Tiny Darkroom

I made a short video to show you how I have turned my small, under-the-stairs bathroom into the tiniest of darkrooms. I wanted to show you this because I often hear people say that they don’t have space for a darkroom. I think that even if you have a very small space you can make a darkroom. Mine is temporary. I set it up and take it down as needed and it only takes about 5-10 minutes to set up and take down.

Here is what I have and what you might need.

  1.  An enlarger. My friend gave me an old enlarger that only prints 35mm. I also use it for contact prints. It’s footprint is just the right size to fit on the small counter space. It is light enough for me to lift and I can take the lamp off so it can be easily stored. I have been eyeing one of these entry level enlargers and I think it would be just as easy to move around as the one I have now.
  2. Timer. My friend gave me an old one with the enlarger and it works great. You can probably find one on ebay if you shop around. They can be expensive if you buy them new.
  3. A set of developing trays. I don’t print larger than 5×7 so my trays are the small ones. If I feel the need to develop larger sized prints I’ll go down to Newspace in Portland.
  4. Something to set your trays on. I use a shoe organizer for a closet like this one. When i’m not using it for the darkroom it goes in the hallway and I use it for shoes.
  5. Safe light.
  6. Something to light proof the room. I don’t have a window to worry about. For the door I bought weather stripping for the doorway. Works perfectly. I use a towel for the bottom of the door.

That’s it! Of course you need chemicals, paper, and an easel, as well. But for the most part it doesn’t take much to make a makeshift temporary darkroom. As you can see in the video, use my kitchen sink to rinse my prints at the end.

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