You can hire our lovely community darkrooms as a member here at Make It Easy.
We have both black and white and colour facilities here at our Nottingham site and there is always a trained technician around to nudge you in the right direction if you need some support.
The membership provides you with all the facilities you’ll need to come in and make beautiful handmade prints in either of our darkrooms. All you need to bring is your processed negatives and your own photographic paper.
Black and White Darkroom Facilities:
DeVere 504 with Ilford Multigrade head (16mm-5x4 format)
DeVere 504 with Dichromat colour head (16mm-5x4 format)LPL 7451 Diffusion Modular enlarger colour head (35mm-5x4 format)
Leitz Focomat V35 autofocus enlarger colour head (35mm only)LPL C7700MX colour head (35mm – 6x6 120)
Beseler Enlarger with Zone VI cold cathode lamp (35mm – 5x4)
We have R.R.Beard two blade easels available for all darkroom members, these will enable you to print up to a 2” border.
We also have a R.R Beard 4 blade easel available on request.
We have trays that enable our black and white darkroom members to print up to 20”x16”, larger prints can be made by consultation with our technicians.
We have all manner or focus finders, dodging tools, card, filters etc for you to use.
We have syphon washes and archival washes that enable our members to wash resin coated and fibre-based prints up to 20”x24”.
All chemistry is provided.
All prints are air dried. We will store these for you to collect if they aren’t dry before you leave.
Colour RA4 Darkroom Facilities:
DeVere 504 with Dicromat colour Twin Lamp head
DeVere 504 with Dicromat colour single lamp head
Durst Laborator 1000 with a CLS 450 colour head
Kreonite RA4 30” paper processor
We have R.R.Beard two blade easels available for all darkroom members, these will enable you to print up to a 2” border. We also have a R.R Beard 4 blade easel available on request.
We have all manner or focus finders, dodging tools, card, filters etc for you to use.
Here at Make It Easy our aim is to make analogue photography easy and accessible to everyone.
We devised a darkroom membership that offers both the facilities to make beautiful prints from your film and the support you might need to hone your craft.
We ask all darkroom users to undertake an induction so that you feel confident using the space and are aware of health and safety an etiquette when using the space.
This induction is included in your membership fee. After you are inducted you are able to book a space according to your membership plan.
Don’t worry, we won’t just leave you to fend for yourself right away (unless you want us to?!). We’ll be around to nudge you in the right direction if you need a little advice.
As a member you also get 10% off all 1-2-1’s, Workshops and film processing as well as opportunities to participate in members social events and exhibitions.
Prefer to scan yourself?
We operate two community Fujifilm SP-3000 scanners available for dry hire here at Make It Easy.
Fujifilm’s SP-3000 has been used for many years as professional lab scanners. We’ve recently retired ours from the day-to-day and made them available for you to hire on an hourly basis in our dedicated scanning booths.
All you need to bring is your 35mm or 120 processed negatives (or that huge box of family slides you’ve found), some cotton gloves and we’ll show you the rest.
You’ll have the option of small, medium or large resolution files in either jpeg or tiff which we’ll export for you at the end of your session.
For your first session you’ll need to book 2 hours in order to undertake an induction with one of our members of staff.
Please note we are currently unable to offer this service for APS, Half frame, 6x8 120 or 6x9 120 film.
Unfortunately non attendance is non refundable - if you can’t make it then please get in touch!
We can offer 1 to 1’s in pretty much anything photographic here at Make It Easy.
We’re friendly and approachable and try to teach things in a creative way, wether that be the technicalities of using a film camera for the first time or the intricacies of how to print in the darkroom, we believe learning should be catered to your needs and learning style.
Although we have specific 1-2-1 subjects in our booking system you can also book a 1 to 1 to your specific needs.
Discuss your work with our founder, Photographer and Darkroom Practitioner Daniel Wheeler. In our portfolio reviews our aim is to offer friendly and constructive advice on how you can further your practice and get the most from your photography.
Discover the world of image sequencing. Start to think about your work as more that just a collection of individual pictures and create a visual narrative with your work. Learn how to make your work with a sequence in mind and think about your images as part of a book, exhibition or website. A game changer!
Learning to make hand made books is a joy and gives us a vessel for our pictures. From making simple glued books to more complicated sewn books, our practitioners Daniel Wheeler and Nicholas Fisher can teach you everything you might need to know in order to start making your own photo books at home.
Advanced black and white and colour printing - learn to explore your images through the magic of darkroom printing! Discover new ways of manipulating tonality in the black and white darkroom through dodging, burning, split grade printing and other magic. In the colour darkroom we can explore our choice of film stock and its importance when hand printing colour as well as dodging, burning and pre-exposure.
Learn how to finish your prints professionally through proper pressing and hand spotting; the act of hand painting out imperfections in your prints, an art in itself!
