The Darkroom Cookbook Video Lessons

February 22, 2017  •  2 Comments

I am very happy to announce that I am developing video lessons to illustrate and bring to life key concepts from The Darkroom Cookbook (4th edition, 2016) by Steve Anchell.  

I consider this book to be a must have for any serious darkroom photographer.  The information in the book helps darkroom photographers of every skill level express their creative vision through the many different techniques and methods available to analog photographers.  I've had the Darkroom Cookbook on my shelf in the darkroom starting with the first edition in the 1990's.  

I am creating step-by-step videos bringing the information from the book to life to help darkroom photographers transform the text into usable techniques and processes in their creative pursuits.  

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For example, in chapter 3 (Developers), Steve walks through a method to manipulate developing formulas and the effects of different chemicals in your print developer. There is an opportunity to bring this information to life in a few videos where I will start with mixing a general-purpose paper developer (Kodak D-72) and then I will select a full-scale negative that prints well on grade-2 paper or with a #2 Variable Contrast filter to make a test print. This will be the "control/reference print".  

Then by exposing thirteen more identical pieces of darkroom paper and placing them in a light-tight box without developing them, we have a means to really explore the effects of developer agents on the print. The prints do not have to be large, 4x5 or 5x7 inches will suffice.

Next, we will mix a Metol-based developer and create the first test print.  Next, we will add carbonate to the developer and make the second test print.  Then we will add bromide and make the next test print, and so on. This process really helps a darkroom photographer visualize the effects of each developing agent in their print developer.  By working through each stage of these tests in its entirety, you will familiarize yourself with the full range of effects and controls possible with any developer and create mental markers that you will be able to reference when pre-visualizing your fine prints in the field.  

It will also help you learn how to create your own formulas based on your creative vision.  I think this information and experience will transform how you approach black and white fine art printmaking in the future and give you the practical skills to execute on your vision.

The above was one example to illustrate the type of video lessons that I am creating. There are many opportunities like this throughout the book to include print toning, bleaching, re-developing, and just as many for film development and methods to create your own formulas.  This is going to be a lot of fun.    

If you enjoy articles like this, you can support this blog and new articles for only $2 per month.  Subscribe to my Darkroom Newsletter, and never miss an update again. Explore my learning materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.  

BACKGROUND

I had the idea to create select video lessons from this classic guide for analog photography after I started developing and producing comprehensive darkroom and large format video-based workshops on a wide variety of topics.  Based on many discussions, I realized that photographers needed smaller pieces of knowledge in order to expand their range of darkroom techniques to ultimately realize their full creative potential.  Since the art and craft of darkroom photography are visual in nature, it only makes sense to create videos of key concepts and bring the information to life in a way that isn't possible with plain text.  

I talked to Steve about this idea and he loved it.  Steve is a long-time advocate for analog photography and the classic darkroom.  I am excited to develop and bring these videos to darkroom photographers all around the world.  Steve hosts a forum for the Darkroom Cookbook online that you will want to check out.  

VIDEO LESSONS

I am currently developing the first video lessons.  As each lesson is completed, I will make it available on my main workshops page where you can get the detailed information about each video lesson and purchase it for immediate download or streaming. 

WHAT WILL YOU NEED?

In order to take full advantage of each video lesson, you will need a copy of The Darkroom Cookbook.  I will be referring photographers to specifics inside the book in the video lessons.  Items that are needed for each video lesson are detailed on each individual video workshop description page.  

THE DARKROOM COOKBOOK

This is the classic guide for analog photography enthusiasts interested in high-quality darkroom work. The fourth edition from darkroom master Steve Anchell is packed with techniques for silver-based processing. In addition to "recipes" for darkroom experiments, this book contains invaluable information on developers, push-processing, reversal processing, enlarged negatives, pyro formulas, printing, and toning prints. The Darkroom Cookbook also offers advice about where to get darkroom equipment, how to set up a darkroom, safe darkroom working spaces, and more. Key features of this revised edition include:

  • Over 200 step-by-step or do-it-yourself formulas
  • Tips for mastering the "ingredients" of analog photography processing, namely the chemicals used to develop, fix, stop and tone
  • Special technique contributions and stunning black and white imagery by professionals such as Bruce Barnbaum, Tim Rudman, John Sexton, and more.

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You can view and purchase my limited edition Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints or my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM from my online gallery. You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints. 

Follow me on my St. Francois Mountain Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Print Project where I am photographing the St. Francois Mountains that were formed by volcanic and intrusive activity 1.5 billion years ago.  By comparison, the Appalachians started forming about 460 million years ago, and the Rockies a mere 140 million years ago.

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

Comments

Rolf Schmolling(non-registered)
Hi Tim!
Though I worry a bit about the costs – there is so much interesting stuff on your site! – I ordered a current edition of the cookbook (had 2. Edition) in preparation. Oh, note the "download and steaming". in your text. Cheers, Rolf
Pradip Malde(non-registered)
Hi! So glad you are doing this. steve's book is has been by my side for decades. Thanks!
Pradip
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