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November 28, 2012
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What is Traditional Darkroom?

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 5:26 AM


What is Traditional Darkroom?


Traditional Darkroom is where it all began. It started in a world where the word 'photography' didn't yet exist and the art of creating images of reality with light and chemicals sat somewhere between science and magic. Did you know that the mathematicians Aristotle and Euclid describe pinhole cameras in the 4th and 5th centuries?

Burning Tree by getested

In the early 1800s, artist/inventors like Louis Dageurre and Henry Fox Talbot (among others) experimented with ways of fixing images using chemicals, including silver compounds, following exposures on materials like glass and metal, lasting from several minutes to several hours. By 1840, Talbot was creating negative images using the calotype process and John Herschel had invented the cyanotype process (where the term 'blueprint' comes from) and created the first glass negative in 1839.

The blue quarter-moon by mheuf

In the middle part of the 1800s, the wet plate collodion process became popular, followed by dry plate. This involved printing images on plates of different materials, including ambrotype (positive image on glass), ferrotype or tintype (positive image on metal) and the negative (printed on albumen or salt paper). In the 1880s, George Eastman developed film as a replacement for plates, and this is technology is still used in film cameras today.

Pinch and Squeal, shot 3 by AmbroMint

In the early 1900s, the Nobel Prize for Physics was won by Gabriel Lippman...for reproducing colours photographically! Proof that art and science are two sides of the same coin.

Caitlin and Rachel by JordiTrenzano

Modern photography was originally monochrome, with black and white remaining popular even after colour photographic materials became more widely available in the 1930s. Photography wasn't just for the rich (or the scientists!) any more. As time passed, it became more and more accessible to everyone, from artists to journalists to people wanting to capture their favourite family moments (apart from a wartime blip when photographic equipment was very difficult to get hold of by the general public).

Defensiva by AriCaFoix

Polaroid's famous instant film, which contained all the chemicals needed to provide a developed and fixed colour print directly from the camera in minutes, was introduced in the 1960s and opened up a whole new world of photography-for-fun.

Pianoforte by graviloquence

You might be surprised to hear that most of the materials and processes described here are still in use by devoted photography enthusiasts and, as the examples above show, can be seen right here on dA!

Further reading...

Darkroom Exposed: Lith PrintsDarkroom Exposed is a series of articles highlighting talented deviants, noteworthy art and helpful information all about the Photography > Darkroom gallery on dA.
This issue features lith prints, which are photographic prints made in (surprisingly enough!) lith developer to produce grainy images with soft highlights and strong shadows. Lith printing produces stunning one-off pieces because the results change as the developing solution gets older. There's a wealth of information on LithPrint.com if you'd like to find out more or learn how to create your own beautiful lith prints.






Stock used in title graphic
007007 by mikm-STOCK
negatives stock 1 by hatestock
<
  Darkroom Exposed: CyanotypesDarkroom Exposed is a series of articles highlighting talented deviants, noteworthy art and helpful information all about the Photography > Darkroom gallery on dA.
This issue features cyanotypes, which are printed using potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate. Prints are naturally blue in colour - giving rise to the term 'blue print' - although they can be toned with various chemicals and substances to produce images of different colours. You can find out more about cyanotpyes here.





You can find out how to make your own cyanotypes with this tutorial series by Drizztofmielikki.
  
Stock used in title graphic
007007 by mikm-STOCK
  Darkroom Exposed: AmbrotypesDarkroom Exposed is a series of articles highlighting talented deviants, noteworthy art and helpful information all about the Photography > Darkroom gallery on dA.
This issue features ambrotypes, which are positive images created on a sheet of glass using the wet-plate collodion process. They are also known as collodion positives. You can find out more about ambrotypes here.





Stock used in title graphic
007007 by mikm-STOCK
negatives stock 1 by hatestock
Polaroids and Negatives by Absinthyium-stock



Add a Comment:
 
:icongetested:
getested Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Professional General Artist
feel himself in the history of photography)
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:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Photographer
That's the fun of darkroom - you're part of history :D
Reply
:iconanyluck:
AnyLuck Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
I'm enjoying Darkroom week at #projecteducate. It's not something I'm really familiar with and I love reading about it. Your passion for the subject shines through. Thank you, and thank you for the links to your Darkroom Exposed posts for easy access.
Reply
:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Photographer
Thank you so much for the comment. Feedback like this is awesome to receive and I really appreciate it :hug:
Reply
:iconanyluck:
AnyLuck Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
:hug: Oh, I'm glad. It was an awesome week!
Reply
:iconjamminjo:
JamminJo Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012   Photographer
Very interesting and well written :love:
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:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Photographer
Thanks very much :aww:
Reply
:iconjamminjo:
JamminJo Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012   Photographer
Welcome :)
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:iconsylverface:
sylverface Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
very interesting :nod: thank you =D
Reply
:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Photographer
Aww, you're welcome :)
Reply
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