September 06, 1998

A New Darkroom (Halifax, Nova Scotia)


After four months of planning and designing, I finally began construction of my darkroom on the Labour Day weekend. With the help of three good friends, we started working at 10:00 AM, and wrapped up the floor and first two walls by late afternoon.

Designed with a tight budget, the darkroom was planned to meet a number of very specific needs. I wanted it to have two enlargers, with room for a third, to be spacious enough for two people to work in comfortably, and to meet the requirements of historical processes printing (Van Dyke Brown, Cyanotype and Gub Bichromate). The darkroom is the third I have designed, but it is the first to be built from the ground up as a free-standing building solely devoted to photography.

The second day of construction was pretty much a solo effort, but I got the other two walls up and a tarp over top as rain threatened.

The new darkroom makes a major change in the way I work. It will finally allow me to print up much of the work from the past two years. 1995 was the last year I had a darkroom at home, and the difference in my creative process between then and now is considerable. Before, I printed many of my images to explore their potential; for the past three years a computer has served that purpose. It will be very enjoyable to be able to do proof prints of my work. The majority of images displayed on this site from 1995-8 has never been printed larger than a contact print!

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