Tristan Parker Photography


Setting up a Home Darkroom (part 1)


I think that its quite evident if you have read through the progressive writings on this evolving blog that I am well towards transitioning back to film as my preferred medium. I started with an OMD, went through the usual find the right focal length type deal. Got a Nikon FA, tried a few point and shoot classic film cameras. Got a little rangefinder Leitz CL. Broke the FA, replaced it with an F100. And finally added a Leica M6 to the mix. I think its been about 2 months since I took the OMD out of the house and used it. Shame really as its a great camera. I dont think that I will ever sell it, as there is a time and a place for digital still and I think that I would end up getting something different anyway... Maybe a point and shoot digital is a better option... Anyway, I digress.


LPL 7700 Pro Enlarger

We are talking about film, and likely the final step in this transition. I am setting up a darkroom. I have already posted about the fact that I have had experience in printing from way back when. You can read a bit about that here and here.

I have also talked a little about how lucky I am to have a Dad that is a photography teacher. This also means access to some cool kit that just doesnt get used that much anymore. So I have the most important thing for the darkroom already. I have an enlarger, and its a cracker as well. These LPL enlargers were kings in their day and are still pretty expensive at the moment, so I am a lucky boy.

I have also located the perfect room in the house for the transformation. There is only one window to block off, and it doesnt even go to outside, it just goes to another room, so not a great deal of light hits the window anyway. There is running water in the room as well, but I am unsure of the quality so will likely just work from buckets. The amount of water that I will go through just printing myself should be fairly minimal.

So this post is just the first in a little series that I am going to write in the process of setting this up. I have some work to do with clearing out the room and things, but as I get this done I will post some progress shots so you can see what I am up to.

I am really excited about this little project. Being able to follow the real photographic process through end to end is something that I dreamed about in past years, so its an exciting little project for me to get started on.

If anyone has done this already and has some helpful tips I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!