
and white work. These problems filtration they provide. Because only light bulb. To overcome this prob-
have influenced enlarger design, part of the light goes through the fil- lem modern enlargers use a quartz-
and to a large extent the difficulties ter, the total amount of light reach- halogen lamp that does not have a
have been overcome by modern ing the negative is higher for the build-up of emissions on the inside
equipment. same degree of filtration than with of the envelope and maintains a con-
acetate filters. They are also much stant color balance throughout its
FiI tration more permanent than other types of life cycle.
filters and can therefore be counted
Because of the complexities in- on to give consistent results over a
volved in their manufacture, color Heat on the Negative
long period of time. They also allow
negatives, or slides that are used to finer filtration steps. They can be
make color prints, are not in perfect varied in steps of .01, whereas ac- Heat on the negative plane is caused
color balance. Even if they are, the etate filters come in steps of .025 by the infrared part of the light spec-
enlarger light source will not be trum and can cause buckling of the
color balanced, or the print emul- negative, especially during long ex-
sion will react differently from what Voltage Variations
posures. To overcome this problem
is expected. Any of these variables The color balance of an enlarger the designers have developed several
can throw a print out of balance. To bulb depends to a large degree on techniques, including the use of fil-
remedy this, color filters are inserted the voltage that is used to light it. ters and light pipes. Some use a com-
somewhere between the light source Variations in the voltage will cause bination of fiber optics and an infra-
and the print to correct the light. variations in the color of the light red reflector that passes the visible
There are three possibilities: coming from the bulb. The same ef- light but reflects the heat-producing
fect is at work in black-and-white light out of the optical path. An-
1. CC (color-compensating) filters. printing, but the slight variations are other solution has been to install a
These are very expensive because not sufficient to be noticeable in the cooling fan in the enlarger head, but
they are gelatin filters used between print. Because successful printing is this can cause vibration problems.
the lens and the paper. The image based on eliminating as many vari-
passes through them, so they must ables as possible, manufacturers Enlarger Bulbs
be optically pure. Because of their have produced devices called volt-
high cost and their delicate, easily- age regulators to use with color en-
scratched surface, they are not often This graph shows the relative be-
largers. These regulators give the
used in the average darkroom. havior of both tungsten and
same output voltage to the enlarger quartz-halogen bulbs. The quartz
2. CP (colorprinting)filters. These bulb, regardless of voltage variations bulb tends to maintain a consistent
are used between the light source in the incoming line. color balance over its life com-
and the negative. Because the image pared to the gradual decay of the
does not pass through them, they
can be made of a less expensive ma-
Consistent Light Source tungsten bulb. If your enlarger is
already equipped with a tungsten
terial. Most enlargers have a filter Tungsten light sources, which have bulb the best solution is to reserve
drawer that can be used to hold been used for years in black-and- a special bulb for color printing
these filters. They do have the ad- white enlargers, have problems only. This way, if you print color
vantage of being inexpensive, but at when used for color printing. They only occasionally between long ses-
the same time, since they are made tend to change their color balance sions of black and white printing,
of a dyed acetate-polyester,they tend over their life cycle, because of aging the bulb will not change as drasti-
cally as it would if you were using it
to fade with age and lose their color- of the filament and the build-up of
for both kinds of printing.
correcting ability. emissions on the inside of the glass
3. Dichroic filtration. These filters envelope in which they are encased.
are made of glass. They are not used This continuous change in color bal-
in the same way as acetate filters; ance makes it difficult to obtain con-
they are built into the enlarger head sistent results over a long period of
itself. Filtration is varied by moving time. If you print a negative one
the filters partially into or out of the week and then use the same negative
beam of light from the enlarger and set of filters (a filter pack) a

Color Heads. Most major brands of enlargers can be purchased with a black-and- Dichroic Head. Changing the con-
white condenser head and later be converted t o color. These two pictures of the denser head on your enlarger t o a
Omega enlarger show it with and without the color head. In many enlargers the dichroic head improves the ability t o
addition of the color head changes the enlarger from a condenser t o a diffusion light print variable contrast BNV as well as
source. The enlarger can be used for color printing without the color head by insert- color. Most dichroic heads change your
ing filters in the filter drawer just below the top unit. enlarger from a condenser light source
t o a diffusion light source.

Voltage Regulators. Here is the

entire Super Chromega color enlarging
system including a voltage regulator.
Voltage regulators will keep the voltage
supplied t o the enlarger lamp at an even
I I 5 volts, despite any variations in the
input from the electrical company. This
ensures that every print you make will
have the same enlarger light brilliance,
and this consistency eliminates one of
the major sources of different print
densities and color balances.
A 5-volt change will affect the color
balance about as much as a CC I 0 filter,
with the effect most noticeable at the
blue end of the spectrum.
Some color enlargers use step-down
transformers t o reduce the voltage t o
the lamp (quartz-halogen) and act as
voltage regulators. The control they
give is sufficient and makes a separate
voltage-regulator unnecessary.

Color Analyzers and Calculators

When printing in black and white, of the “ideal one” used to calibrate chine is calibrated to a particular
the photographer is primarily con- it. It will then indicate the filtration image the information can be stored
cerned with determining the correct pack required to duplicate the color and reused. After a period of time
density and contrast range of the balance and exposure time of the you can assemble a library of “ideal”
print. In color printing, these basic “ideal”print. images covering a broad range of
concerns are only part of the prob- There are two difficulties that you possibilities. You can then use the
lem. The major difficulty for begin- can expect when using one of these “snow-covered” program to deter-
ning color printers is determining a analyzers. The first is that you may mine the exposure of all subsequent
color balance, so that the colors in have a problem making the first snow-covered scenes, and so on.
the print appear the way you want print needed to calibrate the ma- Another problem with analyzers
them to. Manufacturers have devel- chine. Since it does not come precal- is that when you change the paper
oped a number of products to assist ibrated, you will have to make at emulsion you will have to recali-
in determining what the correct least one good print by more tradi- brate. If you want, buy an analyzer
color filtration should be to give you tional methods so that you have a when you first start to print in color,
a print that you like. standard to use in calibrating the but do it with your eyes open and
machine. The second problem with the expectation of doing some
arises from the fact that it is almost hard work on top of what the ana-
Electronic Color Analyzers impossible to use one “ideal” print lyzer will do for you. A well-balanced
Electronic color analyzers are de- to judge a large number of subse- and exposed color print will still be
vices designed to give you the cor- quent photographs. Sunsets are the result of experience, which an
rect printing time and color filtra- quite a bit different from snow-cov- analyzer cannot yet duplicate. Un-
tion required to make a high-quality ered scenes, and the analyzer cannot less you are making large numbers
color print. Unfortunately, to use make judgments about how you of prints based on the same emul-
one you first have to make a print want to interpret them. All it can do sion, a color analyzer is not of much
with a color balance you like. You is try to make each print look like use to you. You will be surprised at
then use that print to calibrate the the last, but that is not the goal of how quickly you become adept at
analyzer. Once the calibration is most color printers. Some analyzers finding the right filters for the print
made, the analyzer will automati- are being designed to allow for pro- you want using some of the less ex-
cally compare any subsequent nega- gramming with any number of pensive alternatives illustrated on
tives or slides with the color balance “ideal” prints. Each time the ma- this and the next page.

