B&W Darkroom Classes and Rental

SCDesignStudios/ May 24, 2016/ Film Photography

Have you ever wanted to process and print your own B&W photos? Are you curious about how a traditional photograph is created? Or, have you shut down your own darkroom and want to play in the red light again without investing the time and space? S&C is happy to announce that we are opening up our darkroom for private lessons and hourly rental.

Get in the darkroom and experience the magic of film photography!

Photography is a lot of fun and we want to share the joy of working in the darkroom with everyone who’s interested! We are proud to have one of the few B&W darkrooms left in Iowa and would be happy to have you join us.

Film Photography 101: Darkroom Basics

Private instruction in the fundamentals of processing film and printing your own black and white photographs. Learn how to roll film and process the negatives, print contact sheets and create your own prints.

  • Hands-on instruction from our team of traditional photography specialists.
  • No experience required, you shoot a roll of B&W film and we’ll teach you how to process it and print the pictures.
  • Scheduled on your time (2-3 hours each, 4-5 sessions). Customized for each student.
  • Maximum of 2 students at a time (a fun class and learning experience for couples, friends, etc.).
  • Once you learn the basics, you’re free to print all the photographs you want during the remaining time. We will be available for advice.
  • Bring your own materials or we will have some available for an additional cost.
  • Pentax K-1000 35mm camera(s) available for rent if you don’t have a film camera.
  • Medium and large format cameras available for in studio use only. Table top sets, lights, backgrounds, etc. available on request.
Full-Sized Negative Drying Cabinet - S&C Studios Darkroom Rental

Full-Sized Negative Drying Cabinet

Advanced Darkroom: Beyond the Basics

If you know how to process and print in the darkroom, but are interested in furthering your skills, we can help. Maybe you want to move from RC paper to fiber or you want to learn about toning your prints or advanced dodging and burning skills, these are all areas that we can help you with.

  • Hands-on instruction in the darkroom technique you want to learn.
  • Reasonable hourly rates for instruction and darkroom rental rates for you to practice and fine-tune those skills.
  • Bring your own materials or we will have some available for an additional cost. (Paper storage on-site)
  • Specialized chemistry may require additional costs (we can talk about it!).
Grain Magnifier Used for Focusing Print in the Enlarger - S&C Design Studios - Darkroom Rental Iowa

Grain Magnifier Used for Focusing Prints in the Enlarger

Darkroom Rental

Do you have the film bug and just want to get back in a darkroom without rebuilding your own? Our complete wet darkroom is available for rent on an hourly basis.

The rental will include basic paper chemistry (developer, stop, fixer) for one session, we ask that you schedule at least 3-4 hours at a time so this is not wasted. If you want to bring your own chemistry and store it in the darkroom, you are welcome to do so.

View our current darkroom rental rates (pdf)…

Equipment available for use:

  • Film processing – 35mm and 120 reels and multi-reel tanks, 4×5 tanks and hangers, negative dryer.
  • Enlargers – Beseler 45MX with cold condenser head (color head available), Omega D-2. Both enlargers set up for 35mm, 120 and 4×5 inch negatives, filter sets and negative holders, high-quality Schneider lenses for all formats.
  • Accessories – Contact frames, 4-blade easels, high-quality grain magnifiers for focusing, light-tight paper safe, air compressor.
  • Print processing – Developing trays, print washing system, squeegee station, fiber paper dryer and press, RC paper hanging rack, paper cutter.
  • Print finishing – Mat and foamcore cutting station, Seal dry mount press and tissue.

Other highlights of the darkroom:

  • Everything is set up and ready to go. You simply schedule a time on the studio’s calendar.
  • Tell us what you will be printing or processing and we will have chemistry available.
  • On-site refrigerated storage of paper for regular users.
  • A great variety of chemistry is available… you really have to talk to us about the options!
  • Red safelights strategically placed to aid viewing while working. White lights strategically placed for checking working prints in progress.
  • Well-designed, efficient space for the easy workflow of two printers at one time.
  • Comfortable floor mats to take the ease off standing on concrete.
  • OSHA and MSDS safety sheets available for all chemistry in the darkroom.
  • Safety glasses and latex gloves are available (or bring your own). Apron recommended to protect clothing (never wear your best!).
  • I-pod dock and FM radio! (We may even play the jukebox in the adjacent studio for you!)
  • Easy to find location in the center of Cedar Falls, Iowa. It is a commercial building in a commercial area and has off street parking. Find us here…
  • Our studio has no set hours and would be available weekends and evenings to accommodate requests.
4x5 Film Developing Tanks and Misc. Darkroom Equipment - S&C Studios Darkroom Rental

4×5 Film Developing Tanks and Misc. Darkroom Equipment

Independent Study and Rental Rates

Please contact us at sc@scgrahamfoto.com to inquire about our current darkroom rental and private instruction rates. We would like to schedule a time to meet with anyone who’s interested, give a tour of our facility, talk about options and design a plan to fit your needs.

Final Thoughts About S&C’s Darkroom

Please keep in mind that our studio is like a second home and it is our place of business. We are opening it up for people with an interest in film photography and hope that you can respect our space.

We ask that you:

  • Be kind and take the time to simply be creative!
  • Listen to the guidelines and standards we set up in the darkroom and studio for cleanliness, safety and equipment usage (every darkroom is different and has its own best practices).
  • Be timely in keeping any schedules. We will often prepare chemistry a few hours in advance and if you don’t show up, it may go to waste!
  • Please do not try to process or print any photographs that are illegal or immoral. If we find this, you will be banned without question.
  • Sign a liability waiver releasing S&C Studios LLC and its owners from any damages to your film or person. Our studio is safe and has had no accidents and we like to keep it that way!