Friday, April 22, 2005

Darkrooms

The following is a rant on my darkroom situation. It may make you snooze. Please move on if this disinterests you...

Why can't I find a decent, perfect darkroom? The one I have a membership with has a 5 hour maximum time limit which includes the wash time. That's not enough for me. My prints have also been getting dark spots on the back and I can't figure out what is going on. It has never happened in all my years of printing and I have now become superstitious. I even brought a clove of garlic and a bowl of salt with me during my last 2 visits. Seemed to work. But then again, maybe it was because I brought my own tongs. I asked for a partial refund and I don't think I'll be getting it. The guy pointed to some fine print that said that they are not responsible for any damage on their premises. Yeah, but what if I am expecting a certain level of working equipment and chemicals in their darkroom?? I was even misinformed and hadn't been placing my prints in the hypoclear for a long enough time. Thank goodness I called the chemical company and got the correct info.

I only have 2 other darkroom options at this point and neither one is perfect. The almost perfect one is 40 minutes to an hour away (depending on traffic) and it also only has a 5 hour time limit (but there are possibilities of being able to go over it if no one takes the next time slot). The other darkroom is way closer to home but is a little grungier. The guy running the place started looking at me like I was slightly neurotic when I asked him all of my questions...especially when I brought my own board when I rented his drymount press. He pointed to some paper that I could place between the dirty board, but I prefer my 2 ply museum board which is acid free.

I guess I am neurotic. So what? I must have high standards if other people will be looking at my prints and possibly buying them.

I miss my $5 per visit community darkroom in San Francisco.

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