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Building a pop up darkroom - Part 1

In 2020 I came up with the idea of creating a pop up darkroom big enough to host workshops and classes but small enough to be mobile. It needs to be easy to set up and durable.

I started out by doing research, I looked on forums and even found some youtube tutorials on how to get started. It’s a niche area but one in which many passionate enthusiasts can be found. Some suggested plant growing tents, but I decided to go with an ice fishing tent from Eskimo.

I began planning and geared myself up, but just before I could get started the pandemic hit and I had to table my plans. I continued to research and the project was in the back of my mind.

I found this video very useful:

I am pleased to say that after nearly three years of waiting I am finally on my way again!

My Eskimo Quickfish 6 arrived all the way from Wisconsin. It is a little on the heavy side but the straps make it moveable. I wrestle with it and get confused for a minute but manage to pop the thing up in less than ten minutes, very impressive. The tent is massive.

Once up, I check out the inside and assess the work that needs doing. The fabric inside is black and light proof. The main light leaks are the windows but there are also leaks along the tent seams and zips.

I began by painting the seams with all-surface paint in matt black. While I was painting, I had a niggling thought that this may not be the most appropriate product for the job. This paint was used on hard surfaces and it dried hard, something that moved would require a flexible product such as screen printing ink. I stopped as I reached about the halfway mark and I will check up to see how the paint is drying before continuing. This may require a re-think.

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