Light Required toView

Color Prints

The quality of the light used to

evaluate color prints is extremely
important. The light should be as
close as possible in its color
makeup to the light that will even-
tually be used to view the print.
Most prints are viewed in light
close to daylight in color balance,
so you should use a light source of
the same quality. A fluorescent
bulb such as the Norelco Color
Match 5000 will provide illumina-
tion with the same color balance
as daylight.
Color balance cannot be accur- Calculator Grids. These are ingenious devices that help you select both exposure and
filtration. The grid is placed over the print before it is exposed. A diffuser is placed over
ately checked unless the print is dry,
the lens of the enlarger to scramble the colors and give an even illumination of the print.
so be sure you have the right light The print is exposed, processed, and dried. The portion of the print that is exposed to
source and a dry print or you may the value of I 8 percent gray is the correct exposure. By reading the scales on the sides of
be disappointed in the morning. the grid, you can easily figure out the filtration required to achieve that exposure and
color balance.

I 64
Print-Viewing Filters. Print-viewing filters shift the apparent color balance according Dataguide* This is an-
t o the density and combination of filters used. With this device you can try a number of Other Of many helpful Of

combinations t o see which makes the print take on the color balance you would like it t o information. It contains innumerable
have. Once you have located the right filter combination, use the recommended filter hints, tables, and so forth. Especially for
pack and make another print. You can then do the same thing all over again t o refine the the beginning color printer* it is a neces-
balance even further. sity. Experienced printers will also benefit
from the large amounts of technical infor-
Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company mation it contains.

The Kodak Ektacolor FilterFinder Kit. Printing from negatives

is more difficult than printing from transparencies, because the nega-
tive projected on the paper surface is not as familiar in its color
balance (it's reversed) as a color transparency is. The Kodak Ekta-
color FilterFinder kit (publication R-30) helps take some of the
guesswork out of filter selection and exposure calculations when
making prints from color negatives. The kit consists of a filterfinder
matrix, locator, Kodak neutral test card (gray card), calculator dial,
and simple, step-by-step instructions. It can be a great help in learn-
ing how t o make those first color-balanced prints without wasting
valuable photographic paper.
Courtesy Eastman Kodak Company

Color Analyzers. With so many photographers switching to color, there is clearly a

need for some well-developed aids. Many photographers have spent years developing a
visual memory of what various tones will look like when translated into a black-and-white
print, but doing that, and a t the same time worrying about color balance and saturation, is
too much t o handle. The color analyzer is a help, but certainly not the complete answer t o
all problems in producing color prints.

Drum and Tank Color Processors

Color-print processors all perform exposed print is placed. It is then designed to use chemical replenish-
the same function: to move the print closed with caps at either end. ment rather than one-shot chem-
through the chemistry, or move the Chemistry can be poured in and istry. They are also quite expensive.
chemistry over the print. Four basic emptied through light-traps in the
Basket Processing. Basket processing
designs are used today that vary de- end caps. The roller base agitates
allows you to process more than one
pending on the type of darkroom the drum after the chemistry has
print at the same time. A series of
and the quantity of prints being been poured in. Roller bases can be
prints can be stored in a light-tight
processed. Theoretically, it is possi- operated by hand or can be motor-
drawer and then placed in the bas-
ble not to use a processor at all. But ized. In some cases, the roller is just
ket for immersion in the chemicals.
you would need sufficient patience a rim around the drum that allows
Most photographers rarely process
and a high enough threshold of the drum to be easily rolled back
more than one print at a time, and
claustrophobia to stand in a totally and forth on the counter or in the
basket processing is therefore pri-
dark room while processing the sink to provide agitation.
marily a tool of commercial printers.
prints in a tray just like black-and- Because of their simplicity, these
white prints. Putting your hands into drum processors are used by almost Daylight Processors. Some manufactur-
color developer and breathing the everyone making color prints, un- ers have recently introduced rela-
fumes from open trays do not con- less their budget and/or volume tively inexpensive, self-contained,
tribute to a very healthy way to work. requires or allows a machine proces- light-tight processors that sit on a
Few of us have the sort of patience sor. counter. These also hold the chem-
required and therefore choose to istry in temperature-regulated tanks
Kodak Processors. Unlike drum
work with a processor. and either pass the print through it
processors, these are stand-up units
by means of rollers, or pump the
into which the chemistry is poured.
chemistry across the surface of the
The Four MainTypes of The print is then transported
print. With the stability of the RA
through the machine and the vari-
Color Processors ous chemicals by a roller transport
chemistry system, the processor can
be left filled for more than a week
Drum with Roller: This is simply a mechanism. These processors must
and prints can be made at your
light-tight drum very much like a be used in total darkness, because
film developing can, into which the they are not light-proof and also are

Processor Basket. This Leedal

processor basket is typical of those
used commercially. The cost and capac-
ity of this kind of unit restricts it to the
high-volume operator.

Medium-Volume Basket Processor. This Unicolor unit is a basket processor
for those photographers whose capacity has increased over what a drum system can
handle but who cannot afford the cost of a continuous-processingmachine. It comes
equipped with an intank heater and can be equipped with a Unicolor temperature
controller t o maintain a consistent temperature. The unit’s capacity is ten 8 x I0
prints at one time. It can also be used t o process black-and-white prints or sheet

Daylight Drum Processor. The

Beseler is one of the most advanced
drum processors on the market today.
Drums for this and other units come
in a variety of sizes and should match
the print sizes you plan on making. If
you print in more than one size, it is
cheaper t o buy different drums, because
a small print in a large drum will waste
expensive chemistry.

