If you are a current member of the Dublin University Photographic Association you have access to two fully equipped photographic darkrooms. It is worthwhile availing of the facilities and giving traditional darkroom printing a try. This post should shepherd you from the process of booking the darkroom to drying your final print.
1. Booking the Darkroom
There is a sign up sheet in the front arch pinned to the DUPA notice board. Pick your slots and put your name down.
2. Collect the key at your allotted time
The keys for both darkrooms are kept in the security office – on presentation of your DUPA card and a photo ID you can get the keys. Your DUPA card will be kept until you return the keys.
3. Finding the Atrium Darkroom
This is possibly the most difficult aspect of printing in the DUPA darkroom. The atrium darkroom is hidden next to the committee room in the lower reaches of the atrium next to the dining hall. The easiest way to find it is to aim for the cash machine next to the dining hall go up the steps and keep going until you find a door. Enter the atrium and go down the stairs. Go through the double doors and the committee room is on the left hand side as you walk towards the toilets. The darkroom is next to the committee room. If you found it well done!
When you enter the darkroom you will find black concertina bottles filled with all the pre-mixed chemistry you will need for basic printing. These are made fresh every Monday and so far every-time I have used the room they have been in good condition and ready to use. There are lots of bottles of chemicals, stop, fix and developer if you do need to mix these fresh for yourself. The instructions are on the bottles.
Pour your chemicals into the trays provided, they are labelled Dev, Stop and Fix the fourth tray is for water, once you have developed, stopped and fixed your print you can rest your print in the water before your final rinse.
6. The Enlarger
Insert your negative into the negative carrier. You should place it with the shiny side facing up. Turn on the focus light using the timer switch.
You can adjust the size of the picture you want to print using the easel to crop the frame and using the handle on the right you can make the image larger or smaller. When you have the picture you want you can use the focus knob to sharpen the image. I find if I place a sheet of paper on the easel it makes it very easy to see the picture. There is an aperture adjustment on the lens – in the DUPA darkroom i have been setting this to f4 for most of the prints and it is giving short exposure times and sharp images, as you practice more you will see a benefit in adjusting this to allow for longer exposure times.
There is a colour head on the enlarger that can be used to take advantage of split grade printing and other creative opportunities but that is best explored once you have the basics.
7. The Timer
You can use the timer to turn on the focus light to arrange you composition and find your focus. The + and – buttons are used to set the exposure time and when you have you sheet of paper ready to go you hit the big button to start the timer and turn on the light.
8. Making a test print
In order to find the correct exposure time for your shot it can be helpful to make a test print using different exposure times. This will let you see what effect using more or less light can have on your final image. Place your paper under the enlarger and make a base exposure for the entire sheet – my base exposure above was 10 seconds. You then cover the page with cardboard and set the timer for 1 second. Move the card along the page in 2cm gabs to give a selection of exposures. In my example above after the initial base exposure I then exposed at an additional 1 second for each of the gaps to give an idea of the correct exposure. Looking at my test print I determined the correct exposure to be around 15 seconds.
9. Develop, Stop and Fix
Take your print from the enlarger and glide it into the tray of developer. You should start to see an image after about 15 seconds and after about 30 seconds – depending on how fresh the chemistry is your print should be fully developed. Using the tongs lift your print and put it into the stop bath for about 20 seconds. Then you can move it into the next tray – this is the fixer and once you have left the print in here about 60 seconds you should be able to turn on the lights and have a look at your print.
10. Making your Final Print
It is very similar to making the test print but instead you expose the entire page from the time you have determined using your test print. Then develop, stop and fix as above. For my final prints I always fix for a full 5 minutes and then move them to a water bath where I will rinse a bunch of them at the same time. You need to rinse them for long enough to wash away any residual chemistry. The rinse times for fiber papers are much longer than the resin coasted paper.
11. Drying your Prints
You can either hang your prints to dry on the line above the sink or if you are in a hurry you can use the print dryer on the counter by the door. This can only be used for resin coated paper. You turn it on, set the temperature and when it has warned up you can insert your prints into the rollers and they will appear on the other side already dry.
12. Clean Up
It is always best to leave the room how you would like to find it, pour the chemistry back into the correct bottles, wash out all the trays and tongs, clean up any spillages. Turn off the lights and fans, lock the door and go home.
This has been a rough guide to making a print in the DUPA darkroom and it gives a very basic overview but my hope is that there is enough information here to let you make you own prints without over-complicating it. Feel free to ask me questions here or post them on the DUPA Facebook page and I will try to answer what I can.
