Photography in a Darkroom

A darkroom is a special room where photographic film is developed. Photographic film consists of celluloid that is coated with silver halide crystals that are photosensitive and can take photographs. Photography in a darkroom uses a special set of equipment that allows photographers to control the light carefully during the development process, so that the photographs on the film do not get overexposed and damaged.

The most important piece of equipment in a darkroom is the enlarger. This is a machine that transfers the image from the negative onto a sheet of paper through a special light. It is the most important tool in the entire darkroom because without it, photographers could not make a print of their photographs.

Another important part of a darkroom is the safelight. Safelights are special lights that help to control the amount of light that is used during darkroom development. These lights are usually made of a red filter that helps to prevent the blue light from entering the darkroom, which can ruin photographic paper by causing it to develop incorrectly or not at all.

Using the correct safelight for a given area in the darkroom is very important, because safelights are designed to provide a certain amount of light that will not cause a problem when developing black & white or color photographic paper. If a safelight is too strong, it will cause a condition called safelight fog. This happens when the safelight is placed too close to the enlarger or to the work area in the darkroom, exposing the enlarging paper to too much light and making it difficult to see the enlarging process or to focus the camera on the subject of the photograph.

In addition, if the safelight is too weak, it can also be harmful to the enlarging paper. This can occur when the paper is moved from one area in the darkroom to the other, or if the safelight is moved too quickly from the enlarger to the enlarging paper.

It is best to use a red safelight that is designed specifically for the enlarging process. This is because a safelight with a red filter is specifically made for the purpose of preventing the blue light from entering the darkroom and affecting the enlarging process.

Red is a very effective light for enlarging and developing photographs. The silver halide crystals that are the primary material in photography film require high energy (i.e. blue) to react, so they are less sensitive to light that is in the red spectrum.

Other colors, such as amber and dark green, are less commonly used for enlarging and developing because they can sometimes affect the outcome of the process. These filters are not as efficient at blocking out the blue light as a red safelight, and they may not be compatible with some of the more modern black & white materials that are used for the process.

Other than the enlarging process, there are many other ways that photographers use darkrooms to make prints of their images. They may create contact prints of their negatives, or they may enlarge an entire roll of film and then develop it to produce a finished print. These methods are less common, but they are used by some professionals and enthusiasts.