Monthly Archives: January 2011

Second group show opening Saturday in Vancouver

Awesomeness. I have managed to get two images accepted to a second juried group show here in Vancouver. This is pretty exciting for me, as these shows are my first attempts. The show opens this Saturday, Feb. 5th at the Vancouver Darkroom Co-op Gallery. You can pop over to 652 Kingsway (at Fraser St.) for the 7pm opening if you are in town.

If you can’t make it, here’s a preview.

If you’re wondering what this is, its the remnants of a shipwreck, the Peter Iredale, on the Oregon coast. These are lith prints on Foma Chamois fibre paper, beautiful creamy coloured paper that for Foma, gave me some wonderful, subtle colours with the lith process.

Are you also wondering what the heck lith is? Well, its a black and white printing process where the paper developer is based on lithographic film developer and the combination of papers and developer chosen can give you a wide range of colours. The basis of the look, besides colour, is great detail in the highlights and gritty blacks. The fun of it comes from substantially overexposing the print under the enlarger, (this controls the highlights) and leaving it in the developer until the blacks reach just the right point and immediately tossing it in the stop bath without waiting for the print to drain. You do this as the blacks develop through a process called infectious development where they start off slowly and the development speeds up exponentially as you go. If you were to leave the paper in the developer til completion, the image would go completely black because you have overexposed it an average of 2-4 stops. So you have a minute time frame to choose just how you want the print to look and your never quite sure at the start how it will go. 


This is just one of the wonderful things I love about darkroom work in general. Creative, fun processes that always have a lovely element of surprise waiting to be discovered.

See you on Saturday.

Posted in alternative processes, black and white photography, darkroom, exhibition, lith | 2 Comments

Sources for film and darkroom supplies

If you love printing in the darkroom as much as I do, finding a reliable source for supplies including film, paper and chemicals is pretty important. Here in Canada, its pretty limited. If you are lucky, you may have a local store in a large metro such as Vancouver, that carries some stuff. If not, mail order it is, and depending on what you want, may be hard to come by.

For local stuff, I use Beau Photo now and then. A lot of the paper and chemicals I use they don’t carry. Now, they tell me they can special order it in, but it’ll take a month. If I need it in a week or so, that won’t really do. But they are the best source locally for the widest variety of things overall. Another option in Vancouver that still carries some stuff is Lens and Shutter on Broadway. You won’t find it on their website, but they still have some stuff in store.


Canadian mail order is not something I’ve done much. Here are some options you can try though.
The Camera Store in Calgary
Darkroom Central in Winnipeg
The Frugal Photographer in Calgary
Henry’s in Toronto


Now for myself, I live within a short hop of the border and my preferred order spot is Freestyle Photographic, down in California. Fast service and the largest selection, as well of course, good prices. A pretty good source for the more esoteric stuff too.


Other options in the US include
Photographer’s Formulary in Montana – large selection of bulk chemicals too
Digital Truth in Texas – also manufactures EcoPro environmentally friendly chemistry
Calumet Photo in Illinois


Have fun printing!

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First Group Photography Exhibition

Woohoo! I got my first images accepted to a juried group exhibition. In fact, this will be my first exhibition period. I’m pretty excited, as you might guess. The exhibition is at Photo Haus Gallery, 14 W. 7th Ave in Vancouver, if anyone is inclined to attend. The exhibition is entitled The World Around You and opens January 28th. It coincides with talks Jan 29 & 30th from Freeman Patterson, the well known Canadian photographer who is also teaching photography workshops that week.

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New Lith Prints

I’ve made a set of 4 lith prints recently, as I wanted to submit them for the Vancouver Darkroom Co-op call for entry for the latest exhibit. This is the first time I’ve submitted work for a juried group exhibition and in fact, for the first exhibition at all. I’ve haven’t found yet whether they’ll be accepted, but we’ll see how it goes.

Creating a set or series of images is something that I’ve not done much and I suspect that’s the case for many photographers. Unless you have a specific project in mind, it’s not something you may think of. As an exercise, this is something I’ll be trying the next time I go shooting and you might want to think about it too. When I see something that really catches my eye, I’ll either look for similar items that I can put with it as a theme, such as close ups of flowers framed the same way or multiple shots from different angles and views of a single plant for example. Another option would be images of related items that can make a theme such as shadows or reflections. As long as you can shoot them in the same style, you can relate the images. Shooting with at least three or more images together will get you enough to at least do a triptych.

These images are of the Peter Iredale, or at least the remains, of a shipwreck on the Oregon Coast. I tried a new paper, Fomatone Classic Cream base Chamois finish paper. The fibre based paper is actually a very deep cream colour, almost a light beige. It has a nice, lightly textured finish and with the lith chemicals I use, Moersch Easy Lith, has nice subtle colours, at least for Foma paper. You’ll have to excuse the lines, my scanner is not doing too well these days.

lith 001.jpglith 002.jpglith 003.jpglith 004.jpg

Posted in alternative processes, black and white photography, lith | Comments Off on New Lith Prints