Kitchen Darkroom

A couple of days ago I attempt to print some images from my Holga using a chemical darkroom. Basically for fun and to help understand what was involved in the process. It was fun and not too messy fortunately. My setup wasn’t ideal I suspect but good enough for my purposes. I laid out the enlarger and trays of chemicals on my kitchen surface and gave it a go.

Prepare to print

What did I learn? Quite a lot I think. The process is reasonably straightforward, follow the instructions when mixing the chemicals and for the timings and it ‘just works’. The actual time for exposing the print varies depending on the state of the negative, starting from a Holga with very little control over the exposure leads to quite varied negatives, some quite light and others quite dark. You really need to do a test strip to get the exposure correct. I must admit however having done one I did a fair amount of guessing this time.How did they turn out? Well here are my first two images – scanned and straightened but otherwise untouched.


I will be trying again!

SmuginForAperture 1.2 Released

After many changes and with an earthquake induced delay I am pleased to announce the release of version 1.2 of my Aperture plugins SmuginForAperture and SmuginProForAperture. The main changes and features for this release are:


  • Upload now starts as soon as the first image is ready.
  • Errors are reported at the end of the upload session so they don’t hold up the remaining uploads.
  • If an upload fails it is retried.
  • Memory usage is reduced when uploading large numbers of images.
  • The last gallery used is now saved as the default for the next session.
  • Gallery names containing an ampersand (&) now work.

In addition SmuginProForAperture has the following changes:


  • Meta-data now contains the upload date and the MD5 sum, this helps avoid trying to upload unchanged images. If the sum is unchanged (when replacing an image) the upload is skipped.
  • Replace options (and keywords) are now applied to all selected images.

This release also fixes a bug where the gallery selection list is never ready. This was caused by a SmugMug issue which should now be fixed however I have changed the way SmuginForAperture operates to avoid this issue in the future.

Please let me know if you have any problems, questions or suggestions.



Wet Darkroom

I have just finished printing my first images in a real darkroom, or at least my kitchen in this case. Messy but fun watching the images materialise on the paper. It appears to have been reasonably successful, certainly for a first attempt. Of course now I will have to scan them in to share them, better wait until they dry though!

Almost Ready

Really busy just now, the final club competition for the year needs to be organised and I am preparing SmuginForAperture and SmuginProForAperture v1.2. Final testing is underway and I am starting to organise the release notes; lots in internal changes which should mean faster and more reliable upload. Stay tuned.

I have also been developing some more film from my Holga, I just need to print or scan the images so that I can share them, but not today. I really hope to have my first attempt at darkroom printing this weekend…

Today’s images are from Akaroa during this year’s PSNZ Southern Convention.



After the Convention

So last weekend we had the PSNZ Southern Regional Convention 2010, great fun was had by al, at least I hope so. It was a good convention with interesting and entertaining speakers in Grant Sheehan (Phantom House Publishing) and Andrew Goodall (Nature’s Image Photography) and a fun field trip to Akaroa. In particular the stop at Tree Crop Farm was great fun, an interesting location and many thanks to our models for the day for their patience and the effort they went to  with costumes. Given the circumstances with New Brighton (where the conference was held) being badly hit by the earthquake the whole event went remarkably well.

I now have a large number of images to process and some new things to think about, I really must get across to the West Coast to take some images in the forests over there! I am hoping to get a couple of sets of images from the field trip; maybe six colour and six monochrome and I am intending to produce a consistent theme across each set of images.  I will post the results here when finished. In the meantime here are a couple of initial attempts…

Convention_2010-10-09_11-18-53_DSC_1117_©RichardLaing(2010) Convention_2010-10-09_12-00-33_DSC_1200_©RichardLaing(2010)