Benjamin Perlin works as an independent photographer in Nashville, Tennessee. Benjamin Perlin maintains a lasting passion not only for the art of photography, but also for the chemistry of film image capture and development.
To properly develop black-and-white film, you first need a space from which you can seal out external light. The first task is to cover any noticeable light sources, close the door to the room, and stay there for 20 to 30 minutes. This will give you enough time to see any light leaks and block them off, possibly with a towel or a cut piece of cardboard.
Once you are sure that you can make your darkroom completely dark, you can bring in the specialized lighting that you will need. The first is the safe light, which allows you to see your work without exposing the film. This type of light typically casts a brown or red glow.
Some photographers also choose to have a special enlarger light, which would allow you to focus the device that transforms your negative into a larger-sized print. Some choose to forego this light, either because they are printing without an enlarger or because their safe light provides enough illumination.
You may also choose to have a traditional “white” light in your darkroom. This you will use for cleanup, to check your final prints, or in any other situation where you do not have unexposed film in the open air. Be sure to turn this light off before starting the developing process.