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, and is the creative heart of any analogue photography.
I have worked in a number of darkrooms over the years, from 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 40yrs ago.
A loft is not a good place to work throughout the year, as it can be too warm in the summer and extremely cold in the winter. My need for a darkroom space that I could comfortably work in all year around made me relocate the darkroom to an area in my garage, where I have created a 9x7 square foot working area. The space has a decent sized wet bench area that can accommodate 3 16x20 trays, alongside a 30x40inch sink. On the opposite side there is a small dry bench area within 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