Posts tagged ‘dark room’

Setting up the Dark Room

Setting up was easier than finding the materials. I bought some plastic trays, a red light bulb, and darkened the second bathroom – to Westerners, a cubicle with a squat toilet, a wall tap and a shower. The toilet functions as drain for all three.


There was a full door that actually shut well, and a “window” made of concrete vents. I used cardboard boxes to cover the vents, and shoved paper in the door frame gaps. I got good darkness by adding a curtain of blankets. I could only stay there a few minutes for lack of air. The table was made of a tin box placed on top of the toilet.

I had a clock outside, and started the tests.

First Attempts

Pinhole Tests

My first camera was a Cadbury chocolate tin, the old type with a tin lid, which you find in India. I made the hole in the bottom, using a darning needle. The paper was taped to the lid.

I couldn’t wait to test it, so I put paper straight in there, exposed and developed it. It worked! though the picture was “failed”, some clear lines showed.

Pinhole Tests

Then I tried and tried and tried again to get the correct mix of chemicals to water, and the correct exposure…. Set up my pinhole camera outside while I exposed contact prints. Logged it all. With so many variables, I got more and more confused.

Till suddenly, 3 weeks later, it worked!