216/365/2014 – Apple Products
Beta testing some new coffee cups in work today. They seem to hold an average size apple and a Caffè Americano
218/365/2014 – Film Box
Sorting out the darkroom to make space for the new arrival. I combined all my film into one location and have decided that I don’t need to buy any more film for a little while.
220/365/2014 – Wooden Heart
Film: Kodak Tri-X
Dev: Agfa Adanol 1+100 60mins
221/365/2014 – Little Sur
A ramble along the cliffs at Howth today and some fun with the slow shutter app on the phone.
It was less windy today so I managed one shot from the edge. Scared myself a little and packed up again.
222/365/2014 – Sculpture In Context
Its that time again the annual sculpture in context exhibition at the national botanical gardens. This place is always great for a walk but with the addition of many works of art it really is wonderful.
224/365/2014 Tara Street
Camera: Olympus Mju II
Film: Kodak Gold 200
Dev: C-41 (Lab)
225/365/2014 – Meet me at the Arch
It’s funny how we all have our points of reference. I had a meeting with someone and the agreed location was the arch at Trinity College.
Until that meeting I never released how many arches there are in Trinity. We eventually found each other wandering around the city screeching – Is this the arch I’m looking for.
226/365/2014 – Packing
An unexpected change in my work arrangements has allowed me to join my wife and a buddy for a weekend trip to visit an old pal in Girona.
It’s a short stay – hand luggage only so this is the choice for the weekend, the Nettar Zeiss Ikon for 120 and the Fm2 for 35mm
227/365/2014 – Anna
Catching up with Anna over a beer in her home town was a real treat. I had not seen her in months and I am glad to say she has not changed one bit.
This girl is the good kind of crazy.
228/365/2014 – Lolo Y Gala
Life imitating art, imitating life.
A surreal visitation to the home of Gala Dali was one of the many wonderful things that happened today.
I shots lots of film, and went a bit crazy with the iPhone snaps but for me the amusement I get from this shot makes it the 365 shot for today.
229/365/2014 – Cadaqués
Another wonderful day on the Costa Brava – today we visited Cadaqués, swam in the sea again, ate good food, laughed and had fun. I loved the narrow street and the beautiful doorways.
230/365/2014 – Girona
A whirlwind visit left us with 1hr and 15 minutes to explore the city before eating breakfast on the go and getting to the airport.
We saw enough of the city to let me know that I had seen very little of it and I am already trying to work out when I can go back again.
231/365/2014 – Little Brown Bottles
Following a recent “incident” involving some of my chemicals I have decided it was time to re-organise.
Amber glass bottles and a whole pile of labels is the way of the future.
232/365/2014 – Soup Season
I have become obsessed with noodle soup and its inexhaustible variations.
The weather is starting to get a little cooler so making this every few days for lunch is keeping the chills away.
233/365/2014 – The Drop Off
It is with a sense of trepidation that I leave these with my “lab” . They lost two rolls last time but were “very sorry”. I do my own 120 at home but I find that for 35mm it is fast and cheap to let the lab dev and scan. The rare failure on their part is something I can live with for the convenience……but if it is really important to me I dev them at home myself….
235/365/2014 – Irish Street Photography Group
Once a month Des Byrne organises a street photography meet up – It is a great way to spend a Saturday morning and there is always a nice bunch of people.
Generally Des suggests a couple of themes for the walk and this month one was “Film – 27 shots” many of the photographers used disposable film cameras to try and challenge themselves and restrict the number of pictures that they could take on the route. I shot with my Fm2 and had the dubious honour of taking the group shot at the start of the walk.
Pretty typical of my group shots – I made an arse of it….but I think in the end I only missed about 5 people.
You can find the results of some of these outings on the groups flickr page – this is heavily moderated so the standard is pretty high.
Film: Kodak Tri-X 400
Dev: Agfa Studional 1+100 75mins
236/365/2014 – A Very Berry Outing
It is that time of year again. The brambles are full of juicy black berries and I’m out for a forage.
The plan is for a harvest tart later in the day depending on the bounty.
237/365/2014 – You Little Tart
The net results of yesterdays pickings was about 3KG of blackberries. Some are now frozen for winter treats but a lot went into two crumbles and an Apple and Blackberry tart. A big slice of which I am eating for my breakfast.
I really do like soup
I know that some days it seems like I am just taking photos of my lunch but if you dig a little deeper you will spot that I am very carefully considering the light and shadow in these pictures – I treat each one as a miniature still life……or I am just taking pictures of my lunch – you decide.
