I’ve had two darkrooms in my life. The first was a makeshift affair I cobbled together in the basement laundry room of my parent’s home in Upstate New York. It was simple and crude, but adequate enough for me to learn to develop black and white film and make prints on a 1950s era Federal enlarger that was a hand-me-down from a friend’s father. When I left home, my mother was happy to have her laundry room back.
My second darkroom was built in the mid 1990s in my suburban Phoenix home. Carved out of some space in the third bay of a three car garage, it was a dream lab complete with a real darkroom sink, air conditioning, sound system, archival print washer and an amazing Omega ProLab enlarger. I spent many hours under the glow of safelight in that desert darkroom. I lost the darkroom and the home to a divorce in 2000.
I’d like to have another darkroom someday, if only to go through the exercise of designing and building the space…maybe spending some rainy days holed away inside. I think some of my work deserves to be printed.
In the meantime, I enjoy seeing some of the darkrooms that photographers are working in on the various Facebook darkroom groups I am a member of. That’s where I came across Adam Bartos’ book Darkroom.
It’s a large, coffee table book containing many interesting images of darkrooms and darkroom equipment…fascinating for darkroom geeks like me. I can almost smell the stop bath!