It is very obvious that I have been through significant transitions over the last few years. From color to black and white, from digital to analog and from fast to slow process. I cannot really say what was the trigger for me to undergo such changes, but I already know, that I am getting more enjoyment form my photography than any other time before. There are also moments of high frustration, when things are not coming out right, but still the level of satisfaction when you get one good print out of developer is extremely high.
I am trying to spent one afternoon a week in darkroom, I am quite lucky that I was able to join darkroom in proximity of my office, so I can leave work and go straight in, close the door and forget about the outside world for few hours. I also have to thank to my wife for letting me to do that:)
My whole workflow is totally different these days from what it used to be. It is very slow process, which starts at the location, then I develop films (I always wait to get more films for development to save on chemicals), next stop is scanning the negatives, after that comes darkroom, and the final stage is spotting and matting. So to get from the moment of actual exposure to final print can take months. Which in today’s world can sounds like eternity, but I like the fact that I am having the control over the whole process and I am fully responsible for success or failure. I really feel that I am creating something with my hands, and adding something extra to my photographs. And if do it properly, those photographs might last for many many years.
My plan for this year is to improve my darkroom skills to the level that I will be able to make one silver gelatin print in archival quality a month. I would also like to write more about my workflow, my experience with film and traditional black and white printing. I should have more time to do all these things at this time of year, since I do not go out much to take photographs during summer months, except some very stormy days and nights:)
Here are some pictures from my darkroom. You can see my enlarger LPL 7450, which can handle negatives up to 4×5. It has variable control head, which is very convenient way of working. Here you can find out more about this particular enlarger.
Here is the first silver gelatin print I made, it looks quite simple, but I took me a while to get it right:)