Darkroom workshop with Adrian Ensor
Recently my girlfriend announced me that for my birthday gift she prepared something special! Of course it didn’t take me long to pull out what’s that from her 🙂 It turned out it was a workshop with one of the greatest darkroom printers and also great photographers, I mean with Adrian Ensor here in London! You can image how happy I was. I’ve been waiting long two weeks for that day. I knew I had just 8hrs to learn as much as I can during this time. Obviously I need to prepare questions to outstanding things which no one else was able to give an answer. I thought to myself that it is great occasion to learn lots of things which I’ve never been good with.
My list consisted:
- Better dogging and burning
- How to better control contrast
- Flattening the final prints
- And all other small details which by observation I can learn
Finally that day came!
We’ve arrived at agreed 10AM on Saturday 4th of August. Adrian has been waiting for us already. We drank a cup of coffee and we’ve been talking about the plan for a day, ideas and of course we were looking on my pictures which I brought along with me.
My negatives are pretty good as I’m following my friend, Roy Snell, who advised me how to develop them properly. Negatives are well developed but these are developed in my own way to have many details in lights and shadows. It requires though, to use higher paper gradation.
Adrian instead suggested me to use stronger dilution of developer to have more contrast on them and for my needs it should be easier to print. I agree with both masters (Roy and Adrian) and I think I could treat them as two separate solutions for particular photographic ways of making final prints.
Here we are looking on my prints which are still wet but by putting them next to each other we can better asses situation and find out what else need to be changed to improve them.
Here is the final print
Portrait taken by me. Light was very bad (my mistake) but Adrian and I, we’ve done great job and portrait looks great! Grade 5 and some dodging helped!
Here is the summary and my book signed by Adrian!
I’m really happy having it signed as I did learn a lot from it. I know I’ll be getting far much more from it in the coming years as I’ll be coming back to it to rejuvenate my skills and improve my prints.
It was great day! But it is not the end of a journey, I’ll be visiting Adrian frequently and we’ll be talking about photography and many other things too. Adrian did lend me great biography of Bill Brandt (btw. I lived next to the block in Kensington for two years where Bill Brandt used to live).