10 Print Finishing
Matting and Storing Prints
There is something terrifpng about
the irreversibility of processing neg-
atives. Most photographers don’t
mind ruining a print because it’s
done all the time and it’s relatively
easy to make another, but a ruined
negative is gone forever. This mor-
tality tends to keep experimentation
to a minimum. Drying is the stage
where negatives are most susceptible Clothespins. There is no substitute
to damage, especially from streak- for the humble clothespin as a negative
dryer. You can clip one t o the top of
ing, dust, and scratching. Because of
the film t o hold it t o a string strung
the softness of the negative emulsion
across your shower, drying cabinet, or
at this stage, there is a great deal of the darkroom. A t the bottom of the
controversy over how to dry them film, clip another clothespin t o keep the
without damage. Many photogra- film strip taut, otherwise it will curl as it
phers use a wetting agent to assist dries and stick t o itself where it curls. A
the water to run off so it will not hook can be attached t o one end of the
build up in drops that leave a clothespin to make it easier t o hang on
residue when dried. After using the the string. Be sure to buy the spring-
wetting agent, some photographers loaded clothespins, and not the ones
squeegee their negatives with a small that are a simple notch in a piece of
wood. Drying Cabinet. Kindermann makes a
viscous sponge specially manufac- series of negative drying cabinets similar
tured for photo use (kitchen t o the one illustrated. They all feature
sponges scratch). filtered, forced air ventilation for drying
The negatives should always be almost any size of roll o r sheet film. The
hung in a dust-free area to dry. The temperature of the warm air can be
ideal place is either an unused adjusted, and the fan and heater are
shower (run the shower for a few connected t o a timer that will shut the
minutes first to settle any dust), or a unit off at the end of a preselected
sealed negative drying cabinet. period. Kindermann also makes a
Never use unfiltered hot air to speed “Porta-Dri” model that has flexible
plastic sides so the entire unit can be
drying, because there is a good
easily stored in a small space when not
chance that all you will do is imbed Stainless Steel Film Clips. If you in use. The combination of rapid drying
dust in the negative emulsion. All think clothespins make your darkroom and a dust-proof environment for the
negatives, when hung to dry, should look tacky, buy yourself a complete set film makes these units extremely useful.
be weighted at the bottom to elimi- of stainless steel clips such as these
nate curling. made by the Photo Materials Co. They
come in two versions. The one illus-
trated is t o attach the film t o the string
from which it hangs. The other version
is weighted and when attached t o the
bottom of the film holds it straight
while drying.

I 70
Print Dryers
Drying prints can be accomplished
naturally, or it can be accelerated
through the use of either increased
heat or increased air flow. The con- Squeegee. Squeegeeing excess water
cerns in drying prints are their ten- off of the print prevents it from gather-
dency to curl when drying, the ing in pools o r drops and leaving spots
archival quality of the print, the pro- on the print when it dries. Get a well-
tection of the print surface, and the made squeegee and keep it clean; it can
effect of heat or other drying meth- easily scratch the surface of the print if
ods on the image. mistreated. This Paterson model is well-
The safest way to dry prints is to designed, with a handle large enough t o
give good leverage.
squeegee the excess water from the
surface using a smooth squeegee so
the surface of the print is not
scratched. Lay the squeegeed print
on a fiberglass screen to have it dry
evenly and with minimal damage
(see “Building a Print-Drying Rack”
in Chapter 6).
If you have a high output that
would overload a natural drying sys-
tem, consider a dryer that uses air
flow, temperature, or a combination
of both to accelerate the drying
process. RC papers are very sensitive
to heat, as are color prints, and air
impingement dryers are best for
those materials. RC papers dry flat.
The curl in regular papers can be
minimized by using an electric or
double-screen dryer that holds the
print flat while drying. Curl can be
removed, when it does occur, by
heating the print briefly in a dry-
mount press, or by stacking prints in
piles under a weight of books. Roller Squeege and Drying Rack.
A handy, compact table-top unit that
removes excess water from a print with
a roller system and has a built-in rack
for drying the prints.

Print-Drying Rack. This RC print-

drying rack dries up t o 20 prints of
varying sizes. It is efficient and compact
and prevents the prints from sticking

Many photographers mount their

work to keep it flat for viewing. How-
ever, chemicals or impurities in ad-
hesives can damage photographs,
and once mounted, the pho-
tographs are very difficult to remove
from the backing. So mounting is
recommended only for photographs
that do not need to be preserved for
a number of years. Valuable artwork
should be flattened and attached to
a mat with acid-free hinges instead.
Several mounting processes are
described below. From a conserva-
tor’s point of view, dry mounting is
the preferred process, because the
pH of the adhesive is within the ac-
cepted range. Whichever method
you use, it is important to mount on
100 percent rag, acid-free board;
chemicals in other boards will affect
both the photograph and the board.

Dry-Mount Press. The binding agent in dry-mounting is a tissue that, with heat and
evenly applied pressure, permanently adheres the print t o the backing.
Dry-mounting requires the use of a dry-mount press like the one shown here
made by Technal. Presses come in several sizes, from 8 x I0 t o 40 x 60. You will
need a press at least as big as the board on which you are mounting the print. You
will also need dry-mount tissue (there are different kinds for black and white, color,
and resin-coated prints). Dry-mounting is a quick process and doesn’t involve messy
adhesives that might accidentally get on the face of the print. However, it is not
foolproof. It is possible t o ruin a print by trapping a bubble of air under it or by set-
ting the temperature too high.

Tacking Iron. The tacking iron is an

auxiliary dry-mounting tool. It is used t o
mount the photograph t o the backing in
one spot so it won’t slip out of place
when you put it in the press.

Spray Adhesive. 3M’s Photo-Mount
forms a permanent bond after pressure
is applied with a rubber roller.

Print Positioner. The print-mounting

positioner made by Falcon is a timesav-
ing device that helps you position the
print in the optical center of the board
without measuringo r drawing lines.

PermalMount. PermalMount is a
sheet with adhesive on both sides. The
process is simple: stick the print to one
side of the card: trim off the extra card;
peel off the protective covering on the
back of the card exposing the adhesive;
and apply pressure t o mount the print
t o the backing. It is available for 8 x 10,
I I x 14, and I 6 x 20 prints.

