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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Dark Rooms...How Many People Still Use Dark Rooms. As Since Most People Now Use Digital, I Was Wondering How Many People ...
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Old 05-12-2006, 17:00   #1 (permalink)

PLEASE NOTE

I TYPE USING CAPITALS DUE TO A DISABILTY

THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING
 
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Dark Rooms

How Many People Still Use Dark Rooms. As Since Most People Now Use Digital, I Was Wondering How Many People Still Use Film, And Develop And Print Their Own Films. I Would Imagine That With Almost Everyone Having A Digital Camera Now, This Must Have Lost A Lot Of Photographers Work. I Would Think When People Used To Employ A Photographer For Functions Such As Weddings, Christenings, Parties Etc.they Don't Bother Anymore As Everyone There Will Have A Digital Camera. It Might Seem Digital Is The Future, But How Many People Are Suffering Because Of It. In The Eighties I Was Resident Photographer At Caesar's Palace In Luton,which Was A Nightclub, Then I Went To Blazers Nightclub In Windsor. I Used To Make Quite A Good Living From This, But It Was Hard Work From Nine In The Evening Till Two In The Morning,by The Time I Got Home,it Was About 3-30then I Would Get Up At About Seven, To Start Developing And Printing My Films, Which Could Be Between Four And Ten A Night. Plus I Used To Do Weddings,etc As Well.processing Was Hard Work,but It Was Seeing The Print Come Through In The Developer Tray That Gave You The Buzz And Made It Worthwhile. Digital V Film I Don't Know.
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Old 05-12-2006, 20:06   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

Woody, hope you don't mind me asking but why do you always type every word with a capital letter? I must confess I have skipped a lot of your posts just because they are so hard to read. I wonder if other people find it hard to read as well?

Just an observation.
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Old 05-12-2006, 20:20   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

STILL doing both.
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Old 05-12-2006, 21:59   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

Woody, another surviver from Luton/Dunstable!! Did you ever go to the better nightclub, the California?

I always had a problem with having my own darkroom. I started City & Guilds and joined a club just to access a darkroom! Now, I can do everything I ever did in the dark sitting at my computer, (well, almost everything) and I can see the effect instantly, and reverse it if I have over/under done it.

I think you have overlooked a very important point in your thesis. Although lots of people have decent digital cameras now, I would never consider not employing a professional to formally record an important event. There is no way that an average photographer can match what a pro (or very serious amateur) can do. And I'd want my wedding or other important event to be photographed with a medium format camera for preference, or at least, a top end digital/35mm. I'll concede that an MF camera would probably not be the weapon of choice to use in a club, but like for like, digital is now better than 35mm film. You only have to see some of the shots of bands on this forum to see wqhat can be achieved. If you had your D200 in the days you were doing the nightclubs, you could have done the processing quicker, and maybe, better.

If anyone thinks that they only need to get Uncle Fred to bang off a few happy snaps to give them a record of a special event, then good luck to them.

The real loosers in the digital revolution are the processing companies. Joe Average can now produce their own prints that are as good as they can get from the High Street. At far greater cost, of course, but cleaver marketing of the hardware has fooled them into thinking that it is a good idea to do your own printing, and a whole new industry has grown from it.

I know exactly what you mean about the buzz from seeing a print appear in the dish. But it is nowhere near the feeling you get when you realise that the films you have just taken from the developing tank have been bleached out by the fixer not having the right dilution.
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Old 06-12-2006, 06:52   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

You'd have a hard job over bleach fixing a film.
All it does is remove residual salts, you would have to leave a film in the tank for days before noticing a discernable difference.
Over devving, now that's another story.

Last edited by Soupdragon; 06-12-2006 at 13:39. Reason: typo
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:37   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

Gave up darkroom years ago, as it took up so much time.....says moi now with this site

Although a magical experience in a darkroom, digital has too many advantages for me to ever go back . Each to their own I think
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Old 06-12-2006, 13:34   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

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Originally Posted by Soupdragon View Post
You'd have a hard job over bleach fixing a film.
All it does is remove residual salts, you would have to live a film in the tank for days before noticing a discernable difference.
Over devving, now that's another story.
Shows you how long it's been since I did this!!
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Old 06-12-2006, 13:40   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

That said, the large format puritans would flame me for making heretic comments like that.
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Old 06-12-2006, 15:06   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

A long time since I used a darkroom. I do not miss the excitement of processing films and prints because I find it even more interesting using the much greater range of digital techniques. The standard of pictures I can now produce exceeds those of my darkroom era by a large margin. I am not too bothered about the tools and materials I use as it is the final picture that drives me. The world has moved on but one always retains a rosier view of the past than is often justified.
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Old 06-12-2006, 18:02   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

Hmmmm!, I still think the two technologies should be complimentary!
If I had a concern (which I do) it would be the longevity of storage media.
I have a number of cd/dvd's that have data on, some or all of which I cannot recover.
Yes it's a chore sloshing around up to your arse in E6 chemistry or having to fill out mailers for your slides but...
I have recently started scanning my slide collection and what suprises me the most is, they look as good as the day I first viewed them, some of which are in excess of 30 years old.
I am not convinced the technology will be around to read cd/dvd's in the next 20 years and that will be a loss to me and my children/grandchildren.
I have no problem with digital in any of its forms and do enjoy the processes as much as the next man, I just do the important stuff on film.

