Show Us Your Darkroom #2: Marc Morel
As our first “Show Us Your Darkroom” was so popular, we thought we’d carry on with the series! We’ve got plenty more lined up for the next few weeks and, of course, if you want to show us your darkroom, please get in touch. But for now, over to Marc.
My darkroom’s getting on for four years old now, and represents the progress of a dozen years of accumulation of ever easier-to-use bits and pieces. In fact I think over that time I’ve probably been through about five enlargers of ever-diminishing terrible-ness, ending up with the mighty Durst AC1200 you see in the pictures.
If there’s a theme with my darkroom it’s ‘compactness’, fitting snugly as it does within the space ostensibly labelled ‘laundry’ (although I’ve done my best to dissuade otherwise with signage). There is no room at all for standard trays, let alone a ‘wet bench’, so I praise the inventors of the Nova 16×12” upright tank, which sits altogether too close to the enlarger, and adjacent to the laundry sink for print washing.
With compactness comes a very nice ergonomic though, with pretty much everything within arms’ reach. Everything not sitting on the bench has a spot on a shelf or peg or wall-mounted tub, and the drying rack sits on the adjacent wall. Light-tightness from the window is provided by a removable/ventilated baffle (with in-flow air from a bathroom fan above the sink), and all the lighting is LEDs – with some lovely ex-Kodak lab MARL lamps for safelights.
As for equipment – the aforementioned Durst and Nova are the mainstays, with a tub of lenses for various formats, a Jobo CPE2 (plus a spare) for film development, a small air compressor (begone, dust!), an ancient ipod for the Massive Dev Chart, and my precious yellow book of everything (exposure details for every print I’ve made since 2003, lest I want to reprint (or try again to get something right) – so handy!)
All in all, this has been a great space to print in and I think I might even struggle within a larger space, conditioned, as I am to work in this cupboard. I have barely scratched the surface of what the enlarger can do (it has a controller as big as a Commodore 64), so there is plenty of scope for many future happy days pottering about in here.