Darkroom fun

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anshitsu1.jpgAfter seeing Tod grinning at the pinhole workshop last week, what better present could I get him for his birthday than the makings of a home darkroom?

We're now able to develop black and white paper negatives in our bathroom. It is a surprisingly simple set up. At least the basics are: a trio of trays, some tongs and a lot of chemicals. Plus a special red lightbulb that cost more than the developing chemicals combined. It's a good start, but I have a feeling that we're going to be accumulating photographic tools for a while.

We took eight exposures with our pinhole cameras and developed them. But instead of trying to make contact prints we scanned the images and inverted them in Photoshop. Worked like a charm, see below.

anshitsu2.jpgWe will make physical prints, too, but since we don't have an enlarger (must add to list of tools to acquire, along with 'light meter'), we'll have to use my desk lamp and guess about the timing a bit. Chance makes for fun art, though, so I think we'll enjoy experimenting.

I like the darkroom because of the instant gratification. It's like magic to see the blank paper turn into an image. The stop bath and fixer are boring but necessary. I get really impatient during the washing and drying. I want to examine the images closely in the daylight. More importantly, I want to see them in positive. I can't tell from the negative if it's turned out well or not. It's a learned skill, I hope.

Two images from this afternoon:

deck-railing.jpg
From Tod's "deck railings" series. 30 second exposure on Fujibro KM2 photo paper. Inversed in Photoshop.

kasuga-sign.jpg
My own "not too badly ruined" series (one image). 2 minute exposure on Fujibro KM2 photo paper. Inversed in Photoshop.

2 Comments

Wow, that is cool. Can I order a print of yours for my office?

It's a real piece of professional work!
I and my hus used to do a lot of print in our schooldays. Now we are heavy desital camera users, but this reminded me of the beauty we've forgotten.

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