Remember, hold a slide to the light and you see an image, hold a dvd to the light and you see a hole.
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Old 06-12-2006, 20:10   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soupdragon View Post

Remember, hold a slide to the light and you see an image, hold a dvd to the light and you see a hole.
I wish people would stop knocking Dunstable!!!!
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Old 06-12-2006, 20:36   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

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I wish people would stop knocking Dunstable!!!!
Dabhand, I like it.

Thanks for your thoughts Soupdragon, You are not the only one who is pleased to have negatives and slides, of 50 years ago, to work from. We did what we did at the time because it was/is creative and we enjoyed it. We had to control our exposures in more sense than shutter speeds.
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Old 07-12-2006, 06:37   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

You Guys!
I don't wanna debate digi vs film, I do think people should be concerned about storage media longevity.
As soon as someone comes up with a device for storing images in digi format for in excess of 100 years, I will then use my FD kit for banging in nails and burn my slides.
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Old 07-12-2006, 07:16   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

I use the darkroom at my college and I love it. I find developing the films a bit time consuming especially when I have deadlines but there is nothing like printing your own photos, especially when you finally get that perfect print.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:24   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

B+W purists will also know that the dynamic range of film, as of yet, cannot be matched by imaging sensors.
Although HDR goes a long way to correcting this problem.
BTW: I think it is admirable that some here have not totally abandoned the old/original techniques.
My personal feelings are, film and associated processes will become, if not already, a niche market.
So it's not dead (yet).
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Old 08-12-2006, 16:19   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

I grew up developing all my own photos, started with an old Zenith enlarger making prints. Then learnt how to develop the negs. Then learnt how to do colour prints and print those with a Durst colour enlarger. If I didn't live in a small flat, I would still do some now just to keep my hand in but I have to say I get absolutely as much pleasure from using my lightroom as I ever did my darkroom.... and my hands don't stink of chemicals all the time LOL.

There is plenty of room for both film and digital processing and hence there really isn't a need for digital v film debates, any more than there is a need to debate whether you travel by car or motorbike: do what you want! Just don't tell someone who chooses an alternative method of anything that they are somehow inferior or less valid in other ways because they don't do it your way.

One thing I must say though: I do believe that having a background in film usage, developing, printing etc gives you a good head start when it comes to post-processing digitally. I don't mean it necessarily makes you better at it but sure helps to get you started and to understand the dynamics of image processing.

Cheers,
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Old 08-12-2006, 17:27   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

Darkroom was a double good hobby when I had a garage.
I would spend entire evenings out there away from the wife and kids and get merrily smashed on cheap sherry.
Ahhhh! memories.
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Old 08-12-2006, 21:33   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

It would have been even better if you'd locked yourself AND your wife in there away from the kids! No plans, just wait and see what develops <g>

<sorry>
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Old 08-12-2006, 21:42   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

ROB!!!!!!!!! i think cos he has kids already he knows damn fine whats likely to develop!
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Old 08-12-2006, 21:59   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

You tell him Fi.
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Old 08-12-2006, 22:12   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

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ROB!!!!!!!!! i think cos he has kids already he knows damn fine whats likely to develop!
Fiona, get your mind out of the gutter woman, I was talking about photography!
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Old 09-12-2006, 18:35   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

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B+W purists will also know that the dynamic range of film, as of yet, cannot be matched by imaging sensors.
I have read nothing to confirm this. What is your source for this information? From my web research film is limited to about 8 stops max dynamic range whereas digital sensors can manage 11 to 12 stops.
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Old 10-12-2006, 18:51   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

Sorry, that should have been colour range.
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Old 10-12-2006, 21:04   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Dark Rooms

I still do not understand what the colour range then has to do with Black and White purist. In any case even if colour film has a wider gamut than digital sensors, you are still limited by the printing process which definitely has a smaller gamut than either film or sensors. I started processing colour film and printing from colour film 25 years ago but there is no doubt in my mind that I am getting much better results from a modern digital camera and printer than I did at any time I was working in a darkroom.

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