How to start processing black and white film at home + my recipes for Tri-X in HC110

For a long time, while I was at uni, my film of choice has been HP5, a classic 400 iso emulsion by Ilford.

To be totally honest with you, it wasn’t so much of an informed choice, as I only knew about FP4 and HP5 and I chose the latter simply because it was faster (FP4 is 125 iso speed) and I was shooting in available light, needing the extra speed.

At university we only had a kind of developer, ID11, and for three years I just shoot HP5 developed in ID11, happily ignoring the existence of whole of world of other films and developer combinations.

 When I finished university and moved to London, I felt the urgency to do some research to be able to still shoot black and white film and to develop it at home.
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Photography resources in London: the cheap darkroom on Chatsworth road (Homerton)

When I left university, I knew that I would miss the facilities immensely, especially the darkroom and the library, so, as soon as I settled in London, I started to hunt for a cheap rental darkroom to print my work at.

I’ve been looking everywhere on the internet and, I have to say, there aren’t many options in London for traditional printers, and most of them are too expensive for me, therefore I was delighted when I found out on a forum about a community darkroom in Homerton, literally round the corner from where I live, that apparently was one of the cheapest places where you could print both colour and black and white in London!

Photochats is a lovely lovely darkroom ran by Peter Young at Chats Palace, on Chatsworth road, in Homerton and I highly recommend it.

Unfortunately there’s no much information about this incredible place on the internet (they’re working at their website), so I’ve decided to copy their spring newsletter, with opening times, prices and descriptions of the facilities and of the courses, on this blog (after the cut)

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My work featured on UNLIMITED GRAIN – PORTRAITS book

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Growing up together

This is Tommaso, my first boyfriend and best friend.

Tommaso (2010)

We met when we were 14 (me) and 16 (him) and I love him to bits.

I’ve just realised that I took a very similar portrait of him 5 years ago and I think that it would be nice to do a series of portraits of him growing old.

Tommaso (2005)

I’d love to challenge myself with such a long term project, but I have to ask him if he’d like to do it, I really hope he won’t mind.

He’s such a nice guy and I’m going to see him again for Christmas this year, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t work.

Protected: Photography resources in London: the cheap lab near Shoreditch High Street – UPDATED it’s not so cheap anymore :(

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Going through my archive

I’m still job hunting, I send lots of emails everyday and it really annoys me when people don’t get back to me.

I used to be very bad at replying to messages on facebook, emails and text messages, but after I’ve realised how annoying it can be for the other person to wait a reply forever, I’ve decided to be better.

Another thing that I used to be awful at is sending free pictures to the people who posed for me or worked with me on not commercial projects, so I’m trying to go through my archive and send pictures to all these people now, hoping that they are not too mad at me and that karma will be happy 🙂

Today I’ve edited and sent a selection of pictures from a project that I did last summer, documenting the activities of volunteers in a pet sanctuary in the North of Italy called Porcikomodi.

This is my favourite picture of the lot, so I thought I could share it with you (if anyone read this blog) here.

Piercarlo cleaning up the pigs' shelter

On a completely different note, I also edited some fashion pics from a test shooting that I did around Easter with Heather Donaldson, a stylist from Leeds, so I put one of them as well, just for the stark contrast with the pig one 🙂

Model: Lewis Jamison, MUA: Irram Nash, Stylists: Heather Donaldson and Irram Nash