239/365/2014 – Lith Printing
I have finally decided to give this a proper go. I normally tried lith printing while doing some other work but this time I have come to the darkroom with nothing but lith on my mind.
241/365/2014 – Cliffs at Sunrise
One of the main benefits of the short winter days is that it gets very easy to get out of bed on time to catch the sun rise.
This was a glorious morning for late September and if this is my last great sunrise of the winter I am very glad to have made the effort to catch it.
244/365/2014 – The Mask
Sometimes, but not always I get to look like this in work.
Given the choice between shaving off my beard and wearing the net for the day I normally choose to have a shave….sometimes I forget…
This is a very quick guide to testing your film fixer. Unless you make fresh fixer every-time you develop your film you might be using your fixer more than you really should. I have in the past pushed mine a little too far and have regretted ending up with poor negatives that required to be re-fixed. So now if I have any concern at all I test my fix or just make a new batch.
1. Retain the leaders that you are cutting from your film.
2. Pour some fixer into a container
3. Put the leader in the fix
4. Agitate the mixture and time how long it takes for the film to go clear
5. This is for how long you should fix your film .
Any more than 3 mins and I discard the fixer and make a fresh batch.
An interesting variation on two of the constant themes of my blog, pinhole photography and film swaps. At some point during the WPPD trip to Amsterdam we were all invited to place a roll of shot 120 film in a bowl. You then picked at random from the selection and re-shot the roll in the classic film swap mode. The difference here is that you both shot using pinhole cameras.
I was very lucky to pick the roll shot by the wonderful and talented Jesús Joglar. I had been following his pinhole work on his blog and flickr since I first took an interest in shooting pinhole. It was a real treat for me to be paired with him.
In theory since we both used Zero 4×5 cameras with horseman 120 roll backs everything should have lined up to give us the perfect double exposure with a 6×7 aspect…..but since I really don’t know what I am doing most of the time I am happy to take the blame for the misalignment.
I enjoyed the collaboration and really love the results.
184/365/2014 – Journey
I have been known to play the occasional computer game. This is one of the ones that actually gets re-played.
It is visually stunning and has a haunting soundtrack.
185/365/2014 – Irish Summer
The plan was for a run around the Irish countryside watching the Poc Fada but the weather conspired against us and the event was canceled for player safety.
Back up plan – trip to the dead zoo and a stroll around the city and then met up with an old pal for a drink in Meath.
The occasional lazy Saturday is a wonderful thing.
191/365/2014 – Strokestown
I’m heading west for the weekend and playing tourist on route.
I have been pretty much diverting towards anything that catches my eye and stopping to take photos.
I shot this in IR with my f100 and Mamiya but I was so surprised to have sunlight that I went crazy with the iPhone also.
192/365/2014 – The Great Western Greenway
I got on a bike today for the first time since 1996, I then set off and cycled 42km through some of Irelands most beautiful landscape.
Good weather and even better company made it a pure joy from start to finish.
194/365/2014 – Embassy of India
The November travel plans are starting to look very real. We submitted our visa applications today and should have confirmation in a few days that all is OK and we can book our flights.
This trip has been a dream for so long that to be this close to doing it is really a treat.
197/365/2014 – Rush Hour
The part of me that sits in traffic because of this sort of stuff gets over it pretty quick. Why – because it’s rush hour and somebody in the middle of Dublin city is stuck behind a horse..Always a giggle.
201/365/2014 – Grub
Give a man fire and he will be warm for a few minutes, but set him on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life!! I am very lucky to have a friend in my life that is willing to teach me how to make these incredible dishes. Today we had a Sri Lankan feast and fed 16 people.
I pass this one on the way to work some days. It is “the church of the visitation of the B.V.M” The abbreviations are as they appear on the sign.
Film: Rollei Infrared 400S
Dev: Adox Adonal 1+100 60 mins 20c
206/365/2014 – Bella
My parents were kind enough to mind our two dogs so we could go away for the weekend. They seem to have opened a full time kennels as my sister had dropped her puppy off earlier in the week.
When I took this Bella was locked outside for a few minutes while we tried to get all the mutts settled.
207/365/2014 – Marbel Arch Global Geopark
I had been to the Marble Arch caves about 20 years ago and I had very vivid memories of the last trip.
We were in Cavan for the weekend and this place is about an hours drive across the border into Northern Ireland.
