The darkroom comes a step closer…

Last year I began to think that in 2012 I’d like to start developing and printing my own film again – the last time I did this was in the early 1990s – and today this came a little step closer. Someone offered a traditional darkroom enlarger on Freegle last week, and I requested it. The owner got back to me to say that I could have it.

So today I went to collect it. She’s a lovely lady, whose late husband had been the one-time president of the Edinburgh Photographic Society. He had made mainly black and white photographs.

There is something wonderful about “inheriting” something like this – it comes with a history, with baggage, and I really look forward to trying it out. Even if all I do at the moment is some manual printing from black and white film and leave the developing for later, that will be exciting. I hope to be able to suitably honour her late husband’s enlarger. I think I know what at least some of my free evenings during my mid-semester teaching break might be used for…

PS results – presuming they’re any good – to be posted here in due course!

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8 thoughts on “The darkroom comes a step closer…

  1. akismet-1b1e9861c3eb1ebcbaa6491bd92018bf

    I’m sure you will have lots of fun. I am tempted to get an enlarger, but it will just be some much more extra faff in addition to the antics I get up to with developing film that I might have to find a new home if I did :/

    I look forward to seeing some of your results 🙂

    1. Michael Marten Post author

      I hadn’t expected to restart my d&p with an enlarger, to be honest with you – I had presumed I’d start with the film development.

      But I think it’s always worth discerning and following the leads serendipity offers – so I look forward to lots of hits and misses with this (probably a LOT of misses, at least to begin with!).

  2. Mabel

    Excellent!Good luck with that. I must raid the cupboard and see if I still have developing tanks you can have.etc- I can’t remember if they eventually went to the charity shop or not. Will get back to you!

    1. Michael Marten Post author

      That would be great if you still have anything that you no longer need! I will almost certainly be asking for advice too… 🙂

  3. carrie

    I am so glad you are doing this, it one of the most exciting parts of the process. For cine film I get my supplies from Silverprint in London and they have been very reliable. They come in a box with all sorts of danger and toxic labels on, makes Catherine really nervous!

    1. Michael Marten Post author

      Ah yes, I think I’ll get the same reaction in my house!

      I look forward to it too – it’ll take me a little while before I can get going, but it’s coming! 🙂

  4. Mike Green

    Excellent ‘find’! It’s somehow very much better to have something, and more particularly to /use/ something, which has history associated with it and whose ‘life’ you are prolonging by taking and using it. I hope the results live up to expectations, and I’m sure it’ll be entertaining getting back into it.

    1. Michael Marten

      Yes, I love that – I think it’s why I like my old Rolleiflex camera so much. I have a graveyard project looming with that (sounds gloomy, but I don’t think it will be as bad as it sounds), and I’m now toying with the idea of eventually making prints of those images using the enlarger – two old gifts to make images with.

      It’s certainly all a bit sexier than a digital camera, a memory card, and a laptop!

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