Matting and Storing Prints
Because the surface of a photo- archival, because the acidic content
graphic print is so easily damaged by of both the paper and the glue can
fingerprints, dirt, or scratches, a damage the print over a long period
good storage system for finished of time.
prints is an essential part of preserv- For archival protection, Light Im-
ing them. The major considerations pressions supplies white storage en-
when you’re choosing a system velopes of Perma-Life paper in two
should be whether you need to sizes, 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 and 11 1/2 x 14
transport your prints, or simply keep 1/2.
them in your studio; whether you If you will be showing your prints
will be matting them to make them to people from time to time, you will
presentable for viewing, or storing probably want to place each print in
them without mats; and whether you a mat and backing, protecting the
want to use archival methods to pre- print surface with a sheet of tissue
serve them. that can be lifted for viewing. Wooden Boxes. The redwood and
Interleaving tissue is an acid-free brass portfolio box shown here is de-
For storage in the darkroom, the
signed for transporting and viewing
best idea is to put each print in an tissue used for this purpose. It is
mounted work. The top and one side
envelope to protect the surface, and placed under the mat and over the detach for viewing prints, and the inside
then place them all in a storage box surface of the print. It can also be is sealed against wood vapors, which are
for further protection. used instead of envelopes between harmful t o photographs. The strong
The most common envelopes unmatted prints in a storage box. construction, attractive materials, and
made for storing prints are glassine Light Impressions supplies it in sizes easy conversion from carrying case t o
envelopes. These protect the surface from 11 x 14 to 16 x 20. display box are the important features
of the print from damage, and of this storage system available from
they’re fine for prints that aren’t Depth of Field. All boxes are custom-
valuable. However, they are not made in any size you want.

Drop-Front Storage Box. The drop-

front storage box is made of archival-
quality materials with metal corners t o
strengthen the construction and elimi-
nate the need for adhesives, which Shipping Case. This one is not just a
Portfolio Box. The portfolio box might damage the paper. Light Impres- storage box, but a shipping case. It’s
shown here folds together in a clamshell sions has them in two sizes: 15 x I I x 3 made of tough Vulcan fiber with heavy-
design. Made of high-quality neutral pH and I 6 1/2 x 20 I12 x 3. The larger can gauge steel corners and a cardholder
materials, it is excellent for archival be divided into four 8 x 10 sections for for addressing the unit in transit. It
storage and display of matted o r unmat- storing large numbers of unmatted comes in three sizes-I I x 14, 14 x 17,
ted prints. It is deep enough for eigh- prints. This box is the least expensive of I 6 x 20, all 3 inches deep-from Light
teen matted prints and comes in three those illustrated here and is used more Impressions.
sizes t o accommodate I I x 14, 14 x 18, often for utility storage than for display.
and I 6 x 20 prints or mats. The advan-
tage of this kind of box is its flexibility
for carrying or folding out to provide a
very attractive display. Available from
Light Impressions.

I 74
Mat Boards Mat-CuttingTools
There are two kinds of mat board, Cutting the outside of a mat is not
wood-pulp board and museumqual- difficult. You can use a simple mat
ity board. Wood-pulp board comes knife and straight edge, or a paper
in a variety of colors, but it is highly cutter designed to take mat board,
acidic. The acid content will, over a or the mat and glass cutter described
period of years, cause both the print in the framing section of this book.
and the mat board itself to discolor Cutting mat window openings is a
and become brittle. The alternative little more tricky, and because a
is non-acidic museum board, usually poorly cut mat will detract from the
of 100 percent rag content. Because overall effect of the picture, it is im-
it contains no acid, it will not have portant to find a mat-cutting tool
any adverse effects on the print. with which you are comfortable.
However, it is more expensive than Tools range from the inexpensive
ordinary wood pulp board, and it Dexter cutter to the rather expen-
comes in a very limited selection of sive, but much more efficient, Kee-
whites, neutral colors, and black. If ton Kutter.
you want archival protection for It’s very difficult to cut profes-
your prints, you must use acid-free sional looking circular or elliptical
board for the overmat as well as for mat openings with a simple hand
the backing immediately behind the cutter. A sophisticated machine such
print. Many photographers use 4ply as the Keeton Oval Kutter is gener-
board for the overmat and 2-ply ally required.
board for the backing. In a frame, an
additional backing, such as corru-
gated cardboard or Fome-Cor, is Keeton Kutter. The most efficient
needed for stiffness. and most accurate machine for cutting
mats is the Keeton Kutter. The bar
clamps the mat board tightly in place
while you cut, and the cutting blade is
actually mounted on the straight edge
t o ensure a straight cut. It’s quite ex-
pensive, but probably worth the invest-
ment if you cut a lot of mats.

Mat Knife. A mat knife is the most

basic mat-cutting tool. It’s a good idea Dexter Mat Cutter. Of the simple
t o get one with a retractable blade for hand-cutters, the Dexter is the least Attaching the
safety’s sake. You can also purchase a expensive and the most widely used.
metal straight edge with a no-slip rub- Use a straight edge with a no-slip back- Photograph
ber backing from Light Impressions. ing as a cutting guide. The blade can be Photographs may be held in place in
clamped in place at any angle t o allow the mat with archivalquality photo
straight or bevelled cuts. Available from
corners, or with an archival-quality
tape-never with masking tape or
cellophane tape. The most suitable
mounting tape is white linen tape, a
cloth tape with a water-activated
acid-free adhesive on one side. You
can get the photo corners or rolls of
tape from Light Impressions.
Mat Cutter. The cutter shown here When using tape, attach the pho-
operates on the same principle as the tograph to the backing with only two
Paper Cutter. The guillotine-type Dexter, but it comes with its own small squares of tape placed along
cutter shown here is one of several straight edge, mat guide, and measuring the top edge of the photo near the
models designed t o cut mat board as system. You can order it from Saun- corners. If it is taped along the sides
well as paper. It’s also available with a ders. and bottom as well, it will buckle
safety guard. with changes in humidity.

