Film darkroom – A Practical guide

And so it has happened. Instead of writing a book on salt printing I have spent a few months in the darkroom; this time the classical analogue darkroom. I must admit that this was a very pleasurable time, a sort of sentimental journey even though I have never really left the darkroom simply exchanging the darkroom paper for historical processes. A pleasurable one too because one could say I was brought up in the darkroom starting with the moment when I got my first enlarger and deprived my family of the bathroom, through the darkroom in my high school and ending with the more professional one in the Tricity School of Photography.

The result of these months is the next book in the Library of Alternative Photographic Processes, this time devoted to the darkroom work, mostly to its basics. The book is first of all designed for everyone who has not had the privilege of growing up in the darkroom, so to say, and would still like to experience its magic today, when the analogue technology is coming back to the market with such force.

It is not a book for the experienced darkroom practitioners, you will not find countless recipes and advanced darkroom tricks in it. Rather than that, I aimed to create a textbook for beginners or for those who have had an opportunity to work in the darkroom once or twice in the past but haven’t got enough experience and now don’t remember all the important tricks. In the books you will find the basics of darkroom photography, information about available tools and materials: films, papers, developing tanks, enlargers and chemicals along with a detailed explanation of how they should be used. Detailed instructions how to develop a film, basic developer recipes and basic methods of manipulating the negative such as push and pull processing are also included. There is also a detailed explanation of the process of making a photographic print, from the contact sheet and small prints you begin with through the basic methods of image manipulation (dodging and burning) to making an exhibition print including simple retouching. I believe that this book will enable many photographers to start their darkroom adventure and to use the possibilities offered by traditional photographic materials much better than is the case with those who start working without assistance.

The book, so far in Polish, can be purchased here: