We all assume that Photoshop and the art of retouching is a fairly new phenomenon. When you think of image retouching you automatically think of celebrities made to look taller and slimmer, of blemish removal to the point of obliterating skin texture, and head swapping those pesky people that always blink in group portraits. But did you know that image retouching has been around nearly as long as photography, it was just done in a different way. This fascinating book (now in the public domain), tells you exactly how to get started if you want to retouch your images directly onto the negative.
Getting started with something completely new can be overwhelming, and film developing is no exception. Film and paper manufacturer Ilford has published a series of videos that will help you to get started. From loading film to producing your very first print, this series will teach you all the basic darkroom techniques that you need to know.
Although the darkroom isn’t quite as common as it once was, it seems to be gaining a resurgence of late. Every day I see people buying and selling darkroom equipment in Facebook groups and various online classifies. But a lot of the older electronics kit just doesn’t work anymore, and repairing it isn’t always easy, or even possible.
But, now we have plenty of other options to replace some of those electronic items, even if they need to be modified. Ikea’s Klockis, for example, is potentially an ideal little darkroom timer, but it needs modifications in order to make it safe. In this video, photographer Markus Hofstätter shows us how he modified his Klockis for use in the darkroom.
In the digital era, I always find it impressive when I see photographers who still use wet plate collodion process. And it’s especially impressive to see all the fun projects and DIY stuff they make. Photographer Michaël Tirat has built his own DIY portable wet plate darkroom and he put it on a tricycle. It contains everything he needs so he can cycle around Bordeaux, France with it, take photos and develop them on the spot. We’ve chatted with Michaël a bit about his interesting project. He kindly shared some details about his build, the challenges he faced, as well as some photos.
For most of us who own cameras, we’ve at least heard of a darkroom, even if you’ve never been used one or been inside one. It’s been a part of photography for as long as photography has existed, and there are many still around today, despite the world going digital. A lot of people still shoot film, and there are plenty of darkrooms around the world you can hire, even if you don’t have your own.
One appears in Stranger Things quite frequently, and it’s somewhere we often see Jonathan go to develop his photos and make prints. One viewer, though, seems pretty confused as to what the hell this “red room” is. This viewer took to StackExchange to ask the question. Poor Ansel would be turning in his grave.
One of the biggest issues in the darkroom is keeping track of time. Whether it’s for developing your rolls of film or exposing negatives onto paper in the enlarger, there’s just very little out there these days to assist with that, and using a phone can be tricky, especially if you’ve got wet chemicals on your hands.
But it seems there’s a new, modern solution to this particular problem; Maya. Billing itself as “The only darkroom timer you’ll ever need”, it has countdown timers, f-stop adjustments, a test strip mode, room light control (what?!?), and it’s modular so you can add more features to it in the future.
As popular as film has become, a lot of people still mention the cost of shooting film being quite high. And we’re not talking about the price of gear, because that’s dirt cheap these days. It’s the actual shooting process that can be expensive. As the rolls are made in fewer quantities, manufacturing is more expensive. Because labs are developing fewer films, their costs go up, too.
The biggest way to help knock down this cost, though, is to develop your own film. In this 36 minute video from photographer James Stevenson, we see the complete process from start to finish. James covers the kit, chemicals, accessories and entire the process from start to finish. James covers a whole lot of information, with some great tips. And best of all, you don’t even need a darkroom to do it.
My name is Paul Fehr, and I recently proposed to my girlfriend, Ale, in a photography darkroom. Here’s how I did it.
Ale and I both started learning how to develop and print film photos in our home darkroom about 6 months ago. Ale is in her last semester of architecture school, and I studied graphic design and am currently in an electronic instrumental band called Paul y Carlos. Both of us started analog photography as a hobby, buying equipment from eBay and learning from the Internet.
As life is quickly becoming busier and busier for me I’ve had to find solutions to be able to work on the go and with that, naturally comes sacrifice.
I opted for a Surface Pro 4 and an iPhone 6sPlus for my “Travel kit” and with the Wi-Fi abilities of the Sony A7ii it makes for a versatile set of tools that can cover a range of operating systems / platforms and quickly allow me to output some high quality material.