The film photography & darkroom work of David Kirby


Yesterday presented somewhat of a personal milestone.  In the absence of Mrs. Kirby (who was away for the weekend) I made great advances in my weekend goals of slobbing, feasting, socialising and, of course, printing.

Bravely did I endure the searing heat of the darkroom in an uncharacteristically hot English spring day (an Englishman should not have to tolerate temperatures in excess of 20 celsius).  Boldly did I mix up fresh batches of developer, stop bath and fixer.  Serenely did I wave my hands to and fro over paper, both blocking and adding light.  Patiently did I endure the crippling processing times for fibre-based paper.  Until, many hours later, I triumphantly emerged from my shed like a butterfly from the chrysalis, clutching seven new prints in my chemical-splattered hands.

These seven prints represent somewhat of a milestone for me because they are the last of my Iceland prints.  A couple of reprints and the last of the new negatives and now, at long last, all my printing is done (bar a few reprints which may be required should I mess up on the finishing).  Thanks to the lighter evenings we are ahving these days I was able to do my toning yesterday too, and as you read this the prints are drying in my bathroom ready for a final review upon my return home from work.  I must confess to being rather happy to have reached this stage; it’s been a lot of work in the darkroom and I’ve had to deal with some really tricky negatives, so it’s nice to have that little sense of achievement in knowing that the end is in sight.

Alas I now face a path far darker and more perilous than that which leads through the Mines of Moria, the considerable task of scanning the prints.  I hate scanning, that’s no secret; but I’m hoping that I will be able to get the scans done well enough to present a decent-looking gallery of images on this site for you all to look through.  All being well I will be able to get my monitor calibration issues sorted, get the scans done and have the gallery uploaded in the next few months.

I’m really looking forward to hearing all of your feedback on the project, both good and bad.  It’s nice to be able to look forward to having a new body of work up on here and to be able to (hopefully) start getting a print sales section of the website up and running should anyone wish to own a print.

That’s about all I have to report on the progress of my Iceland project for now.  In other news I will have part 3 of my sepia toning tutorial uploaded in the next week or so for any of you who have been following that series, to be followed by the next toner in the series at an as-yet-to-be-determined date, most likely this will be selenium.

Wherever you are I hope that whatever you are working on is going well and that 2017 has been kind to you so far.

Farewell for now and, until my next update, happy printing.