When choosing a frame, the first
thing to remember is that the frame
should not call attention to itself but
should focus the viewers’ attention
on the picture. With photographs,
simple frames with white or neutral
color mats are generally most suc-
cessful. There are several choices.
Clip frames, metal frames, and Dax
plastic frames are all quite contem- Metal Frames. Metal frames are quite
porary looking and are available in contemporary and easy t o assemble. The
kits that are easily and quickly assem- only tool you need is a screwdriver. The
Nielsen frame, shown here, is held to-
bled at home. Wood frames come in gether by metal angles that slip into the
an infinite variety of profiles, colors, Dax Frame. Of the ready-made frames,
the Dax frame is the simplest and quickest slot at the back of the frame. Glass, mat,
and finishes, so you can choose a to use. It is a clear acrylic box with an and backing are held securely against the
frame that exactly suits the mood open back and a slightly smaller cardboard lip of the frame by metal springs inserted
and period of your photographs. box that slips in t o hold the picture in after the frame is assembled. Pre-cut
place. All you have t o do is mat your lengths are sold, two t o a package, along
However, wood frames do take more with instructions and assembly hardware,
time to assemble, and require some photograph, or attach it t o the inner
cardboard box. If you choose not t o mat and you buy two packages t o make a
special tools if you plan to build it, then slip it into the frame. Dax frames frame the size you want. Only a few styles
them yourself. come in several standard sizes, from 5 x 7 and colors are available in kit form; how-
Whenever you are putting a pho- t o 24 x 30, which can be hung horizontally ever, you will find a much wider selection
o r vertically. They come with clear plastic if you go t o a store that carries the com-
tograph in a frame with glass, you plete line, and you can have them cut t o
should also use a mat. Moisture can sides and an assortment of color finishes.
All have a contemporary look. The Dax exactly the size you need.
condense easily on the inside of a frame is especially convenient if you want
sheet of glass, and if the photograph t o change pictures often.
is in contact with the glass when this
happens, it can be ruined. The mat
provides a space between the surface
of the glass and the surface of the
photograph so that the photo won’t
be affected. Acrylic is less likely to
condense moisture, and therefore is
often used instead of glass when
framing unmatted pictures, but this
is not considered archival framing.
If you must frame without a mat
to get the visual effect you want, the
only archival solution is to use spac-
ers between the glass and the photo-
graph. A spacer is a thin strip of
wood or mat board attached to the
inside surface of the frame after the
glass is in place. The edges of the
photograph then rest against the
spacers instead of the glass. Nielsen Eubank Frame. Clip frames are another simple, easy-to-assemble framing alternative.
makes a metal frame with a spacer to The Eubank frame shown here, and the plastic version, the Uniframe, are sturdy and
separate the glass from the photo- quite attractive. Clips hold the glass and backing together in eight places, and a string or
wire on the back holds the clips securely in place and provides a means for hanging the
graph. completed frame. Kits that clip the glass t o the backing in two o r four places, such as
Braquettes, Fast Frame, and Gallery Clips, are suitable for small pictures. But since the
glass and backing tend t o separate over long, unsupported distances, larger pictures need
t o be clipped in eight places. Clip frames are adjustable and can be re-used on pictures of
different sizes and shapes.

Do-It-Yourself Framing
Custom framing can be quite expen-
sive, but there are cheaper alterna-
tives for anyone who is willing to
spend some time framing. Do-it-
yourself frame shops will cut materi-
als to size for you and show you how
to assemble them yourself. If you've
never built a frame before, this is the
best way to begin, because you'll
have professional help. Or you can
invest in a few tools and set up your
own work space for cutting and as-
sembling frames.
You can cut framing materials
with fancy equipment or relatively
inexpensive tools and get good re-
sults either way. The main difference
with the more specialized tools is
Keeton Kutter. The ultimate device for cutting glass, mat board, and back-
that they make the job easier and ings is the Keeton Cardboard and Glass Kutter. The piece t o be cut sits on
save you a lot of time. the horizontal bar at the bottom, which also has a measuringguide on it. The
The simplest and least expensive blade o r glass cutter moves along a vertical track. A straight cut is guaranteed,
tool to use for cutting wood molding and the time taken t o measure is practically eliminated. It's expensive but
worth it if you do a lot of framing.
is a miter box. Because the angle of
the cut is crucial when you're build-
ing a frame, it's best to purchase one
with some kind of clamping device
for holding the saw. Some miter
boxes cut only 45" or 90" angles. So
if you might at some point want to
make six- or eight-sided frames, buy
one that will adjust to the appropri-
ate angles. You'll also need a good
sharp back saw, fourteen teeth per
Square-Head Hammer. Wire brads Fitting Tool. The fitting tool, also avail-
inch or finer. are used in the back of frames t o hold the able from Brookstone, is used t o squeeze
Most professional framers use contents in place. The framing hammer brads into the back of the frame. Because
choppers instead of miter boxes, be- shown here is designed specifically for it doesn't jostle the frame, you don't run
cause the chopper is quicker and tapping those brads gently into place. the risk of breaking the glass o r weaken-
Available from Brookstone. ing the glued corners.
more accurate and makes a
smoother cut than does a back saw.
However, the chopper cuts only
wood, so many people who deal in
metal or plastic frames do all their
cutting with a power saw such as the
Keeton Kut-All Saw.
Frame assembly requires several
tools and supplies that you can pick
up in a hardware store if you don't
already have them: tack hammer,
nail set, wood glue, wire brads, hand Miter Trimmer. This miter trimmer, Corner Clamp. A corner clamp is
drill, and pliers. The only special available from Brookstone, is one of the essential for holding the corners of the
tool you need is a corner clamp. A simplest choppers available. You must first frame tightly in place while the glue sets
fitting tool, while not absolutely nec- rough-cut the molding a little longer than up. The simple, inexpensive corner clamps
you want it, then trim it exactly t o size available in most hardware stores are fine
essary, will make the job easier.
with the trimmer. It cuts any angle, from for most frames but are limited in the size
45" t o 90". of the moldings they can accept.
Keeton makes a larger chopper that is
similar t o this one and quite a bit more

