“The Kepler Mission, NASA Discovery mission #10, is specifically designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover dozens of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone and determine how many of the billions of stars in our galaxy have such planets.” — NASA


    Obsolete and Discontinued



    I’m really happy to have been asked to contribute to this exhibition by Mike Crawford, another London printer, which is going to be part of the Revela-T photography festival in Spain during May and early June. I wrote about this project a while back but now it’s happening and hopefully will travel to another venue too.

    The paper I chose was Kodak Royal Bromesko, a paper that was available between 1962 and the late 1970s, so at best, my paper is close to 40 years old. The image is from a series I have been working on titled Otherworld. Further information and other images can be found on my website here.


    Otherworld O&D 564
    Otherworld #01 — Scan from a print on Kodak Royal Bromesko


    Here’s Mike’s account of how the project came about:

    “In March 2015, a client gave me a quantity of old photographic paper and film. He had been clearing out his late uncle’s darkroom and decided I could either have it all or it would be thrown out. Over two visits I received a number of boxes and packets of material, the majority of which were papers that had ceased production many years ago. Most were at least 20 or 30 years old, indeed some far older. I sifted through boxes of familiar names such as Kodak Bromesko and Agfa Brovira considering what I should do with them.


    Out of interest, I tested some of the paper in the darkroom. I was surprised at how well some of the older material printed. With further testing, it appeared that some paper, which was fogged and had proved useless with conventional developers, could produce quite interesting and compelling results using different processes such as lith printing. After conversations with fellow members of the London Alternative Photographic Collective, I decided it might be of interest to give out the paper to different photographers and artists to see what individual results each could produce.


    Within a few months there were over 50 participants who had heard of the project and were interested in taking part. After testing and cataloguing the different papers, I distributed them to a wide variety of practitioners, not only in the UK, but also to many overseas. From this point it was down to their skill and creativity to produce work from the supplied paper and film.”


    — Mike Crawford

    The artists participating in this project are:

    Joakim Ahnfelt, Andrew Atkinson, Laurie Baggett, Myka Baum, Molly Behagg, Daniel Berrange, Andy Billington, David Bruce, Jacquelene Butler, Andrew Chisolm, Mike Crawford, Beth Dow, Angela Easterling, Laura Ellenberger, Andrew Firth, Brittonie Fletcher, Hannah Fletcher, Asya Gefter, Claus Dieter Geissler, Robin Gillanders, Brian Griffin, JJ Hastings, Rosie Holtom, Nicola Jayne Maskrey, Melanie King, Morten Kolve, Ky Lewis, Jim Lister, Constanza Isaza Martínez, Hiro Matsuoka, Gabriela Mazowiecka, Sheila McKinney, Wolfgang Moersch, Helen Nias, Douglas Nicholson, Yaz Norris, Andrés Pantoja, Guy Patterson, Borut Peterlin, Almundena Romero, Bret Sampson, Debbie Sears, Holly Shackleton, Keith Taylor, Joan Teixidor, Evan Thomas, Madaleine Trigg, Sebnem Ugural, Tanja Verlak, Andrew Whittle, Guillame Zuili.

    Obsolete and Discontinued

    Otherworld O&D 564
    Otherworld #01

    One of several images that I recently printed on vastly outdated Kodak Royal Bromesko, for a project in London. More on that soon.

    This is a scan from the print, which, given the paper dates from somewhere between 1962 and the late 1970s when it was discontinued, was an absolute pleasure to work with. I’ve had clients younger than this paper cause me more grief.

    Shot in the Dark

    One of the jobs I’ve been most fortunate to print over the past few months has been an exhibition for Joe Donnelly.

    The images were all shot digitally, using a Leica M Monochrom digital camera and the world’s fastest aspherical lens, the Leica 50mm Noctilux‑M f/0.95. A typical image in the series would have been made with the lens wide open at f/0.95, approximately a 2 second exposure and the camera set to ISO 10,000. All the images were captured in virtually no light or just one candle.

    The majority of the images were printed in gelatin-silver while several were printed in polymergravure.

    After I had edited the files in Photoshop, I made either negatives (for silver prints) or positives (for the photogravures).

    The silver prints were made in a darkroom, using traditional methods, gelatin-silver paper and chemistry on two different papers – Foma for its warmth or Adox for cooler, more neutral tones. For the polymer gravures I used Hahnemühle Copperplate paper and Charbonnel inks.

    Left: After John Singer Sargent — gelatin-silver print
    Right: Black, Brown and Beige (Melissa in Shawl) — photogravure


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