The film photography & darkroom work of David Kirby

Behind The Print: Dead Cities

I have just added a mini-series of prints to the imagery section of this site.  Although I printed these images a year or so ago I have decided to include them in the work on this site as I am still rather fond of them.  I have also dug out an old blog post which I wrote about this mini-series and included it below...

This mini-series was the result of that most treasured of things - free time!  My wife, Jess, was out for the day with her mum and I had hours to do whatever I wanted - a joyous rarity!  I hadn't really shot any new pictures for a while so I decided to do a little photoshoot I had been planning.

Recently a family friend had given us a new TV.  One of the old, huge Sony ones that were top of the range just before flatscreens became such a big deal.  This nicely replaced the old box we already had.  My plan was to dismantle the old TV, rip out the circuit boards and shoot some close ups of the dusty innards under "studio lighting"  I put studio lighting in quotation marks because I don't have any studio lights, just some room and desk lamps which were perfectly adequate for this task (it's not all about expensive gear).

So, I unscrewed the shell, cut out all of the cables, removed the screen and setup the "studio" which basically comprised of some wallpaper backing paper as the background, a large living room lamp to the right, a small desk lamp to the left and the camera straight on/above.  I used a variety of close up filters on the front of my Bronica SQ-A lenses to get in close and used the aperture to control depth of field (as close up filters give a super shallow DOF unless you stop down a lot).

Once the film was finished I decided to develop in PMK Pyro.  I hadn't used this developer before but I remembered that I had been given some when I bought my enlarger, so I mixed it up and gave it a try.  I have to say I love it, if only for the fact your negatives come out with a greenish/yellow cast.  I'm sure i'll talk more about PMK at a later date but for now on with the narrative.

Once the film had dried I printed it onto some Fotospeed RC paper and toned it blue but I wasn't really happy with any of the prints.  I decided to try and lith them and I much prefer them this way.  I printed onto Fomaspeed N 313 which gave them a golden yellow tone and then gave them a little blue toning.  Blue + yellow = green and the final prints have this greenish cast which I must confess I rather like.