I recently dug out a couple of boxes containing old photo and darkroom kit, to revisit an earlier project.
These are random items belonging to my Dad and myself but also familiar with any photographer working in the pre digital age.
Equipment that would once be essential, expensive and of very specific use, now years out of date or broken but somehow difficult to throw away.
I’ve rarely looked back since turning digital in 2002, however I did shoot this series using my old 5”x4” camera.
I'm reminded of the disciplines - the intense patience, knowledge and precision required working with film and chemistry.
One thing I do miss from this era is Polaroid, especially large format with its unique quality and immediacy, which still to this day seems like a magical process.
|Red glass filter to fit the Kodak 'beehive' safelights|
|Print tongs, marked with dymo tape to avoid chemical cross contamination|
|Agfa and Kodak specialist film stock|
|Linhof retro tripod head|
|Print developer in powder form|
|Micro focus finders for focusing on the grain of a negative when enlarging|
|Classic Weston Master light meter (broken)|
The more experienced pro's could just guess accurate light levels
|Instructions to the lab to brighten the exposure by 1/3 stop|
|Wetting agent to prevent drying spots on film|
|Film spools, loading film in complete darkness often a frustrating task requiring practice and patience|
|Filters to adjust the colour balance by micro amounts usually to compensate for a films / lab colour cast|
|Quite a skill printing and toning especially on fibre based paper, this has sat on a darkroom shelf for years|
|Type 55 B+W Polaroid, positive and negative. I love this film and still have a couple of boxes left|
|Vintage Ilford film. Like most photographic packaging, this handy box looks nice and still very useful for storage.|
|Lovely retro packaging|
|5"x 4" Camera bellows|
|Ilford FP4 expires Feb 1990|
|2 broken Metz flash units|