Getting Started

So you have decided that you want to build a darkroom in your house? As it happens I grew up with a darkroom in my house, built by my father (with a little help from my grandfather). I also went to a brand new high school in the 90’s which had a fancy new darkroom to play with. I went many years far away from the world of film photography, and it took me a bit in my mid-twenties to learn it all over again with digital. So here I am, going backwards in time, to enjoy the magic and alchemy of the darkroom.

My father is a master in the darkroom (a professional photographer for his entire life), and I’ve started this site as a way to document his knowledge, and share it with others.

Recommended reading:

Light and Film
LIFE Library of Photography
Find on Amazon

The Print
LIFE Library of Photography
Find on Amazon

Websites for getting help and learning more:

Analog Photography Group

The Enlarger

My father recommends Omega, and the internets agree that Omega and Beseler are the best to buy used.

I would recommend you check locally (or closest cities) on craigslist before you check ebay. A full darkroom setup is nice for a beginner and that is often how it is sold. They seem to go for $100 – $300 for a “darkroom setup”.

Questions to ask:

Which lenses are included with the enlarger?
Which formate is the enlarger setup to print (35mm, Medium Formate etc)?
Is it a color or B&W enlarger?
Does it work?
When was it last used?
Where was it stored?


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