K4 Black & White Photo Lab

Basic Information

Mission Statement

The lab is publicly funded. We are part of the Kunst- und Kulturquartier Nürnberg. We are a public workshop. So basically, at least in times without an epidemic, everyone can drop in and start working after a short introduction or training. Corona has changed that profoundly - you'll read below how we plan to deal with it.

We are non-commercial.

We offer black and white film processing and printing only.

Opening Times

Currently we're closed due to Corona regulations.

Usually we are open on three evenings a week, Wednesday to Friday from 5.30 pm till 9.30 pm. Since we are volunteers with regular jobs, there may be changes to this. You will be informed via email if you have registered for the newsletter..

During school holidays we may be closed. If in doubt, please ask us via email.

Please come early.

It's run by a bunch of enthusiasts: Tanja, Laila, Manfred, Patrick, Oliver and Stefan.

One of us supervises the workshop, we give you an introduction or some advice if needed.

Who can attend?

In pre-Corona times, everyone could attend who was interested in handling film, paper and chemicals. The measures to counteract the spreading of the virus make us shift to a policy where we just allow skilled people to enter the workshop. You should be willing and able to work entirely on your own.

Registration Process

Unfortunately no walk-ins possible, you must to register beforehand and you must be acknowledged explicitly to be allowed to attend. This is not compatible with our concept of an open workshop, but we don't see another option than reducing the number of visitors to the bare minimum of one and carefully selecting that one person according to his or her skills to work on his or her own.

What to bring

You just bring an exposed black and white film or some b&w negatives. Of course you could bring a pinhole camera, too, loaded with exposed paper which we will take and develop in the darkroom.

Our enlargers can handle 35 mm and 120 film up to 4x5 inch film. However, enlargers for the bigger formats are in high demand - please be prepared to work with 35mm when the bigger enlargers are already in use.

Prices

Regular visitors pay 5 Euro (4 Euro for students) for a whole evening, this includes the paper chemicals for the regular process and the use of the equipment - of course, our tuition is included as well.

Other processes like lith printing may differ because of the expensive chemicals needed.

One 35mm film development costs 2.50 Euro, a 120 film will be 4.00 Euro for each film.

If you don't bring your own paper, you usually can buy RC paper in different sizes from us.

Concept of Safety and Hygene

Thoughts on Running the Lab in Times of Covid-19

We as the group who has been running the lab for many years propose a concept for re-opening on June, 17th. The concept is standing on two pillars:

  • We have to apply the Corona-concept of the City of Nuremberg to the process of running our photography darkroom with the goal to maximize the public use of the lab and at the same time minimize the risk of spreading the virus while working in the darkroom.
  • The concept has to be tailored to fit to our individual situations as well. We as the tutors are working and living in very different situations regarding the risk of being part of an infection chain. Some of us professionally have to get near people being at risk, some of us are more exposed to the risk of being infected as others. This has to be considered. We want to continue with our mandate of running the lab as part of a rich urban culture, but we of course have to act responsibly in our society. The concept may seem to be very strict, but considering all the risks we currently don't see the option of returning to the concept of an open workshop soon. It's limited, yes, but it's responsible.

Social Distancing in the Darkroom

We reduce the number of concurrent visitors to ONE only. The one person working has to be willing and able to work on his or her own without any assistance required.

To prevent contact, people in the lab will have to move one-way within the circuit of trays with the chemistry.

We introduce new ways of payment which don't require direct contact: We think of transfers to the lab's bank account, we think about PayPal and the more traditional way of leaving the amount in cash without the need of change.

The outer door of the building must be kept shut all the time to ensure that no unregistered visitors enter the lab area, rendering the measures described here uneffective.

Ensuring Safety while Working in the Lab

As soon as more than one person is present in the darkroom or in the entrance area, everyone has to wear a face mask.

The visitors are expected to actively help the tutor implementing this concept, e.g. desinfecting the equipment and the door knobs. The tutor will be ready to explain all the necessary actions to the visitor.

Good and repetitive ventilation of the rooms is of special importance. Darkroom work forbids opening the windows. Hence the tutor and the visitor will have to agree on repetitive interrupts of work to ensure proper ventilation.

Tutors' Safety

The tutor decides on his or her own if he or she is present in the darkroom area with the visitor. Being there, in a poorly ventilated and humid room, bears the risk of infection.

Registering Process and Selection

The selection of one visitor out of several applicants is crucial for a workshop with an open concept - selection and "open" don't have much in common. Considering the number of visitors in 2019, we may assume to have 3 to 5 applicants per evening, so that selecting one visitor will mean rejecting 2 to 4 applicats. The single most important criterium for this will be the proven ability of the applicant to work on his or her own in the darkroom. The tutor must be convinced that the applicant is willing an able to to that and at the same time adhere to the rules imposed by this concept of safety and hygene.

We strongly hope that our regular visitors will trust in our judgement and our good will concerning the selection process. And we strongly hope that our visitors will act responsibly and fair regarding other applicants so that they will accept that everyone has to get his or her fair share of the lab resources.

Contact

Due to our Corona restrictions and policies there is no walk-in possible, hence you better write an email to fotolab-k4(at)gmx(dot)de. We try to take care of your request within 2 days.

If you register for the email list, you will be informed if we have to close for some days or if we have to change the opening times.

Postal address: Kulturzentrum K4, Fotolabor, Peuntgasse 7, 90402 Nürnberg