Darkroom workshop

Darkroom workshop

I attended a darkroom workshop at Wimbledon today. Me and the others brought in 35mm exposed black & white films which we developed through developer, exposure and fixture chemicals. We were introduced to the different sizes of film that can be developed in that workshop, the largest one being 120mm film rolls. This film is quite large in size, and it gave me an idea for adding something to my studio project.

When reading Fraser McLean’s Masters of Animation, I came across a technique where the animator scratches drawings onto film negatives, and records this into a sequence. I’ve been practicing simple animation movements lately, and I’m thinking this would be a fun idea to try out. I think what I’d have to do is:

  1. Create pencil drawings of the to-be animated movement.
  2. Photograph backgrounds.
  3. Develop the film.
  4. Trace scratch the pencil drawings onto the developed film. To save film costs, I could animate every second frame first, enlarge or scan these, and then alter the frames on the film to inbetween frames.

If I was to do a scene from my current studio project, in example of Lumi and the lonely monster, I think it would feed well into the concept of light and darkness. I could do black & white film with high exposure, to achieve maximum contrast.

As I’m doing most of my studio project digitally this year, I would really like to do something more crafty and hands-on as an addition. Plus, I like the idea of working with something that’s becoming outdated in conjunction with modern technology. Something old and something new. What is also important to me, is that my work doesn’t lose, or display a lack of, actual artist skills. I love working digitally, but I want to combine it with some sprinkles of the past.


red makes higher contrast, reduces white exposure. deletes the grey tones

yellow gives a more dreamy filter.