LIP Film and Darkroom Group May 2019 Meeting

This month’s meeting continued to surprise us all, with the sheer variety of formats, processes and subject matter that our members are drawn to.

Ian Turnbull began by showing us a very unusual camera he’d kindly brought in – a Widelux F7, which uses a 26mm lens focussing through a horizontally moving vertical slit, to produce a ‘panoramic’ negative on 35mm film. As well as showing us some of the images he himself has created over the last four years, Ian also introduced us to other names known for using the same format, such as Jens Olof Lasthein and the actor Jeff Bridges, who published a book of his on-film-set Widelux photographs.

Frederique Bellec described her experience at Bright Rooms’ darkroom in Peckham and showed us some of the results from her first session there with 1 to 1 tuition. She also explained how her choice of monochrome film or colour digital processes influences the subjects she is drawn to.

The group then discussed the idea of holding our own darkroom sessions with the more experienced printers offering guidance to those less familiar with that environment.

Ted Kinsey put forward a proposal for a field project to begin in August, instead of our usual meeting that month. Some ideas for the film and darkroom seminar during the LIP Annual Exhibition also started to take shape, these will be confirmed nearer the time.

Following Jo Stapleton’s generous offer to provide anyone interested with some of her self-made cyanotype paper, she then passed round a couple of books to peruse – ‘Anthotypes’ by Malin Fabbri, who also runs the website alternativephotography.com and ‘Experimental Photography: A Handbook of Techniques’ by Marco Antonini.

Don Holtum had brought in some of his vintage prints of disused government offices on Ilford Warmtone paper, the quality of which transcended my meagre description here.

Chiara Contrino, in contrast, showed us prints from her ongoing project since 2002, photographing horse fairs around the country, which then led to an interesting discussion on whether the gender and age of a photographer can make their potential subjects more at ease with their presence.

Other areas suggested for discussion in future included how to evaluate one’s negatives before starting to print, advice on ‘spotting’ prints, sequencing and editing, and choosing a project to work on.

The next meeting is on Monday 3rd June at 6.30pm. Anyone interested in coming along is asked to contact Ted Kinsey at tedkins@gmail.com Roberto Arendse

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