If you take photos using film, you may choose to develop your own photos. Developing photos on your own gives you more control over the final image, increasing the creative satisfaction of take photographs. To develop your own photos you will need to build a dark room and obtain the proper equipment and supplies. Here’s a quick list of must-have dark room equipment to take care of all your photo developing needs. You might be surprised how inexpensive this is!
Step 1: Build a Darkroom
You do not need to really build a brand new room for your photo developing hobby, but you do need to find a room that is closed off, that has no windows. A bathroom usually is best suited for this. You could also use a small room that may be unfinished in your basement.
Step 2: Get An Enlarger
An enlarger is a transparency projector used to produce prints from film. You will use an enlarger in your darkroom to produce the prints. Essentially it enlarges the photos and enhances the appearance. An enlarger may be used to crop parts of a photo or even remove one or more colors. An enlarger is relatively inexpensive brand new and even a better bargain if you can find one used.
Step 3: Purchase Printing Supplies
Purchase a safe light. This is just what it sounds like. A safe light illuminates a room with safe workable light specifically for developing film into photographs. Safelights come stationary, they can rest on a table or they can be purchased with a swivel-base that allows you to move its head from one side to another.
Pick the right paper for your photograph developing. This is one of the most important decisions you will make to develop the film. Pick thick paper and a bright white paper color. This will insure optimal developing. Choose either a matte or glossy finish. Try not to touch the paper with your fingertips because you should not transfer the oils from your fingers onto the paper.
Pick out an adjustable easel. An easel will make your photo developing process much easier. You can prop, set and lean your photos or items along the adjustable easel
An enlarger lens will give you the ability to create larger and smaller size photos from just one negative. When buying an enlarger lens, don’t look for the cheapest. This should be one of your more expensive purchases. The lens is at the heart of your photo developing process and you should look for something that is high quality and reasonably fast.
In order to develop your film, you will need to set up multiple trays with chemicals. Purchase developer trays to satisfy this requirement. Purchase a large enough developer tray so it easily fits your film. The developer tray should be larger than the film you are developing.