The Digital Darkroom
I Contents
Introduction to the Digital
Digital Equipment
Printing the Digital Image
Introduction to the Digital World
The digital revolution has de- amount of data, and that’s what retain some of the familiar terminol-
scended on photographywith all the makes it possible to store and ma- ogy used in the printing industry.
speed we’ve become used to in com- nipulate it on a small personal com- There, dots refer to the dots on a
puter-related progress. Remember puter. printing screen that make up the
records? Those big disks of vinyl cov- Digital creates the illusion of a image: the more dots, the finer the
ered in grooves that could produce continuously variable analog in image. In mechanical printing, the
the scratchiest sound ever heard? It’s much the same way that movies cre- size of the dots as well as their den-
possible that you’ve still got a bunch ate the illusion of motion with dis- sity make up the variations of the
of them and the turntable to play creet still images. It’s a matter of image. In digital imagery, it is the
them on, but now you just slip a CD spacing. If the digital information is height of the step, its value, and the
into your player and listen to the made up of steps that are sufficiently density of steps that make up the
clear, clean sound of digital music. close together, then the difference is variations of the image. The dots are
The ability to choose a song at ran- so small as to become unnoticeable. recorded by individual sensors
dom, skip through it, fast forward or Or at least that’s the theory. There called charge couple devices, with
back, program the sequence-what are musicians who claim they can one sensor for each dot. One reason
luxury! And you have to go a long hear the difference between a digital digital recording devices are so ex-
way to damage them. Well, that same and an analog recording. If the steps pensive is because of the large num-
sort of convenience, clarity, and sta- are not close enough together, it is ber of these sensors required to get a
bility is now available to any photog- quite easy to tell a digital image from high-resolution image-lots of dpi’s.
rapher who owns a computer. a standard photographic image. Each machine has an upper limit to
I’m sure that most people have (The standard photograph is, to be the amount of resolution it can
become familiar with the phrase “to sure, a digital image, made up of dis- record or output. The higher the
digitize” thanks to the music indus- creet clumps of silver. There are just resolution, the better the image
try. Simply put, there are two ways to so many of them-more than any quality.
store and display information: one is but the very largest computers could
“analog” or continuous, the other is store and manipulate.) So you can
“digital”or discreet bits. An analog is see where this is leading. The prob-
a continuous, unbroken stream of lem for digital photography, espe-
information as in a curve on a cially for the amateur, is how many
graph. There is an infinite amount digits the image can be broken down
of information in the curve, since into and still be manageable. In the
you can extract that information at computer world, the question is al-
infinitely small divisions. It gives, by ways “how big a ‘file’ can you deal
far, the greatest amount of informa- with?”
tion. Digital information comes in Image-file size, or the “resolu-
discreet amounts or levels as op- tion” of the image, is a function of
posed to the continuously variable something called dpi or dots per
analog information. There is a finite inch. This term reflects an effort to

Adobe Photoshop. This computer screen displays an image being altered using
Adobe Photoshop. The background image is unmanipulated; the foreground shows
the image after it has been altered. Note that the large lamppost has been removed.

Digital Equipment ~~

How do you digitize an image? How tograph in digital form. There are This program will allow you to play
do you get digital information into two kinds of scanners: drum and flat with your image in standard ways
your computer? You can do it di- bed. Drum scanners are complex (contrast, color, density, cropping).
rectly by using a digital camera. and extremely expensive. They are In addition, it will give you an almost
These cameras, which are becoming used mainly by service bureaus, busi- unlimited freedom to add, subtract,
more common and less expensive by nesses that provide digital input and twist, turn, and otherwise play with
the day, allow you to take and store output. The photograph is attached your photographs.
in the camera a number of pho- to a rotating drum and then Photoshop is quite expensive and
tographs. This number depends on scanned as it spins under the sen- requires a computer with sizable
the storage capacity of the camera sors. Flat-bed scanners are much less memory, both internal and external,
and the resolution of the image. expensive and well within the range but there are a number of far less ex-
Many of the digital cameras allow of most commercial photographers. pensive programs that give you quite
you to choose the resolution or dpi The photograph is placed on the a variety of things to do to your pho-
of the image, and thereby the num- bed of the scanner and is scanned by tographs. Some page-layout pro-
ber of images you can store in the a moving bar much like that in a grams have image manipulation ca-
camera. The higher the resolution, photocopy machine. Many scanners pabilities. Once you have a digital
for instance 600 x 600 dpi, the big- allow you to preview the digitized image, you can import it into almost
ger the image file and the fewer the photograph, called the “scan,” be- any document in your computer.
images that can be stored. Some fore you enter it into the computer. Page-layout programs allow you to
cameras have removable storage car- Then you can use the scanner’s soft- make documents combining pho-
tridges that give you the ability to ware for an initial manipulation of tographs, illustrations, and text.
take a virtually unlimited number of the image for contrast, color, den- They are used extensively in the de-
photographs. You might even want sity, and so forth. sign industry, but they can also be a
to take along a laptop and input, or Another way of obtaining digital lot of fun at home.
“download,” the photographs di- scans of your photographs is to send
rectly into the computer. The cur- the film to a developing house that
rent problem with affordable digital will develop your film, scan the neg-
cameras is the amount of resolution atives and send you back a CD full of
they can provide. This level of reso- your pictures. You then put the CD
lution is usually not enough to pro- into your computer and access or
duce a highquality image, especially open any image directly into your
when reproduced in a large size. image manipulation software. Once
The method most people use to you have a digital image in your
have their photographs digitized is computer, you can do virtually any-
to have them “scanned.” Traditional thing with or to it. After all, you’re
formats, produced with a photogra- just changing a number associated
pher’s old tried-and-true camera are with a dot.
then subjected to the scanning When it comes to image-manipu-
process. Transparencies, negatives, lation software, there is really only
or prints can all be scanned. A scan- one: the great, the wondrous, the
ner is a device that records your pho- ever-changing Adobe Photoshop.

Digital Camera. The Epson Photo
PC 500 is a 640 x 480 dpi camera that
stores up t o 30 images at maximum

Digital Scanner. The Agfa Studio Star

is a 600 x I200 dpi, moderately-priced
scanner. Adapter for scanning trans-
parencies is optional.

Printing the Digital Image
Once you’ve altered or enhanced If you want to make your own
your digital image, you will want to prints, a machine called an image-
show it to the world. You can have setter will make a continuous-tone
people look at it on your computer negative. Imagesetters are very ex-
screen, but that’s not very conve- pensive and are usually found only
nient. Instead, you’ll want to avail in service bureaus. These machines
yourself of one of the many output will also make slides, if you prefer to
options. There are printers that view your photographs by projec-
workwith your computer to produce tion.
a very credible image without spend- In the context of digital imagery,
ing a lot of money. Ink-jet and bub- the entire concept of the traditional
ble-jet printers are the most popular. darkroom has now been replaced.
They allow you to use many kinds of No dark room, no chemicals, no
plain paper stock, such as watercolor handling negatives, no touching at
paper, to change the look of your all, except for keyboarding. A very
photograph. You can even put your large change has been effected in a
photograph on a transferable very short period of time. But get
medium and make t-shirts! A much used to it-the digital world is here
higher-quality image can be to stay.
achieved by using a laser printer.
Naturally, this higher quality is re-
flected in the printer’s price tag.
The closest thing to a true photo-
graphic output is the dye-sublimate
printer. It is quite expensive, but it
gives a beautiful photographic print
on special paper. Again, no chemi-
cals are used, not even the inks of
the jet printers. Dye sublimate print-
ers use a film roll that must be re-
placed after a certain number of
prints have been “processed.”

