Tim Layton Fine Art | How & Why I Modified My Large Format Darkroom Trays

How & Why I Modified My Large Format Darkroom Trays

August 03, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Installing new drain on 30x40 darkroom trayInstalling new drain on 30x40 darkroom traySubscribe to my Free Darkroom Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

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I just went through an easy modification process on my 30x40 large format darkroom trays and I made a brief video to show you.

If you are interested in making large prints, 30x40 are a good place to start because you can still get commercial trays and not be forced to build something custom.  All of my prints above 30x40 which include print sizes up to 4 feet x 6 feet all required custom trays to be designed and built which is a sizable project.  

I was previously using 4 trays (dev/stop/fix/wash), and that was taking up too much space in my darkroom.  I decided to install a drain in the side wall of one tray so that I could drain the tray between each step in my fine art print development process and try this for a while to determine how feasible this approach might be.  

I have also been testing a 12 inch PVC drum to process my 30x40 prints too.  Both methods seem to work fine and I may choose one method over the other depending on what else is going on in the darkroom at that time.  

I have been pre-soaking my big prints with distilled water as the first step to help aid with even development which has not worked out very well.  I believe the water is soaking into the paper and then not allowing the developer to work properly, so I have stopped trying this method.  

Scroll down to the comment section after you watch the video and share your thoughts with me.  If you have done something similar, let me know.  

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