I'm adding a new product line of Limited Edition, traditionally printed, silver gelatin pieces!
Here's video of one as I'm developing the exposed paper. Watch the image seemingly emerge from within the paper.
You may be wondering why I've decided to go back to darkroom printing. It's a complicated answer. Part of it is nostalgia. Part of it is respect. Part of it is the challenge.
Spending time alone in the darkroom is a fantastic way to find focus. It's just you, the music you enjoy and the printing process. I can spend hours in my lab without even realizing that the time had past.
When I started photography, it was a fun way to get out and go hiking and record where I've been. But when my friend and fellow photographer Brad Carson of BAC Imaging let me print in his "closet" darkroom, I wouldn't be exaggerating if I were to say that it changed my world! Suddenly, photography became an art form and took on a much more serious tone for me. I KNEW that I would pursue this for the rest of my life.
As I grew as a photographer, the incorporation of digital photography grew as well. I saw that as another avenue to explore. A more cost effective way to add color photography to my repertoire of skills. Abandoning my darkroom, I sold all of my equipment to acquire a professional inkjet printer. At the time there was only one brand that had the technology to create an archival inkjet print; Epson.
To this day I still print on Epson printers for my color digital photography. But, because it's digital, there is a certain disrespect associated with it. As if being able to print consistent results somehow made the process less of an art.
What makes the process less respected are those photographers out there who themselves disrespect the art. Because digital printing is easy and consistent they think lowly of their creations and put an extremely low value to it. They relinquish control and allow their "art" to be printed on the cheapest materials by automated processes that don't give a damn about quality OR self-respect. Just so they can make $1.00 and not have to work for it.
If they don't respect their art, why would you?
That's why I never hand the printing controls over to anyone else. No one else can print my art the way I do because no one else cares about it as much as I do.
Slight tangent, but it adds to my reasoning for returning to darkroom printing.
It's part of me. And I want it to be part of you too.