In the Fall of 1979 when Darkroom Techniques Magazine first hit the newsstand, black and white and color film was in its heyday. Photographers owned analog cameras and worked long hours in darkrooms. Thirty-four years later photographers hunt for film cameras in flea markets and online auctions, historic processes are all the rage and everyone I meet seems to want a darkroom of their own. With good chemistry, a little bit of luck, a lot of problem solving and some creativity thrown in for good measure, why not?
It’s refreshing seeing that photography in the 21st century includes all methods of image capture, from pinhole camera to large format and film, to digital cameras, cell phoneography and everything in-between.
In this issue there are articles for you to savor, including one from our longtime friend Howard Bond on black and white film availability, and a groundbreaking conversation with two of photography’s greatest writers, A.D. Coleman and Robert Hirsch. John Wade writes about the first famous American woman photographer, Nolan Preece documents California darkrooms and Chuck Graham guides you into the mountains with tips on capturing nature. Stephen Johnson joins us with his essay Seeing, Not Thinking.
On the technical side, Scott Hendershot uses a DSLR to simulate large-format photography, David Saffir gives a “how to” using the Sekonic light meter, Tom Persinger, always progressing onward, shows how to hand-coat photographic emulsion and Seán Duggan shares Photoshop selection strategies; Steve Anchell demonstrates printer calibration using SpyderPrint. Don’t miss Richard Baker’s beautiful Vietnam portfolio made with pinhole and plastic cameras.
Former Editor of Darkroom Techniques & Creative Camera and Photo Techniques, David Alan Jay, a true friend to everyone at this magazine, closes the issue with his photograph on Page 56.
Sadly, this is the very last issue of photo technique. It’s been a pleasure working with our dedicated authors, contributors and advertisers.
With a nod to thirty-four years of publishing, we are saying goodbye.
It takes passion to make great photographs, and courage to try out new ideas. Build that darkroom if you want one, use all the technology—new or old—available to you, share your ideas and let curiosity and creativity lead you forward on new adventures. And of course, keep making photographs.