BANDUNG, unpas.ac.id – Speaking of photography, in the era of analogue camera, the process of washing and printing negative film into an image had to be done manually in a laboratory called a dark room.
Why in the dark room? It is because of the film used to print the picture is a special paper which is very susceptible to light. The dark room or obscure camera was invented by Ibn Al-Haytham, the person who first formed the basis of modern photographic knowledge.
To support the learning process, Department of Photography and Film Faculty of Art and Literature (FISS) Universitas Pasundan still has this room. The subject/course is usually given to the students in the first semester of study.
According to the Head of Department of Photography and Film as well as teacher of the subject, Rahmadi, S.Sn., M.Sn., dark room can also refer something interesting and mysterious. It is because since the very beginning of the process (taking picture) to washing-printing the film is unpredictable.
“It is mysterious because the taking-picture process used the analogue camera whose result might probably be under, over, or normal. The whole process is taken manually. Taking picture by using analogue camera is not as easy as it has imagined before and far way different than using digital camera,” he said.
It is important for students of this department to learn the process in the dark room. Before understanding digital photography, students are required to learn photography basically, one of which is by using the dark room.
The equipment used in the dark room in the process of washing-printing negative films include developer tanks, enlargers, processing tray, red light, and chemical solutions such as developers, stop baths (stopping solution), and fixers.
“The developer tank is in the form of a tank for washing film, the enlarger has a function and way of working in the opposite direction to the camera, especially on the position the recorder (film) and the light source as a vital tool in the photo printing process,” he said.
Red light or safety light is l
Developer tank berbentuk tangki untuk mencuci film, enlarger memiliki fungsi dan cara kerja yang berlawanan arah dengan kamera, khususnya pada bagaimana posisi perekam (film) dan sumber cahaya sebagai alat vital pada proses pencetakan foto,” katanya.
Red light or safety light is a lamp, like a red mica-coated bulb as the lighting in a dark room. The red light emitted by the safety light makes it easy to work in a dark room and does not damage the film.
“To process negatives into a photo, chemicals are also needed. In the washing process, the developer is used to patent the image on the film. While in the printing process, developers are useful for developing photo paper,” he continued.
Meanwhile, the stop bath solution is used to stop the developer solution. Lastly, a fixer solution is for settling, both in the washing and printing processes.
The washing process starts by putting out the film roll from the cassette roll in a total dark room condition. Or, it can also be used by the help of change bag (black bag, light tight).
The film is then filled with the developer, in which the solution temperature and developing duration should need to be watched for. After the developing process is done, pour the stop bath for rinsing. Then, replace it by using the fixer for 10 minutes at the same temperature as the developer.
“After going through this process, the result can be seen whether it succeeds or fails,” he concluded. (Reta)*