If you want to change your photographs, you need to change cameras. Changing cameras means that your photographs will change. A really good camera has something I suppose you might describe as its own distinctive aura.
-- Nobuyoshi Araki
I don’t think about what camera I should use that much. I just pick up the one that looks nicest on the day
-- William Eggleston
Cameras are wonderful little contraptions.
By making photographs, they are tools with which one can express their personal taste and private sensibilities. At the same time they physically exist as expressions of these same concepts. The relationship one has with their cameras affects their approach to making a picture.
People who shoot film simply do because they choose to, and the Photo Culture of Tokyo is full of film camera users. When I meet them out on the streets I ask to photograph their camera, and usually post it here the same day. All of the photos were shot with a Ricoh GRDII. I trust that this irony is not lost on anyone.
These photos are meant for sharing. By all means, re-blog away. Clicking on the images will present you with a version 1000 pixels wide to further enjoy.
Thomas Beswick has been living in Japan for a few years and recently sent me some pictures of his darkroom setup. His layout really makes the most of a small room with minimal furniture. Thomas writes:
I guess my darkroom may look a little different from conventional ones. Although it has all the basic features of a darkroom, it lacks a water supply and is used from a seated position. Because I live in Japan I am often very busy with work, skating or photography. This doesn’t leave me a lot of time to relax. With this in mind I created a more chilled out environment for me to print in.
Standing up for 3 hours in a darkroom can grind you down after a period of time but drinking tea in a low chair while listening to your favourite tunes is a good way to make it more enjoyable. The room itself is just a regular room with the light blocked out by a dark curtain. It is easy to set up and pack away which is also an added bonus for anyone who doesn’t have much space to work in.
I usually print until it starts feeling like work. On average I’d say that I spend 2-3 hours per session. In that time, I can usually print about 8 fibre prints or 12 RC ones. It really depends on what I’m printing. If I want to print a predetermined series, I will take longer, but if I’m printing as I go, I might not spend as long on each print.
Since my darkroom has no water supply I have a larger tray filled with water that I put my prints in after the come out of the fix. It’s a sort of holding tank- and once I’m done with the printing session I take the tray to my shower cubical for the wash. After that I’ll squeegee them with a cheap car squeegee on the walls of my shower room. It’s a typical Japanese style cubical which has two big smooth walls. After rinsing the prints, it is the perfect surface to squeegee prints on.
I dry my prints in the shower room as well. I clip the prints from a laundry dryer- it’s a plastic thing with a lot of clips- to my bathroom doorframe and leave a tray underneath for any excess dripping. For fibre prints, once they have dried I put them in a thick book and place a laptop on top as a kind of heat press.
Thomas has made an extremely informative darkroom / printing tutorial video that you can catch on Youtube. If you are even remotely interested in learning to print or set up your own darkroom I highly recommend watching it.