Technical

Constructing a darkroom

08/04/2021
Moving my darkroom from the loft to the garage.
The Darkroom

The darkroom is not only a sanctuary but a place of solitude, it is the creative heart of analogue photography.
I have worked in a number of darkrooms over the years, from my early cramped set-ups in stair cupboards, to using bathrooms, through to professional spaces and palatial communal facilities. My current space was built for me in 2010 and replaced the darkroom that I built into our loft over 35yrs ago.
The loft is not a good place to work throughout the year, it can be too warm in the summer and extremely cold in the winter. The need for darkroom space that I could comfortably work all year around made me relocate to my garage, where I have created a 9x7 square foot working area. I have a decent sized wet bench area that accommodates 3 16x20 trays, and a 30x40inch sink. There is a small dry bench area along side an alcove where my De Vere 203 enlarger sits. All the walls and ceiling where made from stud partition, covered in plaster board and skimmed with plaster by a professional builder. The room is well insulated and includes a slightly raised floor, making it a good workable environment throughout the whole year. All the benches where recycled and reassembled using wood from the previous darkroom. It is not a large space, and certainly only large enough for one person to work comfortably in but I find it sufficient for my printing needs.
The pictures show various stages of the construction, illustrating both wet and dry benches along with the enlarger area. The De Vere 203 dichromat enlarger is controlled by a RH Stop clock timer.

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Darkroom