Darkroom Question: Reflections from Stainless Steel countertop in Enlarger
July 29, 2004 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Darkroom question: if I set up my enlarger on a stainless steel countertop, will reflections from the safe lights or the enlarger itself cause problems (i.e. fogging)?
posted by JoanArkham to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total)
Not unless the safe light itself is too bright.
posted by jfuller at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2004

Contact paper should take care of it.
posted by pieoverdone at 2:02 PM on July 29, 2004

i never had fogging from reflections from stainless steel countertops in my former darkroom, but you can cover them with butcher paper, dropcloths, or sheets of formica (from the home depot), if you have problems.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:18 PM on July 29, 2004

my brother has stainless steel countertops in his darkroom, and he doesn't cover them or anything, and he never has problems with it.
posted by jeb at 2:54 PM on July 29, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks guys! (and "hi" Crush!)

*runs to Ikea*
posted by JoanArkham at 4:38 PM on July 29, 2004

For black and white printing: Unlikely. For color: Quite possibly.
posted by normy at 5:28 PM on July 29, 2004

For color, you can't use a safelight anyway. If the safelight is safe to shine directly onto your print, it's probably fine for it to reflect onto it. Photographic paper is sensitive most to blue/magneta light, very little to amber/red light. If you can "stand" it, get the dark red darkroom filters, not the oranger ones. They make it harder to see though, so beware.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:37 PM on July 29, 2004

For color, you can't use a safelight anyway.

Indeed. But enlargers sometimes have light leaks outside of the exposure path, glossy paper is surprisingly reflective in low light and color-sensitive material is much more sensitive than monochrome, because it's designed to be exposed through sometimes very heavy filtration, and color negatives are denser in the first place.
posted by normy at 12:15 AM on July 30, 2004

...it's all moot, anyhow, because hardly anyone bothers with analogue color printing any more and I probably should have kept my gob shut in the first place.
posted by normy at 12:18 AM on July 30, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the info, Normy. I only know how to do B&W printing for now but I have an enlarger that will do both, so who knows?

Really, the more anachronistic it is the more I'm interested in it. I'm also interested in pinhole cameras and making my own paper. (Not that I don't love playing with Photoshop too.)
posted by JoanArkham at 3:12 AM on July 30, 2004

hey, yourself!

color's not really that hard and i find that doing it "wrong" produces some really neat stuff.

you might enjoy the dirkon paper camera
posted by crush-onastick at 8:02 AM on July 30, 2004

For experimenting, liquid emulsion can be a lot of fun. Comes in a bottle and you paint it onto... just about anything you fancy - then expose it under the enlarger, just like paper. You need to use it under safelight, just like paper, of course, and it can be a bit tricky to get the hang of. I've seen some 'prints' on very light colored maple veneer that looked gorgeous.
posted by normy at 9:29 AM on July 30, 2004

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