PHOTOGRAPHIC DARKROOM PRACTICE
The operations of loading and unloading plates and films, developing them, and making prints and enlargements, are carried out in the photographer's darkroom. The quality of negatives and prints can be influenced very materially by the handling which they undergo in preparation, and it is therefore well worth while to spend some effort to ensure that the arrangements in the darkroom permit of the greatest convenience in handling the photographic materials, and to avoid defects which may result from bad handling. It will not be out of place in this book to give an outline of factors which should be borne in mind in the construction of a darkroom.
Darkrooms are of two kinds. There are those often used by the photographic amateur, in which the room was built for some other purpose, such as a bathroom or kitchen, and was transformed temporarily or permanently for photographic use. In such cases, there is little flexibility in the choice of the size and shape of the room, the nature of the floors and walls, and the plumbing. The other kind of darkroom, which is used at least by professional and commercial photographers and in laboratories, is specially built and equipped for its purpose. It is not the intention here to deal with the multitude of ways in which the amateur can adapt the bathroom or the kitchen. It will be assumed that a room is to be specially designed for photographic purposes, and the sink and bathtub operators should endeavor to follow the principles as closely as conditions will permit.
In the designing of a darkroom the factors of importance include cleanliness, maximum intensity, and safety of illumination, and convenience and efficiency in handling photographic materials. The darkroom never should be larger than is necessary for the volume of work to be done, the number of people work-