Thursday, November 20, 2008

The $5 Darkroom (from the laboratory archives)

Some of you young whippersnappers may not know that there was a time when photos had to be developed using film, chemicals and all sorts of fancy equipment. Back in the day, a decent black and white darkroom setup cost about $150. But what if you didn't have that kind of money? In 1988 my friend Steve and I came up with a clever solution called "The $5 Darkroom."

I recently stumbled across these drawings in an old notebook.



It was made using a cardboard box, a lightbulb and a camera. The contraption was pointed at a wall, where a piece of photo paper was tapped. We then used some disposable aluminum trays filled with chemicals from a cheap black and white "hobby pack" to develop the prints.

Focusing was a challenge, but it worked just fine once we figured out that we needed to remove the General Electric logo from the lightbulb unless we wanted it emblazoned on every print!


Blogger Indie said...


12:42 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

How do you remove the GE logo from the bulb?

6:28 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

As I recall, it came off with a little rubbing alcohol, or something like that.

10:58 AM  

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