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Sabttier effect test strip


The darkroom has always been the crucible of creative photography. The sense of wonderment as your first photographic image slowly appears before your eyes, still endures – science and art colliding head on! The dawn of the digital age seemed to resign film and the darkroom to the history books, but the passionate and the inquisitive photographer has insured there is still a place for the black & white hand printed photograph.

The resurgence of vinyl in recorded music is mirrored in photography, with a growing desire to learn traditional darkroom techniques, some of which date back 175 years.   The processes involved in producing a silver gelatin print can seem long-winded in this  digital era of instant gratification. Cherishing and nurturing a process through each of it’s stages allows the artist the opportunity to create something organic and unique.

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Paper Curls - Photogram

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Woodland - Liquid emulsion print


Fern - Photogram

Those unfamiliar or new to the black and white printing may be surprised that many of Photoshop’s basic tools, effects and filters have been stolen/borrowed from the darkroom: crop, burning, shading, vignette, threshold, invert, grain for example.

Many experimental darkroom techniques are beyond the creative reach of the digital editing platforms. The photographer/artist who wishes to create a lith, cyanotype, photogram, Sabatier or liquid emulsion print, must not underestimate the power of the dark side


Poppy seed heads - Lith print


The darkroom


Final print fixing stage


Photogram - Paper negative reversal


Portrait - Darkroom print


Portrait - Sabattier print

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Coniston Water - Liquid emulsion print

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Collage - Photogram

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Collage - Paper reversal

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John Rylands Library - Darkroom print

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Lith print

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Cosmos - Photogram

Brooke - Liquid Emulsion.jpg

Portrait - Liquid emulsion print


Portrait - Lith print


Long Shadow - Lith print

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Bulb - Photogram/paper reversal split


Fingers - Photogram

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