Spotlight: Darkroom

Updated: Nov 23, 2019

The Darkness out of Which the Photograph is Born


LIGHT TURNED

INTO BLACKNESS

UNTIL TRANSFORMED

IN RED DARKNESS





Darkroom work is the last step in the analogue photographic process. It is where the darkness on the negative is turned into light once more.


For me as a photographer, the darkroom offers the last chance to evaluate my work and make final creative decisions. Personally, the darkroom is my silent refuge, were I plunge into the comforting red darkness and loose myself in thoughts.


The smell of the chemicals is a sensual experience. It triggers early childhood memories of my five-year-old self being together with my father in this special place, not yet fully grasping the concept of photography. It was not until much later that my father would pass on the secrets of his craft to me.


One day, I decided to bring my Leica M4P with a Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/1.4 to a public darkroom where I used to meet other artists, artisans and photographers. Loaded with Kodak TMAX400 pushed to ASA800, opening up the lens and setting the shutter speed to 1/30th, the dim light was sufficient to capture the outlining of a place usually hidden in darkness and known only to few.


Unfortunately, I cannot share photographs of my darkroom, for as it is my contemplative chapel, far to intimate to reveal.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: THOMAS EISL

Influenced by his father, Thomas first came into contact with photography at the age of eight. His work is centered around the antipodes of the seemingly timeless and the irreversible fading moment. Thomas uses a variety of photographic formats and mediums to capture these fading moments. Most recently, his work was on exhibition at Parallel Vienna & Herzogsburg Braunau in Austria.


See more of his work through the following links:

Website: pantarhei.photography

Instagram: thomas.eisl


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Washington, D.C., USA 

thefilmawakening@gmail.com

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©2019 by Taylor Mackay