Question for Travelers : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

This question may be redundant but I haven't been able to find a fulfilling answer. I understand the need for using a readyload system on long trips, however, for a few day trip in which you can make use of a dozen or so standard film holders what is the best method for unloading and storing at the end of the day? I'm assuming this would be in the darkness of a motel bathroom. I'm just starting playing with a used 4X5 and landscapes with various development times are expected, N+1, N,etc. Thanks in advance, Bob

-- (, February 16, 2000


For storing exposed film, the best/simplest method is to use empty film boxes (the kind with three lid-type parts which nest inside each other). If using different development schemes, label the boxes (N, N-1, etc.) It's also helpful to write the type of film on each box, if different from what was originally sold in the box. I also keep track of how many sheets are in each box by using hashmarks, so when I'm back in the darkroom I know what I'm getting into w/ regards to how much developer I'll need, etc. Store the boxes out of extreme heat until you return (i.e. not on the car dashboard w/ the windows up!)

For loading film on the road you can use a bathroom if it's truly dark (go inside, place towels against door, and wait several minutes and see if you can see...). BTW, if it has flourescent fixtures make sure they've been off for quite a while or the residual UV will fog your film. This is no myth - I was recently burned by this.

For changing tents, see the recent thread on the Harrison tents. I've been using a Photoflex "Changing Room" (small dome tent) which works fine for 4x5, although the Harrison stuff also looks pretty good. (Don't get too finicky - Ansel used to change film at the bottom of his sleeping bag!)

Good luck!

-- Mark Parsons (, February 16, 2000.

I've crawled under sheets and blankets in a bed in a darkened room with success... but I much prefer a Harrison tent!

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, February 17, 2000.

I use only 1 film box, and I have several folders that I designate with notches in the corners, similar to coded notches for film, to differentiate which is to be developed normally, which is N-1, N+1, etc. Since I started using Pyro developer, however, I find I need to put fewer sheets of film in the N-1 category, however. I also use a Photoflex tent, for 8x10 and 4x5, mostly at night. It has its shortcomings but it works. Just takes a long time to remove film and reload.

-- Bruce Schultz (, February 17, 2000.

Just be inventive. I've used bathrooms, closets, bedcovers hung over chairs to make a tent, the drawer of a dresser with a cloth over the opening. If it's B&W you don't need perfect darkness. Good luck Dave

-- david lewis (, February 17, 2000.

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