Cyanotype is a simple, easy and safe way of playing with photosensitive chemistry. Suitable for all ages and abilities we will learn how to mix and coat paper using cyanotype chemistry and make contact prints from found object such as leaves and feathers. A really fun and expressive method of playing with “camera-less photography”.
Our resident practitioner will guide you though the archaic process of Wet Plate Collodion workshops using our facilities here in Nottingham. Check out his work at jimgrainger.co.uk Please note when booking wet plate you will need to book a minimum of a full day (4 sessions)1 to 1.
Super simple and fun, Photogrammes are a fun way to play with camera-less photography in the black and white and colour darkroom. Placing objects on photographic paper and exposing to light can create beautiful and delicate or strong and bold images depending on your approach. A great way to start your journey into the darkroom!
Chemigrammes are made using ONLY photo chemistry and light to make images. This method produces an affect akin to printing methods like batik and can produce wonderfully unique images. This method can also be used in conjunction with other methods of camera-less photography like Photogramme.
Zone System for black and white
Learn to approach making your black and white images with total control of tonality and expression using the Zone System. Daniel Wheeler teaches John Blakemore’s method of using the Zone System to allow us to pre-visualise your image when out making pictures. This is achieved by learning to control exposure, development and utilise advanced printing methods to enable you to recreate images precisely as you pre-visualised them to be. Some darkroom experience is advised before booking this 1 to 1 but not essential.Please note when booking a Zone System workshop you will need to book a minimum of a full day (4 sessions) 1 to 1.
Frequently asked questions
What paper do I need?
We recommend using Ilford Multigrade RC and FB papers in the black and white darkroom and Fuji Crystal Archive RA4 paper in the colour darkroom.
What chemistry do you use?
In the Black and white darkrooms we use:
- Ilford Multigrade Paper Developer (1+9 dilution)
- Ilford Ilfordstop Stopbath (1+19 dilution)
- Ilford Hypam Fixer (1+9 dilution)
- Ilford ID11 Film Developer
In the Colour darkroom we use:
- Fuji CPRA Digital pro RA4 Developer
- Fuji CPRA Digital pro RA4 Bleach/Fixer
Do I need an induction?
To use any of our darkroom facilities you are required to undertake a 1-2-1 induction. even if you are a regular darkroom user this is to ensure that you are using the space safely, efficiently and adhering to darkroom etiquette. This is regardless of wether you plan to use the facilities as a member or as a one off session.
Can I process my own film?
Yes you can! As a member you can use our processing sink and chemistry to process your own black and white film. We charge £3 for 35mm per roll and £4 per 120 per roll. As with using all our of darkroom facilities, you must undertake a 1-2-1 induction to use the film processing area.
What format film can I print from?
You are able to print any film format up to 5”x4” sheet film in both black and white and colour darkrooms. We also have some anti-newton glass carriers which will take unusual formats such as APS/16mm/half frame etc.
How do I dry my prints?
All black and white darkroom prints are pegged on a line to dry here. We used to use a RC paper drier but they aren’t particularly safe and can damage your prints. We figured if you’d spent hours making beautiful prints its probably best to not ruin them in the drier just before you go home. We will look after your prints till you are able to pop back in and collect them. We will also happily post your prints to you if you live further away and might not be back for a while.
Do I have to be a member to use Make It Easy?
Absolutely not, Make It Easy welcomes everyone. Non-members are welcome to use the processing services, attend events and workshops and use the darkroom and scan hire facilities. The advantage of being a darkroom member is that you get 50% off darkroom hire prices and 10% off processing. Feel free to pop in for a chat and a look aound if you aren’t sure what will work best for you.
Can I just show up and have a look around?
Of course, you are more than welcome to pop in and say hi. We’re often busy running the lab, darkroom or teaching so we might not always be able to stop and chat long. If you wanted to have a good look around feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can make some time to give you a little tour of the facilities.
Can I come and use the library?
If you are using our services, then you are more than welcome to sit and peruse the lovely photobook library here at Make It Easy. All the books either belong to Dan or are kindly donated by lovely people. We ask that you treat them with the upmost care and respect.
I’m only just starting with film; do I need experience to use Make It Easy?
Amazing! Firstly, congratulations, life is about to get a little bit better. We support all levels here and are happy to answer any questions you might have. The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask. We always offer help and support to all our customers, whether you’re dropping off some processing or using the darkroom, if you need any help were here.
Do you do student discount?
We certainly do! Just ask when you drop your film in and we can knock 10% off your order.
I work in the darkroom often… do I really need an induction?
Whilst we appreciate that there are lots of darkroom users out there who might need to use the facility, we always ask that you undertake a 1hr induction into using the space. This is to ensure that you are aware of the etiquette and health and safety procedures here at the Make It Easy darkrooms. Please drop us an email at email@example.com if you’re a practicing darkroom user and would like to use the space.