I went to the darkroom today. Needed to finish up a few prints for an assignment. But before that, I went down to the river with my Nikon FM and shot about a roll of film. I’m looking forward to seeing how they turn out. I entered the creepy and forbidden “Camp.” Didn’t see anyone. Last time I saw someone there, I almost got beat up–by a chain-smoking woman at least 30 years older than me. I was kinda hoping to see her again. I’d like to photograph her … after I picked myself up off the ground. Anyway, I got some interesting shots of the deserted camp with its ancient campers and rotting fishing docks. But the best part was seeing the peacock. I was walking on the river bank, away from the camp, and straight ahead of me stood a peacock. I didn’t photograph it; it wasn’t close enough. But wow, surreal. I wondered if it belonged to someone, but who? No one lives out there except for the people at the camp, and the place was desserted as far as I could tell. The peacock and I just studied one another for a few moments. It looked at me as if it knew something I didn’t know, and then it disappeared into the woods.

Self PortraitThere are some scratches on these prints, but I figured out why my film keeps getting scratched: I’m not cutting the lead enough. A jagged piece is left to scratch the whole roll as I shift it onto the reel. I made sure to cut it this last time, and no scratches, so that is good. None of these scans are from that roll. I have printed a few of them, but I haven’t scanned any yet.ย These prints were all taken on 400 speed film. I have developed a roll of 100 speed, and I like it better, but it could be the new camera too.

A Pitcher


Sewing Machine on a Stove

ย I have noticed that I tire more easily in the darkroom. I can usually only work for 2-3 hours at a time. I think I am ready to learn a few new things, like making maps for dodging and burning and such. Up to this point, it has been straight prints from negatives, but I feel as if I’m ready to do a little experimenting now.

After the darkroom, I went and got my hair done.

26 thoughts on “Prints

    • This blog isnt called Quirk’n It for nothing. ๐Ÿ˜‰ BTW, are you still planning on doing a website? Are you just going to upgrade your blog to a website? I think that is what I am going to do. My upgrade (for special fonts) expires in about a week, so I need to do it soon. I’m just kinda worried about what’s going to happen when I push the button. Hope my blog doesn’t *poof*

      • Oh yeah… its almost ready ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll probably start posting from it in days. I’m not going with the upgrade, I went with self-hosting which needs a lot of work so I don’t recommend that option unless you really have a business and think you’ll make money.
        I’m quite a technical person, I’m doing this for the “experience” but I can see myself go back to in 1-2 years if it gets too much. The journey is just about to begin ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I’m looking forward to seeing it, and adding it to my Google Reader. I just started using Google Reader, and I don’t check it as often as I do this website, but I still look at it every few days. Haha, most of the peeps on my reader are already on WordPress. I have your blog on there, for example. LOL. ๐Ÿ˜€ After some extensive research, I’ve decided against upgrading the blog. I’ll just upgrade my special fonts and go with the flow for now.

    • I don’t mind the scratches in the self portrait … they work for me. The sloppy printing in the pitcher is fine with me too. There is definitely such a thing as happy accidents, and I’m not too proud to use them. I wasn’t entirely unhappy with the flaws in these specific prints. There were others, though, where the flaws just didn’t work for me. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. I love the placement of your hand in your self-portrait and also the image of Caroline! It sounds like you had quite the eventful day, from peacocks to a new ‘do. I cannot wait to see your work as it progresses, and I’m glad you figured out the scratching thing.

  2. Hi, I’ve just come to visit your blog, because you liked my post on Dali. I like your photos especially the b&w ones. I though darkrooms were a thing of the past. Have you tried b&w with a digital camera? Does it work?

    • Hi there! Yes, I’ve never seen a real Dali, but I would like to at some point. Most of my B&W images are digital on this blog, so yes, I do convert them. My main reason now for learning the darkroom is so that I will be able to make my own prints, eventually the digital ones in large format. You can buy a printer or have them made for you, but it’s very expensive and I like to be part of the entire process. There’s something about printing your own image that makes it feel more personal, at least for me! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Love the ร‡aroline image.
    A quick tip if I am not being presumptuous and you don’t do it already: pull the leader out with a film extractor (in day light) and trim the leader then round the two sharp edges a bit. Stops your problem and also makes the film go into the reel a lot easier.


    • Hi David, thank you very much for the suggestion! I have struggled with not cutting the lead enough, so I’ll definitely try pulling it out and cutting it first. Appreciate it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Here is a trick if you keep getting scratches and don’t want them. Nose grease. Take your finger and wipe some nose grease from your nose onto both sides of the negative. Make sure you blow the negatives off before using, but this will work. Had to resort to using this trick for years in the darkroom when on a press deadline, or whenever. You won’t hurt your negs at all, so no worries.

  5. Oh, sorry for two posts. One other trick to run in the dark room is have a fourth tray handy with lukewarm water. Put your print in to the developer, and when your image just starts to appear, pull print and put in the warm water for 30 or so seconds, then go back to the developer. Don’t get the water too warm because it will fog your print if you aren’t careful. You can keep going back and forth with no worries. It really helps your silvers to pop. My suggestion from what I see on your blog is watch your whites a little. They are a little too muddy. You want to have more separation between your white, midtones and blacks. But your work is really progressing nicely. Hope you take the suggestions in the spirit they are intended.


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