Ink Jet Printer. The Epson Stylist Color 500 is a 720 x 720 dpi plain-paper printer.

Dye Sublimate Printer. One of Kodak's dye sublimate printers and the special
paper and thermal ribbon needed to print with it. An expensive unit, but imagine the
luxury of adjusting an image with your computer and then making a print by just
pressing a button! This type of equipment is being constantly updated, and you may
be able t o purchase a used one a t a reasonable price.

Abbott, Berenice, 8-9 processors, 166-67 digital, 178-83
Accessories, wet-side, 128-29 Comforts, miscellaneous, 114-15 of famous photographers, 2-11
Air quality, 110-1 1 floor mats, 115 lighting, 90
dust, 110 heaters, 114 starter color, 90
humidity, 110 phones, 114 Di Loreto, Francesco (Chicco), 16
temperature, 110 stereos, 115 Digital darkrooms, 178-83
ventilation, 110 television, 115 introduction to digital world,
b P S Control panels, modular electrical, 180-81
converting from watts to, 81 86-87 printing digital images, 182-83
having enough in circuits, 81 Controls, printing and exposure, Digital equipment, 180-81
152-53 Digital images, printing, 182-83
Baseboards Counters Digital revolution, vii
building adjustable enlarger, 108-9 installing, 98-99 Digital world, introduction to, 180-81
determining shelf heights, 108 spaces, 32 Disposal, waste, 136-37
selecting easel shelf size, 108 tops, 24 Dodging, 153
Bathrooms, 28-29 cutouts Door frames, installing prehung, 58
enlargers in, 28 drying-rack, 48-49 Doors
layout in, 28 light-trap, 46-49 hanging, 58-59
sinks in, 28 wet-side. 42-45 light-proofing, 112
working space in, 28 Drains, installing, 72-73
Building Darkrooms Drawers, light-tight, 113
adjustable enlarger baseboards, around the world, 12-21 Drawings, working, 36
108-9 building, vii, 52-87 Drum color processors, 166-67
darkroom sinks, 9 4 9 5 air quality, 110-11 Dry-side cutouts, 4 2 4 3
darkrooms, vii, 52-87 baseboards, 108-9 Dryers, 170-71
insides of darkrooms, 88-115 comforts, 114-15 Drying frames, making, 102-3
light boxes, 104-5 counters, 98-99 Drying racks
print-drying racks, 100-101 darkroom sinks, 94-95 building print, 100-101
sink stands, 96-97 drying frames, 102-3 cutouts, 4 8 4 9
Burning (increasing exposure time), electrical wiring, 78-87 Dust, 110
152-53 hanging doors, 58-59 Dusting negatives, 150-51
insides of, 88-115
Calculators, color, 164-65 installing drains, 72-73 Easel shelf size, selecting, 108
Callahan, Harry, 4-5, 32 installing partitions, 5 6 5 7 Easels, 146-47
Checklist, planning, 39 installing Sheetrock, 60-61 Electrical circuits
Chemical storage, 136 installing supply lines, 70-71 determining amps for, 81
Cleaning negatives, 150-51 light boxes, 104-5 how they work, 78
Closets, 24-25 light-proofing, 112-13 wiring, 8 4 8 5
counter tops in, 24 lighting circuits, 90-91 Electrical control panels, modular,
enlargers in, 24 lighting equipment, 92-93 86-87
lights in, 24 mounting enlargers, 106-7 Electrical work
storage in, 24 plumbing, 62-77 materials for, 82-83
ventilation in, 24 print-drying racks, 100-101 tools for, 82-83
Color sink stands, 96-97 Electricity
analyzers, 164-65 tools, 54-55 calculating power requirements, 80
calculators, 164-65 color, 156-67 converting from watts to amps, 81
darkrooms, 156-67 designing, 3 4 5 1 in darkrooms, 80-81
drum and tank color processors, dry-side cutouts, 4 2 4 3 determining amps for circuits, 81
166-67 drying-rack cutouts, 48-49 introduction to, 78-79
FL4 color systems, 160-61 elevations defined, 36-37 Elevations
starter darkrooms, 158 layouts, 36-41 defined, 36-37
enlargers, 162-63 light-trap cutouts, 4 6 4 9 preparing, 50-51
consistent light sources, 162 planning checklist, 39 Enlargers, 24, 140-43
filtration, 162 planning grids, 50-41 alignment, 140
heat on negative planes, 162 preparing elevations, 50-51 in bathrooms, 28
voltage variations, 162 wet-side cutouts, 44-45 building adjustable baseboards,
introduction to, 158-59 working drawings, 36 108-9

