Re-Learning My Darkroom Craft

June 19, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Greetings all! It's been fun re-learning my darkroom craft the last few weeks. It's all about pushing myself to get the best print I can from a negative that I expose out in the field, develop up to a week later, and print at least a day later. It's a lot slower paced than the instant gratification you get with digital. 

Some mention the feeling they get when they see the print come into view in the developer. I don't get that feeling when the print is in the developer. I get that feeling when the print is in the fixer and the four minutes of sloshing are done. I flip on the light, and check to see if it looks good enough. If the photo pops, it's not to dark, or too light, or too contrasty, but if it's just right, it's a rush. It's such an easier process on the computer. You see it there, and you pretty much know that you're print is going to look just the same if everything is calibrated even a little bit. Spending time on each photo is what it's about for me. 

Recently, I've looked into more in-depth darkroom techniques to control contrast and retaining highlights as well as shadows. 

I'm hoping to make a video about what I do so it can be more easily conveyed. When all most people know about photograph was a casual existence of film followed by seeing a photo on a screen and then suddenly seeing the same thing in print, it's hard to convey how light on a piece of plastic, becomes a negative image, which helps burn light into a gelatin emulsion to varying degrees...and THEN you have to make sure that the right amount and color of light hits the paper for the right amount of time. 

Please email or message me with any questions or to have your portrait made with this fine art process.


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