Once you have mastered the art and technique of taking photographs there will come a time when you will be dissatisfied with the prints produced for you by your processor, or there may be a desire to move into black and white photography. The darkroom is where the miracle of photography takes place, turning an invisible image into a visible one. If you intend to move into processing and printing (black and white or colour) then a permanent darkroom will be essential. Some people make do by temporarily converting a spare bedroom or the bathroom. Neither situation is ideal because of the dust factor, carpets and bedclothes produce an inordinate amount of dust which is not conducive to photography. However, for a large number of us there may be no alternative and we have to make the most of it. The first consideration must be that of making the room light tight by blanking out windows and the gaps around the door. Black boards fitted into the window recesses are essential for working during daylight hours, but you may get away with heavy curtains when working at night. The gaps around the door could be dealt with using another curtain or sealing with black tape. To test the effectiveness of your blackout sit in the room for about five minutes with the lights out, you should then be able to see any light leaks quite readily. Converting part of the loft space is another solution, the major drawback to that being that it is likely to be very cold and damp in winter and very hot in summer
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