Thank you to Vytas for sharing his darkroom setup with us this week.
What is your darkroom? A room, closet or bathroom? Please tell us a bit about it.
I use the UBC Visual Arts darkroom. It is a fully equipped room with sinks, drying cabinets, change rooms, and a separate facility with enlargers for wet printing. I have a locker where I keep all my own developing equipment and chemicals – I don’t trust the nasty shared student stuff.
What’s your process, talk a bit about your developing routine, if its tricky.
Nothing very tricky about my process, I usually try to wait until I have a few rolls to develop at a time, but sometimes I am too excited to wait and develop a single roll. I use Paterson tanks for 35mm and 120, as well as a Mod54 for 4×5.
What’s your go to developer?
I have tried a lot of developers and I am not sure that I have a go to one, if I was pressed I would say Rodinol. I typically use Rodinol for 120 and 4×5, X-tol for 35mm, and T-max developer for night photos when I push HP5 or Delta 3200 to 3200 ASA.
What’s your all time favorite Film/Film developer combo?
This changes quite often, but right now I would say T-max 100 or 400 and Xtol.
What result/look does this give?
I have been doing a lot of writing about photographers in the 1960s so I have acquired a taste for a less contrasty, but still a high resolution kind of look. I should also say that I use lenses from the 1960s like the Leica Elmar 50mm f2.8, the Canon 50mm f1.4, and the Canon 35mm f2.
Have you or are you into any alternative processes, such as cyanotype?
I just started preparing to do some platinum/palladium prints.
What is the best processing tip you can give?
The best advice I can give is to not trust anything that you read on the internet when it comes to developing. There are so many ‘experts’ that sound to convincing, but actually know nothing. You have to try things for yourself and physically see the results in order to make decisions. It’s more fun that way too.