Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/14[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
Let me second Alastair Firkin's suggestion that you at least consider a darkroom of your own. When I was on active military duty (a long time ago) I lived for a couple of years in an apartment in town. I printed in the kitchen, to get the benefit of running water for washing prints. The kitchen was divided from the living room only by a counter. There was a large picture window in the living room and another smaller window in the wall opposite the kitchen, 12 to 14 feet from the enlarger. I covered these windows with a single layer of olive drab army blanket, and although on a bright day enough light came through that you could read a newspaper after your eyes adjusted, it had no effect on the photographic paper during the time it was out of its package being exposed and processed. (I used a changing bag for loading film into bulk loaders and developing tanks.) The lesson: except for dealing with undeveloped film, you don't really need total darkness to have a functional darkroom I used a Durst M600 enlarger, which came apart and stored in a drawer when not in use. The safelight was hung from a bent coat hanger that looped over a cabinet door near the enlarger. Trays, chemicals and other paraphernalia went in drawers or in a box that was stored elsewhere. It wasn't ideal, but it was quite functional under the circumstances, and darkening the room didn't cost anything beyond the 2x4 lumber used to make collapsible frames that held the blankets in the windows (the blankets were "on loan.") In a similar vein, when my father traveled for Shell Oil in the '30s he had a large suitcase that held developing tanks, a small enlarger, trays and chemicals, and he would print pictures (mostly taken with a Leica III) in the hotel rooms where he stayed. So look around at your living or other quarters and see what might be available. It doesn't take a whole lot, and the magic of seeing a print come up in the tray makes up (for me, at least) for any hassle it takes to get the room set up. Cheers, Kip > >I'd like to explore B&W with my Leica but I have no dark room and, I have to > >admit, really no interest in having one.