You Tube Sunday - How to set up a darkroom

When building a home darkroom, the first thing that you have to consider is the space. This video will help you understand what to look for when choosing a space for your own home darkroom.

The next important thing to think about is how to light proof the room. Watch the video for some quick tips on how to lightproof your new darkroom.

The next video will show you how to design the darkroom (with a distinct wet and dry side)

The next video will show you some of the supplies that you will need in your darkroom.

Now you'll need to learn how to install safe light in a darkroom.

This next video is helpful if you want to know what kind of enlarger you should buy. When buying an enlarger, its a good idea to buy one that supports the use of the largest negative you'll think you will use. This will save you from having to buy another enlarger years down the road. There are however some people who have two enlargers in their darkrooms. So if you have the space, that is another option.

These next two videos will show you how to set up the wet and dry sides of your darkroom.

Learn some quick tips on how to dry your prints (for less money than you expect).

This last tip just tells you to clean your darkroom. Dust is your enemy. It will stick to your drying prints and film (bad news).


Here are a few books that you might want to look at if you are planning on building your own darkroom. You will have to buy a used copy of some of them, but if you click the banner below, you can search and your purchases help fund literacy around the world.
  1. The New Darkroom Handbook - this book is a step-by-step guide that will help anyone plan and build a darkroom. The Second Edition is revised and updated version that shows you the best design, construction and equipment to use when you set up your darkroom. The book features money saving tips that will help you put up a darkroom just about anywhere. It also contains DIY plans to build essential darkroom components and includes cutouts and design grids that help you plan the best darkroom. In addition, it contains sections on building a color darkroom and a digital darkroom.  
  2. Build Your Own Home Darkroom -  this is a step by step guide to designing and building an inexpensive, yet professional quality, home darkroom for both black and white and color prints. Covering every aspect from design to full operation, this clear and detailed book is perfect for photographers at all levels. It includes information on darkroom design, woodworking for the novice, lightproofing, ventilation, worktables, building enlarger baseboards, light boxes, water supply panels, print drying racks, darkroom sinks, and much more. If you aren't into building things or don't have the proper tools, this might not be the best book for you. Keep in mind though that it could help you during the actual planning processes.
  3. Building a Home Darkroom (the KODAK workshop series) - this book is the least helpful in design and layout, but it is helpful in teaching you how to do the actual construction. 


You Tube Sunday - Build you own pinhole camera

Watch this video to learn how to make your own pinhole camera. This is a fun project. I made a camera out of a shoe box.


How I built my home darkroom (step one)

In my garage, we are building a home darkroom. This darkroom series will take you on a journey as I learn how to build a home darkroom.

The first thing that I did was buy an enlarger. It is one of the most important things about a darkroom. Well, that and a light tight room. Like leaks can fog your images.

There are several ways that you can go about buying an enlarger. You can check out yardsales, flea markets, friend's garages, buying it in a photo store, or buying used online from eBay.

I bought mine from eBay. There are several other items that you will need for a darkroom also. Here is a quick list.

  • Enlarger
  • Enlarger timer (foot switch is also helpful when dodging and burning)
  • Grain magnifier
  • Easel
  • Film Tanks and reels
  • At least two safe lights
  • Light-tight paper safe
  • Running water
  • Large sink (at least 5 feet, to hold trays, but it can be smaller if need be)
  • Deep tray with holes (washing tray)
  • Hose that connects from deep tray and the faucet
  • Trays (at least as large as your prints)
  • Print tongs
  • Graduates (small, medium, and large)
  • Dark bottles for chemical storage
  • Film clips