[Darkroom] [Noisebridge-discuss] Chemistry at Noisebridge

Kelly hurtstotouchfire at gmail.com
Fri Mar 26 06:02:44 UTC 2010

Mark is correct - in BW development, fixer is really all you need to
worry about.  The sink we're installing in the darkroom has a second
smaller basin that we'll be using for disposal of chemicals.  Fixer or
whatever else we end up using in there.  Some of the non-photographic
chemistry we do eventually may require special disposal, although I
think if we get around to daguerreotypes (which we most likely will)
we'll go the silver halide route instead (new! Less poison!).  There
are currently no plans to do color development in the darkroom, and if
we do, we'll have to re-evaluate the setup.

I'll be doing some cyanotype in the next week or two.  From what I
understand, it smells notably unpleasant, but it's not particularly

>That sounds amazing :) Noisebridge for Kids! Corey McGuire
><coreyfro at coreyfro.com> also mentioned something about a kids-oriented
>activity that involved making fridge magents, or something of the

Ben and Jonathan and I were planning to do a (ahem) dry run on the ph
project this saturday although I'm now realising that I'll probably be
at the exploratorium most of the day that day for Open:Make so maybe
not after all.  Anyway, keep your eyes peeled, we'll announce a date a
couple weeks out for that.  It's a very safe activity, as long as the
acids and bases you test are reasonable.

> On a side note, if you have a Polaroid SX70 or a 600, you might want to dust it off, the Impossible Project has done the Impossible :) They're making and selling Polaroid film again.

Indeed. There's been the occasional buzz on the darkroom list about
polaroid, and I suspect that will increase now.  We've had two
polaroid cameras donated, and one of these days we're going to have a
workshop / presentation from miss Jas--polaroidist extraordinaire.  I
know that for several of us, a major reason to build the darkroom has
been to make film, and learning about instant film seems like a good


On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 22:25, Mark Cohen <markc at binaryfaith.com> wrote:
> I think as a project, that's a great idea!
> A thought or two might complicate things :)
> The amount of silver that you will reclaim with that is very little, it takes multiple cycles to get enough to scrape off and reclaim. In the mean time, you will have fixer sitting in a bucket.... For weeks or months. :) I don't know about you, but I'd prefer not to smell fixer all the time. Its the one chemical that I always notice on my hands and clothes after processing.. for hours :)  They even used to make special soap that you can use to get the fixer smell off you.
> For what its worth, I used to mix my own pyro and develop film/paper by hand in the crap (brown fingers and all) (Pyrogallol and Pyro Metol, and Hydroquinone based) and I still smelled the fixer on my hands :)
> Here is a decent post about electrolytic silver recovery : http://www.pneac.org/sheets/all/silver.cfm
> When I worked as a pro darkroom tech (b/w paper, film and color transparency development and printing) we used to use silver reclamation. As I recall, even with all of the film and paper fixer as well as bleach-fix we put through there, we ran it for days on each batch and barely pulled out any silver sludge. As films improve (t-grain) the major design decision was for the companies to use less silver in the materials. This is why they pushed so hard on C-41 monochromatic films like T400CN and Ilford XP2.
> On a side note, if you have a Polaroid SX70 or a 600, you might want to dust it off, the Impossible Project has done the Impossible :) They're making and selling Polaroid film again.
> I can't wait for the 59! :)
> Mark
> On Mar 25, 2010, at 7:14 PM, Meredith L. Patterson wrote:
>> Mark Cohen wrote:
>>> the Harvey Milk Photo center used to take used fixer and have it dealt with properly (removed the silver
>> Audrey and I had been kicking around the idea of electrolytically removing the silver from used fixer, for, you know, whatever anyone might want blobs of silver for.
>> --mlp
> Mark Cohen
> markc at binaryfaith.com
> Science is a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.
> -Carl Sagan, 1996
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