Photo / Experiences

Beginner's guide to analog photography and darkroom

Do you have a dream to develop your own analog images? Here is a complete guide to what you need - and where to find it - to start your own black and white darkroom in the basement, garage or storage room.

1. Kamera

The first thing you need is a camera. I recommend the Canon EOS 1000f, but you can use any 35mm camera. The advantage of the Canon EOS 1000f is that it is easy to use and relatively easy and cheap to obtain. Search Find and save the search, you will be notified when a new camera appears. I would not give so much over 500-600 NOK, unless it comes with several lenses etc.

NB: The camera uses a 2CR5 battery, which can be purchased e.g. Clas Ohlson, Photo import, Scandinavian Photo, Batterionline or Battery experts.

Read about the photo line at Elverum Folk High School:

2. Movies

This guide is for black and white film. You can use color film in the camera as well, but then I can unfortunately not help you with the development (but Japan Photo can).

I use film from Fomafoto. Good movie, and very good price. When taking analogue images, there is a fixed ISO on the film. I recommend ISO 100 if you are going to take pictures outside in daylight, or in a photo studio. ISO 200 if you want a slightly more versatile and bright film. With ISO 400 you can also take pictures indoors or in the evening, but not until it gets dark… There are 36 pictures per roll, so it is a good idea to buy several at a time.

35mm film, ISO 100, 36 images
35mm film, ISO 200, 36 images
35mm film, ISO 400, 36 images

3. Film development

Once you have a finished film, it must be developed. Then you need a COMPLETELY dark room, preferably with access to water (the alternative is a darkroom bag). Otherwise you need the following:

4. Paper copying / paper enlargement

Once the film is developed, you have a roll of "negatives". Images where the black and white are "inverted" - opposite. Now you can scan it into a computer with a scanner, or photograph it with various apps on your mobile that invert the image and give you a "positive", a correct image.

If you want to go "all in" you can establish a darkroom. This is what feels like magic, and it should be experienced. Then you need the following:

I recommend doing a search on for «analog photo», «darkroom», «thirst», «development», «paterson», «enlarger» or use the keywords from the «shopping list» above. There you can be lucky to get a lot of equipment - either for free or at a good price.

Good luck, and feel free to give a sound from you if this guide has got you started with analog photography and darkroom work!

Interested in photography? Take a year at folk high school!

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