tokyo camera style

May 14 2014

Tokyo Darkroom Style 1

The other day my friend Thomas Orand, a Frenchman living in Tokyo, posted some shots of his darkroom on Facebook. It’s always great to see how other photographers create personal spaces for making prints. I thought this sort of thing might be of interest to readers of Tokyo Camera Style and with his kind permission am able to share some of his pictures of his personal darkroom here. 

Thomas writes: 

Seven years ago I went to Tokyo Darkroom in Shinjuku for a one-day private introduction to printing workshop.  After that I realized just how amazing printing is. Also I understood then that printing at home is much cheaper than ordering prints at a lab, and possible in our small place here in Tokyo. (Before having this current darkroom  I used to print in a much more smaller space- a six-tatami size room and with all my wife’s stuff) It was just crazy!! But it worked!

The enlarger, a 
Lucky 90M-D, I got from a friend. The rest of the equipment was bought at Yodobashi Camera, Nitto camera in Nakano (very close to where I live)and Fujiya Camera in Nakano.

To construct the darkroom I went to the home center Shimachu in Nakano. It just cost me about 20000 yen for wood and other materials. It took me couple of days to build it. 

Since there is no running water in the darkroom I just wash the prints in the kitchen in the next room.

As for developing film- about 2 years ago I had a long chat with Arimoto san and we talk about Jobo processors. It makes things much easier and the results are really nice. I’m Using Kodak Tmax developed with HC-110. (I never can thank you enough to Arimoto san!!) I really like my Jobo processor.


Thomas recently had an excellent solo exhibition of his 6x6 work at Gallery Tosei-sha

There are a lot of darkroomers here in Japan and Tokyo making the most of their “cozy” living spaces for the creation of silver gelatin prints. The attraction to this way of making art demands attention and dedication. It’s certainly not something that anyone is forced to do- - indeed, we do it because we love it.

I’ve been in contact with a few other photographers who print at home here in Japan-  Watch for some more examples of Tokyo Darkroom Style here in the future. 

(In the meantime check out the Darkroom Portraits group on Flickr.)

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