Goodbye, Darkroom. R.I.P.


All my life I’ve wanted to have my own darkroom, designed and equipped the way I wanted. And finally I had it. High-end gear, every tool, all the gadgets. (Thanks, Walt!) Full range of Nikkor EL lenses, every possible format carrier from 110 to 4×5. Densitometer. Additional enlarger for pre-flashing. Jobo processor with every possible tank for film and print. Lots of cool glassware like in science lab. Everything.

A bad pano of my darkroom.

A bad pano of my darkroom.

Until today. I’m having to dismantle it and tear it down. BTW, did I mention that I built it myself? Did the framing, the sheetrock, the electrical, the plumbing, all the finishing. Everything.

Well, we’ve had more kids than this house was designed for, so the basement has to become functional space. The darkroom is taking up space that will have to become my new office.

Does it sound like I’m taking this pretty hard. Well, I am. Having a darkroom was one of my few goals / dreams / splurges. And it was my own sweat and a little blood that built it over a period of about three years. And worst of all, I finished it a month before I bought my first DSLR. I haven’t actually printed anything in it!

I get a little consolation as I see how much trouble the contractor is having tearing it down. Let’s say I overbuilt it. Used screws for all the framing and sheetrocking. Lots of them! It was pretty sturdy.

Well, anyway. It is what it is. I miss it. I will miss it. There is just nothing like working in a real darkroom. And the craft of silver-based black and white printing is dying.

I guess I’ll have to find a decent scanner and printer for my old stuff.

Very heavy sigh…

[Update, 6/29/15 – I still miss it…]

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