Stop Bath

Photo by David Root

I went to my friend’s house one time and he had been printing in his bathroom darkroom. His whole house smelled like stop bath. I don’t think it is the deadliest chemical in photography, but for sure it is the stinkiest. I told him he didn’t need to use it. He was somehow convinced that it was the most important ingredient and we argued for a bit. I said just do a straight water bath and change it often. He didn’t want to hear it.

A week went by and he said he looked it up and that I was right. While it is a good thing to stop development of a print before sticking it in the fixer, it isn’t necessary. Water worked just as good especially if you are just making rc prints and paying attention.

I bring this up because Happy New Years! It’s time to get to work and we think we might need more stuff to properly do what we are trying to do, but sometimes we don’t have all the right info. A new camera, a new lens, a printer. I’m guilty. I need everything. Guess what, we don’t need shit. We only need time and action. Let’s get busy. Let’s make stuff.

2 responses to “Stop Bath”

  1. Reuben Radding Avatar

    Well said! Happy New Year!

    When I met Robert Frank I tried to thank him “for everything” and he said, “Thank you! Go back to work!”

  2. RZZ Avatar

    Ha! Awesome Reuben. So cool you got to meet him.