Silver & Light

exploring film photography

Split-grade printing

There is no better way to learn photography skills, and in particular darkroom skills, than copying the style of a photographer or photograph that you much admire.

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Chemistry as the limiting factor

It is getting increasingly hard to source some chemicals in the UK.

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Out with my Pinhole camera today in the slate mining areas of North Wales. It was a bright day so I decided to load the camera with Ilford Pan F 120.

On my return home I thought I would process the images in Rodinal 1:50. It has been a couple of years since I had used Rodinal, and in the past I have always used stand development.

Shock horror when I saw the results:

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Lith Printing

Last year I went to North Dakota USA, courtesy of Tillman Crane, to photograph abandoned farms. I had seen some wonderful photographs on the internet in all styles: digital and colour film, photo-gravure, straight monochrome prints, and of course Tillman’s own beautiful platinum/palladium prints. I first heard about Tillman through chatting with AndrĂ© Goulancourt at the Inversnaid Photographic Centre in Scotland in about 1998, now sadly closed. So it was great to actually meet him after all this time.

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On the merits of the individual photograph

I am in two minds about the fashionable thing of presenting photographs as a sequence. Associated with this is the fashion for doing photographic projects.

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I have always wanted to process colour film, particularly Kodak Portra 160 in 120 format, but every time I thought about it, I was put off by what I read …

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The Promise of Pinhole

There is something very enticing about stripping away complexity, going back to the source, starting again. In the case of film photography nothing can be simpler than taking photographs with a pinhole camera. But actually it’s not that easy.

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Learning from James Ravilious

In an era of self-referentiality a ‘quiet photograph’ can have much to commend it. There is a  simple and rare pleasure in looking at photographs whose subjects are allowed to present themselves as they are, unposed.

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