My objective is to create a home for those who love black and white film photography and the black and white silver gelatin prints made from film – for those already using film cameras and working in darkrooms, but more importantly, for those that have yet to give these wonderful mediums a try.
My purpose is not to bash digital photography or processes, or for that matter color, be it digital or film based. By all means enjoy them. Rather, it is to create a friendly ecosystem and foster a home for a community of those fascinated by something unique and wonderful that just won’t go away — black and white analog photography!
My hope is that I can share stories and my experiences, and by doing so to encourage those that are already using film and are making silver prints to continue doing both. I also want to encourage those that are shooting film but have yet to step into the darkroom to try it. Finally, I hope to demystify and remove the fear for those that have never tried or thought about trying black and white analog photography and printing. Simple and fun! Sounds like a good idea.
It’s a completely different world and world experience for those that wish to embrace it, as evidenced by the fact that a number of types of film and photographic paper remain and continue to come on the market. Even Leica recently introduced another film camera model to go along with the two others currently in production. And it comes packaged with a role of Kodak Tri-X black and white film!
The fact is that more and more people are going back to or want to try traditional photography and processes for a variety of reasons – for example, in my opinion it is hard to match the certain look and feel of a black and white film based silver image. Furthermore, as our daily lives seem to be dominated more and more by the omnipresent computer screen, black and white photographs made from film and printed using darkroom processes are a slower and more methodical means of creating something meaningful in a world that seemingly is rushing by at an ever faster pace. It’s a series of hand/eye/brain steps from the loading of film, to the development of the negative, to the emergence of the silver print in the developer, and finally to the mounting of the finished print that takes you to what I believe is a different, and yes, special place and completely different life experience.
The core of this site will consist mainly of entries I will write. I hope they will stimulate a conversation between us, all in support of making things entertaining and stress free — so that you will want to dip your toe, or better yet wade into the pool where the water is warm and fine.
Entries may consist of stories, discussions of processes, tutorials and in general, the things I am up to photographically that (I hope) will be interesting and fun to share. Embedded in the entries will be photographs I have taken, as well as audio streams or videos where I think they may shed light on what I am trying to convey and further our dialog together.
In addition to the core entries will be more detailed sections devoted to my gear and why I like it (not that it’s what is best for others!!), my darkroom, the books in my library that inspire me, a selected gallery of my photographs and notices of opportunities for meet-ups and workshops in Bucks County or possibly other exciting locations nearby.
In the end, I hope to create a meeting place for like-minded individuals that are drawn to the purity and beauty of the black and white analog process and final image created. To facilitate some thinking about what can be and provide some inspiration for those that need a push to keep going or just to keep their heads in the game until there is time to reengage. But most of all I hope to have some fun and hope you will too!
And so, with little fanfare, but with much hope, let the drums roll and the kazoos blow as I welcome you to Michael Marks Photography!