tirsdag 28. februar 2017

Darkrooms, and not looking the other way

I don't have a dedicated darkroom, yet. I do have a bunch of darkroom equipment, and will soon need somewhere to put things to be able to use them in a good way. I do have a nice little room at my cottage on the small island of Ona which I intend to use as one, and I have used the bathroom when I'm at home. Now we're refurbishing the old bathroom, and planning to sell the house some time this year. Well, that's the overall plan, anyway.
I did have a plan to build a darkroom in one of the spare rooms in the basement of the house, but as other plans evolved and developed it would be a waste of time and money to go for that solution. I hope to be able to squeeze something inside wherever we decide to live next. 

The Cat. Or The Carrier of Dust and Hair to settle on my drying negatives. Or maybe just the eternal teenager, sleeping more or less 24/7 all year. She makes a nice frame for a first or last snap of any film though. This is an example of the latter. She probably never noticed...

I got one enlarger I use for medium format negs, and two enlargers for 35mm only. The plan was to take at least one of the 35mm enlargers to Ona, and decide later if another enlarger for medium format film could be sourced and taken out there, just to be able to enlarge both formats. Then I thought about getting rid of one of the 35mm enlargers (A nice Durst 305, I think) and use my Fujimoto G70 enlarger for both medium format and 35mm at home, and maybe take the lovely Leitz Focomat V35 which I always use when making prints from 35mm negatives, to Ona. This would limit the use of that darkroom to only 35mm work. 
A couple of hours ago things became a little bit clearer. 
I'm one of quite a few members of a certain facebook group dealing with film and analog photography, as many of my readers probably are as well. Some dude (a very talented professional portrait photographer, as it happens) suddenly posted a snap of a Leitz Focomat V35 enlarger, my absolute favourite, to be given away for free. 
This is not happening every day, and he doesn't live too far away from me either. 
So I threw in a comment, asking if the thing was gone or not. Usually I'm not exactly known to have any big luck with offers like this. Three minutes later I was the new owner.
Why can't I just start to look the other way when things like these come up for grab? It's not going to be exactly easy to smugle this thing inside the house...

Steel and Stuff. Inside the ROV hangar of the ship. You'll see the "Windy House" more or less in the center there, and the moonpool to the left. The moonpool is nothing more than a hole going straight through the ship and into the water, from where they launch one of  the two ROV's inside this hangar.  You can see the cables and stuff used to launch the one through the moonpool, as that one's in the water at the time this was snapped. The other ROV is kind of hidden behind the structure of girders a bit to the right of the Windy House. That one is launched straight overboard through a side door. The Windy House is only used to launch and recover ROV's. All the manouvering of them things is being done from control rooms inside the ship. You can always ask questions. I might have an answer, and maybe not...

OK. Now I absolutely have to let the old Durst go. I might even have to let one of the Leitz things go as well at some point, but I will have to wait and see how things evolve during the next few months. I'm a little bit reluctant to throw one of them out of the house first thing, as I don't know if both might be getting some use in the future or not. I will not keep them both just to keep them, but if I feel I might need them I will. 
As I'm finally going home from work saturday night, I made an agreement with my employer yesterday that I could rent a car to get myself home from Bergen on Saturday instead of spending the night in a hotel, as my flight home was quite late on Sunday. The location of the Leitz enlarger is on my way home from Bergen, so with a little bit of luck I might be able to pick it up on my way home as I pass this place anyway. I really hope it's possible, as I would very much like not to drive all the way back there to get it. Anyway, if I have to I'll go for it. If nothing else, it will be a nice excution to take the old Landy out for a nice drive. 

2 kommentarer:

  1. Sounds like you happened on a good deal, Roy. I've never used a Fotomat, but I'm sure it's a lovely piece of engineering. I started on a Gnome enlarger, many winters ago and then progressed to a Durst M301. It's still up in the loft somewhere, all packaged away. Although I'm lucky enough to have a dedicated darkroom, it's small and the enlarger I have (DeVere floorstanding job) is, shall we say, on the large side (over 7 feet tall). So no room for the M301...yet!

    I'm sure you will really enjoy having a proper darkroom setup - you have tons of great negs to play with.

    1. Too many negs compared to the hours needed to get some proper prints out of them I'm afraid. Anyway, I was not going to let that tiny fact throw me off the track. One day I might be full of luck and get something I can happily call my little own darkroom somewhere. At least I hope so. I'm in desperate need of one, let's just agree on that :)


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