Wednesday, 30 September 2015

News from a Darkroom aka I Believe in Film


(very) long time no see.

There has been quite something going on since June.

First, I went to far away place, where safety nets, norms and codes are less established than in the EC. The place is Russia, Siberia to be precise. Don't get me wrong: I need this confrontation once in a while, makes us alert in a good way!

en route in Krasnojarsk, Siberia
[The next moment a mother with a baby on her arm came our way. You could tell by the different speeds where I come from and what she is used to experience.]

The day I returned I found myself entering a new kind of adventure, an adventure that speaks to my heart and soul: the darkroom. Not the other one. The real thing, the one that comes with chemicals and stacks of paper. At night, after work.

This was August. Now, on the last day of September I can look back and ... gasp. I think got really far within the past two months.

There is a lot happening in my life. Not that I am saying blogging mirrors the episodes of my life where nothing happens. It's just that all that is happening is sort of analogue: the ride on the Transsiberian train was offline. The black and white prints looks best when held in two hands.

I am glad that I do spend a lot of time off the computer at night. Developing and printing in the darkroom comes with the #1 rule: "No eating, no drinking in the darkroom", which is actuelly also quite nice, sizewise.

I will probably not invest in a super-pretty-scanner. So all that I can present here for the moment are rather poor scans  – from incredible beautiful photos.

I am almost sure I am going to dig deeper into the whole darkroom magic, show you around, let you take part at the experience. Meanwhile I hope you enjoy the light this autumn provides as much as I do. In the end it's all about light. Speaking if light and highlights: did you notice the bizarre comeback of glitter and tinsel in fashion? All the sneakers sparkling in pink, green, gold. I might actually go for one pair of those. Could be a nice counter balance for all the black & white aesthetics that dominate my senses these days.

Let me finish with the poor scans I referred to above:
Little Mia (3 months) and her proud mother
The weeping willow served as perfect setting for the shooting. The baby never got tired of looking at the tree. What I like about this photo: how they all look in different directions and still form an entity.
Yes, I did ask the family if it is OK to post the photos. Of course!) There is so much I love about the photos, the setting ...
 The afternoon light in Vienna never ceases to impress me.
 This room welcomes me when I leave the darkroom. Lucky me!
 Earlier this week, at night: HP5+ pushed to 3200

Yesterday I developed another film (last 2 photos above) entirely by myself. I printed the photos by myself and – exceptional for my standards - I did not follow the rules when taking the photos (expose 400ASA the way it's meant to be exposed) but pushed the film up to 3200ASA which allows me to take hand held photos, without a flash, at night. Ok, ok, I am drifting off into details.

What I am trying to say: I am enjoying this new, old* chapter in my life.

In case you visit Vienna until January, I can highly recommend the exhibition "Black & White" at the Albertina. The real stuff, made of gelatine and silver.

thank you for reading!
* been there in 1988 :-)