I have spent quite some time in darkroom during last few months. I have been printing photographs for our exhibition Marek and I will have in November this year here in Geneva. It has been quite interesting process full of surprises, positive and negative. Those negative were actually not so bad, since I was able to learn new things from them, and those positive they are always nice.
As I mentioned here my darkroom is very simple, but I am really enjoying my time out there, being alone in the dark for few hours helps me to forget about my daily routine, and if there is nice print at the end it really feels great. Even though my printing skills have improved, I am still at the very beginning of this exiting journey. I already can see what is possible to do in darkroom, possibilities how to interpret one negative are actually endless, and I am so excited to try as many as possible in the future.
Despite my relatively short experience, I can say right now, that I finely understand to what all the black and white photography masters used to say about silver gelatin prints. I can see the difference between silver print and my older inject prints of the same photographs. It is hard to describe, but if you combine nice negative, with right paper and chemicals, the final results are stunning. The huge scale of gray tones, deep blacks, rich whites and the subtle transitions between them, is something I was not able to achieve even from my best scans and inject prints.
The process of getting prints ready for exhibition is really good, and every photographer should try it. It helps me to realize to what photographs I have, how they fit together, do they tell the story I want to tell etc. I was also able to discover some new photographs, which I did not select earlier after scanning the negatives, because the scans just did not look good. Surprisingly, after printing those negatives on baryta paper in darkroom, they just showed me their qualities, and I am very happy that I gave them a second chance, and I let them to convince me about their qualities, otherwise I will never have them printed.
So I am really happy that I went through this process and I hope I will be able to continue in the future. I really see, that what I do make sense (at least for me personally), I have never been so excited and happy about my photography, that I am currently. I believe I have found what makes me happy, and that is also why I had not been very active here and internet overall. I cannot really see myself spending my evenings in front of computer, I know Marek keeps telling me how important it is to be active on internet, but I just rather learn new printing technique, how to spot photographs, how to mat and frame them etc. I just like to create something which is tangible, which I can take and hang on the wall instead of some virtual space.
The exhibition will take place in November and December this year in La Julienne gallery in Plan les Ouates, so all of you who are not far away please feel free to come. I will post more details here when I have them.