I have finally made my first darkroom prints

Yesterday (Tuesday 02-02-2021) I finally made my first ever darkroom prints. After having gathered all the necessary equipment, and procrastinated for three months, I pulled myself together and assembled my makeshift darkroom in the bathroom and got to work.

The process wasn’t entirely smooth as I first had to figure out a solution to my enlargers vignetting problem. You see, when I set up my Durst M601 enlarger for printing 135-format film it creates a heavy vignette even though I have all the correct components installed. Growing increasingly frustrated I started to experiment and finally found a working solution. Apparently setting up the enlarger for printing 120-format film solves the vignetting problem, even when printing 135-format film. I don’t understand why this works but it does.

So after getting that problem out of the way I could start printing. I chose three photographs from my portfolio and printed them on 5×7” Ilford Multigrade RC Deluxe paper with satin finish. First making test prints to figure out correct exposure times and then making the final print. I had to take frequent breaks because of poor ventilation caused by me covering the door with a piece of blackout textile to keep out stray light. When I was done printing I packed up my darkroom and assessed the results of the session. The prints turned out okay, but considering my inexperience I was quite happy with the results.

One of my first ever darkroom prints.

Printing my own photographs was fun and seeing the image appear on the paper during development is really satisfying. This is something that I am definitely going to do more off in the future.

Accidental double exposures

So. I made a discovery and made some mistakes with a roll of expired film I shot. But for you to understand, I have to give you some background details.

In November 2020 I bought a Pentax ME from my local second hand store with an expired roll of Kodak TMax 400 still inside. Right before I discovered the film I had made two exposures in the store to see if the camera worked. So with the film counter only showing two pictures taken I thought I had gotten a free roll of unexposed film. According to the cardboard piece in the memo holder the film was put in the camera on January the 2nd, 2004.

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My first time developing found film

I have a fascination with found film and the mystery surrounding their previous owner. I have read about others who found old rolls of film in analogue cameras and developed them to find pictures of peoples and places from a different time and I hoped that one day I could do the same.

So I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found an old roll of Kodak Tri-X Pan in a Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515 I purchased from a local second hand store. Who could have owned this camera before me? Maybe a photojournalist from years gone by? Or maybe just an amateur photographer like myself. I don’t know how old this roll is and I haven’t been able to find any information either on the backing paper or on the internet.

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Book review of ‘Here, far away’

  • Book title: Aqui, tan lejos (Original title: Here, far away)
  • Author: Pentti Sammallahti
  • Translation: Remedios Diéguez Diéguez
  • Page count: 254
  • Release date: 2012
  • Publisher: Blume
  • ISBN: 978-84-9801-657-4

When starting with analog photography in 2019 I didn’t know much about anything. After getting a grasp on the basics I started visiting photographic exhibitions to study the works of others. One of those resonated with me in a way that is hard to explain. That exhibition was ‘Distant Lands’ by the finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti. When passing through the gift shop a photo book caught my eye. It was made by the same photographer whose images had just captured me a moment ago and after flipping through its pages I felt that I had to have it. Unfortunately the price was too high for me at the time, especially after some camera and lens purchases that I had made earlier. And so, with a heavy heart, I left without it.

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Commentary on my first zine: Memories of a pandemic

On the 22nd of June 2020 my first ever zine that I had made arrived at my door and with a mixture of nervousness and excitement I opened the parcel. Did everything pan out or I have just created a hot mess? I pulled out a copy and flipped through it. The zine turned out quite decent if I say so myself. The photographs, text and layout was as I had made them.

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