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Film Friday: How one photographer built a darkroom from scratch in the corner of her barn: Digital Photography Review


For this week’s installment of Film Friday, we’re sharing an article from Katie-Louise Cooper, originally published on 35mmc, detailing how she built her own color photography darkroom from the ground up on her farm.

Inspired by her final project at university, wherein Cooper says she ‘spent pretty much a full year in the dark,’ she used the lull of the pandemic to research, build and start work on her very own darkroom so she could continue to develop film and make prints on her farm.

‘I fell in love with the process of creating work that I was able to manipulate at every stage, I wasn’t a slave to digital buttons or options on a screen,’ says Cooper. ‘The more tactile, physical approach to creating an image was incredibly exciting to me. Therefore, it became a dream of mine to one day have my own darkroom.’

After much research and breaking down what would be required to get a minimum viable darkroom in place, Cooper took to eBay to get the equipment she needed and carved out an ‘almost light tight and dust-free’ space in the back corner of a temperature-controlled barn on her property to get to work on setting up the darkroom. Cooper concedes her setup ‘is still far from a professional lab,’ but says she ‘just needed it to work and be practical.’ To that end, she succeeded and while the darkroom is up and running, she says her ‘darkroom journey is still just beginning.’

You can read Cooper’s full write-up on 35mmc and keep up with her ever-evolving darkroom on her DarkroomKT Instagram page and support her by purchasing her prints and artwork on her UK-based Etsy shop.


About Film Fridays: We’ve launched an analog forum and in a continuing effort to promote the fun of the medium, we’ll be sharing film-related content on Fridays, including articles from our friends at 35mmc and KosmoFoto.




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