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Traditional black and white darkroom workshops

Many photographers feel that while their digital cameras produce amazing quality images when used correctly but believe the craft of the media has been taken from them and embedded in software applications. The darkroom is still a place where the true craft of photography can be found. Darkroom equipment which was once priced beyond the means of the typical enthusiast photographer can be picked up in online auctions for a tiny fraction of its original value. Sadly, courses on the subject are slowly disappearing as colleges convert their darkrooms into digital editing suites.

DeVere 504 enlarger

DeVere 504 enlarger

Traditional black and white photographic prints still have some significant advantages over their digital equivalents the most obvious being its archival quality. A properly processed and washed black and white print on fibre based photographic paper should still be around in a hundred years time. The digital equivalent would need regular conversion by the photographer and their progeny to be available for future generations.

Facilities

My darkroom is just outside of Bath, it houses two enlargers, a Devere 504 covering a range of film formats including; 35mm, 6cm x 6cm, 6cm x 7cm, and 5″x4″ and an LPL C7700 enlarger for 35mm up to 6cmx7cm.

Darkroom Workshop

Classes are limited to a maximum of two attendees.

Typical workshop content might include; an introduction to darkroom equipment, film processing demonstration, contact printing, enlargement, use of multigrade paper, dodging and burning and split grade printing.

Mobile darkroom

If you would prefer to have the workshop at your home or workplace I also have a portable darkroom which can hold between three people including myself.

Prices

The price per person which include all materials is £160 for the day

For two people booking together the workshop is £300

If you would like me to deliver the course at your home or workplace give me a call or drop me an email.

My darkroom experience

I have taught both digital and film photography for over twenty years and have worked as a commercial photographer for nearly thirty. While all of my commercial work is now digital I am still passionate about traditional photography.

Combined courses

My training courses can be combined into a three day workshop covering fundamentals of photography including pinhole cameras and darkroom work. Photographic lighting including flash, incandescent and fluorescent and digital image editing using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.

Please contact me if you would like to know more about combined analogue and digital course.

 

Trade Union, not for profit and NGO photography

I have provided photography and photomontage services for trade unions and NGOs for over twenty years. The work is varied and interesting and differs widely from one organisation to another.

Photo-montaged images are often used to represent complex topics which cannot be illustrated with a traditional photograph. The types of subjects I have illustrated include, teenage pregnancies, John Major’s ‘Back to Basics’ policy, employment rights and environmental issues. This images often draw heavily on visual symbols and metaphors and can make very powerful images for campaigns, front covers or home pages. Some of my photo-montages have won the prestigious TUC media awards.

You can see more examples of my photo-montages here

Royal Mail privatisation for CWU

Royal Mail privatisation. Commissioned by CWU

Most of these organisations have annual AGMs or conferences and need images of the event. Conference photography typically involves unobtrusively photographing speakers and delegates, taking shots of fringe meetings, team shots and stalls, recording any planned publicity events and forwarding images to picture desks from the venue.

Reaction from the floor- trade union conference

Reaction from the floor- trade union conference

RMT - stewards

RMT – stewards

Guest Speaker - Dave Smith

Guest Speaker – Dave Smith

RMT-delegate

RMT Conference delegate

My day rate for trade union and NGO work is based on the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) agreed day rate of £300/day before expenses.

Photomontages can require props and numerous location shots so please contact me for a quote.

Trade unions I have worked for; PCS, RMT, CWU, GMB, NUT, TGWU, UNISON, GPMU,

NGOs I have worked for; Greenpeace, War on Want, Central Americas Human Rights Commission, Prisoners Abroad,

 

Some professional soul searching over a recent royal snapshot

I was with my family last weekend at the annual Beaufort Polo Club event and captured what I thought was an interesting juxtaposition. There were significantly more photographers than the three I shot here, some concealed in the hedge in full military camouflage. Perhaps by taking and showing this royal snapshot I am as guilty as the photographers that scrutinise every waking moment of these people’s existence. For me however this image also questions the tabloid media’s obsession with the everyday and often trivial aspects of the lives of celebrities and royals. Why do we need to see yet another picture of royal princes playing polo? Is it really news worthy? Discuss…..

Princes William and Harry and the paparazzi

Princes William and Harry and the paparazzi

Hasselblad 500CM (V system) – end of an era

It has just been announced that the Hasselblad company have stopped making their ‘V’ system of cameras. These iconic cameras have been the reliable workhorses of countless photographers over the years. In all of the time I have had my 40+ year old Hasselblad 500CM it has hardly needed more than a minor service. It is probably their robust and reliable nature which has led to the decision by Hasselblad, photographers buy them once and never need to replace them. My Hasselblad has outlived numerous digital SLR cameras and I anticipate using it for work and pleasure for many years to come.

The Hasselblad ‘V’ system changed so little over the years that it became a standard for medium format digital backs. I still occasionally stick a digital back on the camera and use it for proper commercial jobs and it is always carefully smuggled in my holiday luggage on family holidays much to my companion’s chagrin. See earlier post http://www.nigelgoldsmith.co.uk/its-back-to-front-dad/

Hasselblad 500CM

My 40+ year old Hasselblad 500CM, a digital / analogue hybrid

 

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