color, 162-63 Jackson, William Henry, ix Paper safes, light-tight, 113
construction quality, 141 Partitions, installing, 5 6 5 7
filter drawers, 141 Kitchens, 2 6 2 7 Phones, 114
formats, 141 Kodak RA color systems, vii, 160-61 Photographers, darkrooms of famous,
lensboards, 141 2-1 1
lenses, 140 Photographs, mounting, 172-73
light quality, 140-41 Layouts
in bathrooms, 28 Pipes
light source, 140 identifjmg, 64
mounting, 106-7 defined, 3 6 3 7
how to do, 38-41 measuring length needed, 70
negative flatness, 141 and tubing, 70
print size, 107 marking on floors, 56
preparing, 42 working with copper, 70
size of enlargements, 141 Placement, ideas for, 22-33
steadiness, 140 Lenses, enlarging, 144-45
bathrooms, 28-29
vibration reduction, 106 evenness of illumination, 144
optical quality, 144 closets, 24-25
Enlarging kitchens, 2 6 2 7
equipment, 138-55 resolution, 144
Life Magazine, 10 spare rooms, 30-31
easels, 1 4 6 4 7 workrooms, 32-33
exposure controls, 152-53 Light boxes, building, 104-5
Light-proofing, 112-13 Planning
focusing magnifiers, 14849 checklist, 39
lenses, 144-45 doors, 112
fans, 113 grids, 4 0 4 1
negatives, 150-51, 154-55 Plumbing, 62-77
printing controls, 152-53 heaters, 113
light-tight drawers, 113 analyzing, 64
proof printers, 154-55 building sinks, 94-95
lenses, 144-45 light-tight paper safes, 113
vents, 113 darkroom planning and shopping,
evenness of illumination, 144 64-65
optical quality, 144 windows, 112
Light-trap cutouts, 46-49 easy way out, 74-75
resolution, 144 installing drains, 72-73
timers, 134 Lighting
circuits 90-91; See also Electricity, jL installing supply lines, 70-71
Equipment n
measuring length of pipe
digital, 180-81 darkrooms
darkrooms, 90 needed, 70
enlarging, 138-55 measuring pipe and tubing, 70
lighting, 92-93 general, 90
light table, 90 working with copper pipe, 70
processing, 1 1 6 3 7 introduction, 62-65
Exposure controls, 152-53 luminous tape or paint, 90
print-viewing lights, 90 materials, 64-65
modular systems, 7 6 7 7
Fans, light-proofing, 113 safelighting, 90
equipment, 92-93 pipes identification, 64
Floor mats, 115 roughing in the, 68-69
Focusing magnifiers, 148-49 Lights
in closets, 24 adapting off the main supply
Frames, drying, 102-3 lines, 68
Framing photographs, 176-77 workroom, 32
installation, 68
shopping list, 66
Grids, planning, 4 0 4 1 Magnifiers, focusing, 14849 tapping into the system, 62
Mann, Robert, 20-21 tools, 65
Hanging doors, 58-59 Mats, floor, 115 typical darkroom, 66-67
Harrod, Ron, 18-19 Matting prints, 174-75 unique solutions, 74-75
Heaters, 113-14 attaching photographs, 175 Power requirements, calculating, 80
Humidity, 110 mat boards, 175 Print
mat cutting tools, 175 dryers, 171
Installing Mazzo, Paolo, 16 drying racks, 100-101
counters, 98-99 Moroux, Philippe, 14-15 finishing, 168-77
drains, 72-73 Mounting, enlargers, 1 0 6 7 dryers, 170-71
partitions, 5 6 5 7 framing, 17677
building the room itself, 56 Negatives matting prints, 174-75
marking layout on floor, 56 cleaning, 150-51 mounting photographs, 172-73
prehung door frames, 58 dusting, 150-51 storing prints, 174-75
Sheetrock, 60-61 storage of, 154-55 sizes, 107
supply lines, 70-71 washers, 132 washers, 132

Printers, proof, 154-55 building darkroom, 94-95 for electrical work, 82-83
Printing, stands, 96-97 mat cutting, 175
digital images, 182-83 varieties of, 44-45, 118-19 for plumbing, 65
and exposure controls, 152-53 waterproofing, 95 Trays, 126-27
correct exposures, 152 Siskind, Aaron, 6-7 Trentotto, Famiglia, 16-17
dodging and burning, 153 Slavin, Neal, 33
final prints, 152 Smith, W. Eugene, 10-11 Ventilation
work prints, 152 Spare rooms, 30-31 air quality, 110
Processing equipment, 116-37 Stereos, 115 in closets, 24
chemical storage, 136 Storage Vents, light-proofing, 113
roll-film tanks and reels, 130-31 chemical, 136 Vibration, reducing, 106
sinks, 118-19 in closets, 24 Visconti, Mimo, 16
temperature regulation, 122-25 in counters, 98
timing systems, 134-35 negative, 154-55 Washers, 132-33
tongs, 126-27 of prints, 174-75 negative, 132
trays, 126-27 in workrooms, 32 print, 132
washers, 132-33 Supply lines, installing, 70-71 Waste disposal, 136-37
waste disposal, 136-37 Water quality, 120-21
water quality, 120-21 Table space, 32 air in water, 120
wet-side accessories, 128-29 Talbot, Henry Fox, vii hard and soft water, 120
Processors, color, 166-67 Tanks purity, 120
Proof printers, 154-55 color processor, 166-67 suspended solids, 120
Proofsheets, standardizing, 154 roll-film, 130-31 Waterproofing sinks, 95
Television, 115 Watts, converting to amps, 81
RA color systems, vii, 160-61 Temperature Weston, Edward, 126
Recycling, 137 air quality, 110 Wet-side
Reels, roll-film, 130-31 regulation, 122-25 accessories, 128-29
Roll-film ambient conditions, 122 cutouts, 44-45
reels, 130-31 water bath temperature, 122 Windows, light-proofing, 112
tanks, 130-31 water temperature, 122 Wiring electrical circuits, 84-85
Rooms, spare, 30-31 Thermometers, 129 Wooden frames, 102
Tice, George, 33 Work triangles in kitchens, 26
Safelights, 92-93 Timing systems, 134-35 Working drawings, 36 .
Savage, Naomi, 33 enlarging timers, 134 Workrooms, 32-33
Sheetrock, installing, 60-61 general timers, 134 counter space in, 32
Shelf heights, determining, 108 Tongs, 12627 lights in, 32
Sinks Tools storage space in, 32
bathroom, 28 building darkrooms, 54-55 table space in, 32

8 Focal Press

The Darkroom Cookbook

Steve Anchell
The Darkroom Handbook is the one source every photographer
needs for the recipes for both common and rare photographic
formulas. It provides the keys to unlocking creativity through the
mastery of the "ingredients" of photography - namely the
chemicals used to develop, fix, stop and tone.
1994 232pp comb 0-240-80196-2

The Darkroom Cookbook, Volume 2

Film Developing
Steve Anchell &
Bill Troop
The Darkroom Cookbook Volume 2: Film Developing is an up-to-date manual for the modern film develop-
ment techniques. While the original Darkroom Cookbook focused entirely on photographic chemicals and
formulae, this book concentrates on films, their characteristics,and the developers each requires for maximum
control of the resulting image
May 1998 176pp comb 0-240-80277-2

Post Exposure
Advanced Techniques for the
Photographic Printer
Written by an expert printmaker, Post Exposure teaches the under-
lying principles needed to produce truly excellent photography
prints. Distilled from more than 30 years' experience and address-
ing both black-and-white and color, its purpose is to teach photog-
raphers the refinements of photographic printmalung - taking them
from making merely component prints to making excellent ones.
October 1997 192pp Paperback 0-240-80299-3

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