Making a darkroom print

There are tons of excellent written guides about how to work in a photographic darkroom. There are even a few videos, but because digital cameras don’t really work well in almost total darkness, the videos are usually a bit rubbish.

However, I have a DSLR which has been converted for full spectrum photography (infra-red and ultraviolet), primarily for doing astronomy. The converted camera is not only sensitive to infrared light, but also about four times more sensitive to visible red light than a regular DSLR. This means my astronomical camera can “see” in the darkroom under red safelight as if it were broad daylight. To the human eye, it is quite dark but you can just about see what you’re doing. The video is deceptive!

I made a brief overview video depicting me making a black & white print from a negative, and toning it sepia. If this seems to be popular then I will consider making other darkroom videos, concentrating in more detail on technique (and doing a less sloppy job). If this appeals to you, please let me know in the comments.

Equipment used to make the video

  • Canon EOS 600D for shots under normal lighting
  • Canon EOS 600D with full-spectrum mod for shots under red safelighting
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens for most shots
  • Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 lens for most shots
  • Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens for close-ups
  • Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 wide angle zoom lens for wide shots

Equipment used in the video

  • De Vere 54 enlarger, converted to LED light source

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