Is this "usual"?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Blu, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. Blu

    Blu TPF Noob!

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    I have just started a photography course at my college, and we are learning to develop/print our b&w films.

    I know alot of people have difficulty to begin with in the pitch black of the darkroom, but I am ok with that...in fact, i found it a snap!

    My problem is with the red lights. The lecturer turned the print room red to let us see what its going to be like for us to work in, and i felt pretty ill. I felt dizzy and my stomach was churning. I left the room and went into the corridor, and after a few mins I returned to normal.

    Is it a common problem, and if so can anything be done? I feel like a right numpty!:confused:
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. beala

    beala TPF Noob!

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    I've never heard of, or experienced this myself, so my first instinct was that perhaps the fumes were making you lightheaded, but a quick google turned this up. It's an excerpt from a book called "Photography" By Alfred Howarth W. Blake.

    "We are distinctly of opinion that the lamps in use in most of the amateur dark-rooms with which we are acquainted are too small and give far too little light. It is not the least necessary to work in almost total darkness and with only a faint red glow (which, by the way, often induces nausea and headache) as the source of illumination. It is quite possible to work with a light in which all articles in the dark-room are distinctly visible, and yet to have no possible danger of fogging the plates."
    Photography - Google Books

    So, it looks like the solution here is to get brighter safelights. Or maybe you'll just eventually get used to the dim lights? Hopefully someone more familiar with this will comment.
     
  3. Blu

    Blu TPF Noob!

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    I was kind of hoping I might get used to it. I was going to mention it to my lecturer, but didnt want to sound like the "token complainer" in the class......
     
  4. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    sounds like a bit of a panic attack. this happens on occassion.

    Try to relax and take your time, your brain will get acustomed to the light and you will be able to see more than you can image, which may relieve the tension for you.
     
  5. Blu

    Blu TPF Noob!

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    Im trying to pop in each time Im passing along the corridor; first for 2mins, then 5, then 10...and so on. Hopefully that might help. We are doing our first prints tomorrow afternoon I think, so i hope it goes ok.Maybe I could also try to get a spot near to the exit, so that if I have to leave, I dont disrupt others.....
     
  6. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    If you can't arrange for the "escape route" by being near the door, you might consider bringing a pair of dark sunglasses, preferably wraparound. You will have difficulty working with them on, but with them it will be very much like being in total darkness, something with which you say you have no difficulty. Put them on when the nausea kicks in and wait for recovery. You may find that you can do some work with them on and only peak around them for short periods.
     
  7. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    I'd see a doctor. This could be a symptom of something more serious.
     
  8. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Perhaps you have clasutrophobia and haven't been aware of this condition until now.

    I always ask my new darkroom students about this when we start developing film as the film changing rooms are very small. On occassion, they know, and it has happened that they didn't know they were until they went in to load the film into the tank.
     
  9. Blu

    Blu TPF Noob!

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    Ive just done my first contact sheet, and managed to do it all in one go, without having to leave. I think it was actually easier once I was in there and doing it for real, as Im focused on what Im doing rather than panicing because of the light.
    (The sheet was fine first time by the way...maybe Im a natural!!!:lol: )
     

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