Did You Guess the Gear? The Patterson Darkroom Safelight


In last week's "Guess the Gear" section of B&H Explora, we featured a cropped image of a relatively bare, orange spherical object. In the Comments section, our readers chimed in with their guesses of what the bulbous mystery might be. A fellow named Brian thought it was a “fishing bob.” Someone else, going by the name Gustavo, stated that it looked like a “mini portable speaker,” which is understandable, considering the free-form creativity that dominates today’s portable speaker market (perhaps Gustavo has encountered this gizmo from iHome).

Aside from a few other interesting submissions (someone named Bob suggested it was a Silly Putty container), a good number of readers got it right. The piece of gear we featured last week was the Paterson Darkroom Safelight. Photographers who opt to work with film and produce their own prints in a darkroom still need to be able to see what they're doing when the regular lights go out. A safelight lets them see what they're doing (once their eyes adjust, anyhow) when they're operating an enlarger and submerging prints in chemical baths, without affecting the exposure on the photo paper.

You can learn a lot more about darkrooms in these B&H Explora articles:

Darkroom: Introduction

Darkroom: Safelights

Darkroom: Ventilation

Darkroom: Paper Safes

Darkroom: Enlargers

Darkroom: Negatives and Transparancies

Darkroom: Timers

Darkroom: Black & White Photographic Processing Chemestry

Darkroom: Chemistry for Processing Color Prints and Film

Darkroom: Tanks and Reels

Darkroom: Sinks and Water

Darkroom: Storage Bottles, Graduates, Trays and Tongs

Darkroom: Print and Film Dryers

Darkroom: Easels

Darkroom: Black and White Enlarging Papers

Darkroom: Editing and Focusing Optics

Darkroom: Dry Mount Pressers, Cutters and Printers

Darkroom: Contact Printers

Darkroom: Color Enlarging Paper