What is Prints of Darkness? It’s the name of my website where I sell silver-gelatin prints that I’ve made for myself and for other people. It started a few years ago when I began processing my own film photographs at home, mostly as I thought it would be interesting to learn, but also to save money. Once I started doing it, I realised how much I liked being in control of the whole process.
What can the process offer that digital/Photoshop doesn’t? Like a lot of people, I spend my day job sat at a computer, so it’s nice to get away from that and make something with my hands. What better way to unwind after work than in a dark, enclosed space with a load of chemicals?
Tell us about your darkroom… My darkroom is currently a small bathroom attached to my bedroom. It’s convenient in terms of location, but when I have larger prints to make, I visit my friend Melvin at Master Mono Darkroom in North London. He kindly lets me use his equipment and in return I pester him for advice.
What do you enjoy about the process? I love the process, and I love that every image will be different to print, depending on the photographer, the camera, the film they used. There are so many variables to think about for each print: the exposure time, the contrast and what paper to use...
Are you a photographer yourself? I enjoy taking photos but at this point I prefer printing for other people. I like being exposed to new images of people and places that I’ve never seen myself, but after printing them I almost feel like I’ve got to know them.
Which photographer (alive or dead!) would you most like to have as a client? I’d love to have met Saul Leiter. There’s an amazing documentary about him called In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter and he talks a lot about not changing what you’re doing to please anyone else, and not trying to live up to others’ expectations. He was a big believer in taking your time over things, and that’s definitely an ethos I can get behind.
Where, as a photographer, would you like to live, if not in Brighton? I love going to new places and can imagine myself living in a lot of them… as long as there’s a little space I can use as a darkroom! I recently spent a month in San Francisco. I loved the views over the city and there were amazing sunrises and sunsets, so it was great to spend the days walking around taking photos. I didn’t want to leave, but that’s another great thing about printing: when a trip ends, I get to live it all again when I’m printing the photos from my Brighton bathroom.