How to Make Your Own Dark Room

If you like developing your own photographs, you might have to create your own dark room. This will be better for you and will save you time and money whether you’re a professional or just starting to learn photography. To create your own dark room, you need to find a place in your home that you can use and convert into your workspace.

Finding the perfect space

A small room with access to water is advised but not really necessary. It’s also better if the room that you choose is air conditioned because you will spend a lot of time in there and proper ventilation is always a bonus. A portable AC can be used so you can transfer it in different rooms. The important thing to make sure of is that the room is totally dark and no light penetrates it at all cost. You can use black curtains around the room to make sure that no light comes in.

Setting up your dark room

Wet and Dry Side
Once you find the perfect spot for you, you are now ready to do some setting up. Make sure that your dark room has a wet and dry side for you to use. In developing your photos, you need to soak your negatives in water as part of the process. After soaking them in water, you need to hang them to dry. Having separate sides of the room where you soak and hang pictures will lower the chances of you making mistakes and damaging the photos that you are trying to develop in the room.

Use counters and drawers

If your dark room is spacious, you will find that having a table or a counter where you can place everything that you will use in order is very helpful. Having a drawer or a cupboard underneath your enlarger is also handy so you can store photo papers that you will use. If you chose your bathroom as the space to set up your dark room, make sure that all light sensitive supplies have storage spaces that are not penetrated by light.

Keep your trays organized

Organize your trays so that the first one can be used for the developer solution, the second is for your stop solution and the third is for your fix solution. Your fourth tray can have running water directed to it through a pipe or a faucet for the “bath”. If you don’t have access to running water, a tray with water in it will also work. However, it will be harder for you to fetch water in and out of the dark room if you don’t have access to running water.

Keep the room ventilated

It’s best to build your dark room in a place where there is proper ventilation. A room with air conditioning is preferred because your photographs can get ruined by extreme heat. You can also expect to spend hours or even days inside your dark room, so it will be good if you have air conditioning installed in it. Some of your tools and materials are also very sensitive with extreme heat. Having good ventilation will protect your equipment from getting damaged or ruined overtime.