The tour of the caves was as good as I had remembered it and entering the caves on a boat really is a nice touch of drama.
After the tour we spent hours in the adjoining park land and found these cascades. I shot a roll of film here also and hope that I can get some prints of this location.
Film: Rollei Retro 80S
Dev: Agfa Studional 1+15 4mins
209/365/2014 – Caution Stairs
A helpful sign posted on the stairs that I was standing on.
I have a concern that we are so bombarded with this sort of thing that we will eventually lose the ability to think for ourselves.
210/365/2014 – Coffee Time
So I’m not really sure where the coffee goes when you spill it here but it disappeared real fast. The car is still working – running a little faster perhaps so I have resolved to feed it more coffee in future.
212/365/2014 – Coffee and Stroopwafel
Until yesterday I had never had a Stroopwafel, now I have eaten a whole packet. Our Dutch house guests introduced me to this method of consumption. I have left for work today buzzing from caffeine and sugar.
I NEED MORE!!!
213/365/2014 – Stamped
Sometimes in work I need to put my own stamp on things.
I think it would be much more interesting if I had a pot of melted wax and a signet ring but we all have to embrace the modern way of things.
214/365/2014 – Self with Rollei in Window
Its a compulsion. Hold a Rollei, see your reflection, shoot yourself.
I love this camera and every time i pick it up I think that I should use it more. The roll I just developed has 6 months worth of photos on it including this one shot today.
Film: Kodak Tri-X
Dev: Agfa Adanol 1+100 60mins
Camera: Nettar Zeiss Ikon
Film: Kodak Tri-X
Lens: Novar-Anastigmat 75mm f/3.5
Dev: HC110 (B) 6mins
Since the gates first opened on the 21st of February 1832 people have been dying to get in here. There has been a total of 1.5 million people interned in the the graveyard. To give that a little context, Dublin city has a current population of half a million people. This makes Glasnevin one of the most densely populated areas on the planet.
The graveyard is beautiful with a very rich history. It has become a major tourist attraction. This may seem a little macabre but just a few meters from the main entrance you are confronted with monuments and graves that bear the names of some of the most important people in the history of modern Ireland. These include the graves of Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith, Maude Gonne, Kevin Barry, Roger Casement, Constance Markievicz, Pádraig Ó Domhnaill, Seán MacBride, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, Frank Duff, Brendan Behan, Christy Brown and Luke Kelly
The graveyard is surrounded by a high stonewall and watch towers. These serve as a grim reminder of the popularity of body snatching and grave robbing of the late 18th century. The graves and monuments offer an interesting insight into the changing fashions for grave marking over the last 200 years. In the newest parts of the cemetery there is highly polished Italian marble headstones. Step a little further back in time and you see the large Celtic crosses with a hint of nationalism and all the way back at the foundation of the plot you find refined, stone monuments that speak of a more austere time.
The Glassnevin Trust has made a huge effort in building a world class museum and Genealogical archive on the site. The daily tours of the historical site are very popular. Since the cemetery is still in use one of the strangest sights you can hope to see is the guided tours being held alongside the arrival of a funeral possession.
If you happen to visit Dublin I would suggest that this place really is worth a visit.
Originally posted over at http://pinholeobscura.com/
Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Various Exposure Time.
Its a wonderful thing to be surprised by something so familiar. As a Dubliner I have looked at and passed over the royal canal literally hundreds of thousands of times in my life. I never really paid much attention to it. It was just a body of water that bisected the roads that I needed to drive on. Its narrow humped backed bridges can be a source of traffic congestion on the roads near my office – generally only an issue if I am in a real hurry to get somewhere. But it turns out that I friend of mine lives on the canal and I had really been missing out on a wonderful spot for a ramble and a few photos.
The Canal was built between 1790 and 1817 and its primary purpose was to bring freight and passengers from the Liffey in Dublin to Longford in the midlands. It connects with the river Shannon and at one point it would have been a pretty major piece of infrastructure. Sadly by the 1970’s the canal had fallen into total disrepair and there was talk by the local government of filling in the canal to allow a motorway to run through the heart of the city. Fortunately some forward thinking locals protested and successfully lobbied to save the canal which has now been totally resorted.
The canal is 140Km long and if you wanted you could now take a barge all the way from Dublin city centre to Cloondara in Co Longford. Having been surprised by the beauty of the walk between Ashtown and the city I am tempted to walk the other 120km just to see what I find.
Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Originally posted in February over on http://pinholeobscura.com/ why not follow the link for more pinhole fun!!