Notes from Nov. 18 2017 Darkroom Committee Meeting:
Greetings Comrades from the East Bay Photo Collective Darkroom And Social Justice Committee:
We had our first meeting this Saturday and man, was it fun. What is more fun than sitting around talking about darkrooms? Not much.
I was sorry to hear that some who wanted to participate did not get the email with the date. EBPCO uses MailChimp as our mass-mailing service, so maybe check and make sure MailChimp emails are not going to your spam folder. For the moment, I will NOT send Darkroom Committee emails by MailChimp, but just regular email like this one.
HOMEWORK! There is homework resulting from this meeting.
1. Take a look at the video for The Portland Darkroom. Actual darkoom shots start at the two minute mark: https://theportlanddarkroom.org/
2. Read this article on darkroom design: http://www.sebastiandarkroomprod.com/darkroom_design.php
3. Take a look at some cool group darkrooms by googling "school darkroom"
NEXT MEETING: I will send out a doodle to secure a date for the next meeting.
Quick summary of the recent meeting:
1. Best features of darkrooms we've used.
We discussed successful and unsuccessful darkrooms we've used. Several points rose to the surface:
- plenty of space to work in, especially at enlarging stations, but also around sinks.
- clean and well-maintained equipment and workspaces (this was very important)
- separate facilties for more experienced darkroom users
- drawers and cabinets (including paper safe drawer) at each enlarger
- good policies and procedures to ensure correct usage of facilities
- private film developing room for tank, tray, or dip 'n' dunk developing
- comfortable, well-lit area outside of darkrooms, for looking at prints, negatives, and relaxing and socializing.
2. Target users of EBPCO darkroom:
We identified the following:
- Experienced photographers, looking for high-quality facilities
- Paid workshops, need quality facilities and well designed for groups
- General public users looking for basic, inexpensive facilities: hobbyists, photo students.
- Students from our outreach classes: school kids, arts-programs, folks with little darkroom experience.
3. Target uses of EBPCO darkroom:
- Black and White film processing:
roll film, sheet film to 8x10.
Daylight tanks, tray, dip 'n' dunk.
Also 8mm, Super8, 16mm cine film.
Color film processing???
- Silver Gelatin printing for advanced printers
Private or semi-private
Up to 16x20 and hopefully 20x24
Fiber paper washing and drying (apart from beginners)
- Silver Gelatin printing for beginner or casual printers
Group darkroom (5 or 6 stations?)
Prints to 11x14
Fiber and RC paper washing and drying
- Alt Process Printing (pt/pd, salt/albumen, cyanotype)
Digital negative prep and printing
Storing paper and chemistry
Paper coating and drying
Exposure (UV and daylight)
Print washing and drying
Art on display
Between film processing, expert darkroom, beginner group darkroom, alt process, finishing, and community, it was hard to leave anything out. All of these components seem necessary!