North London Darkroom Photographers print collective* was
constructed and setup by Sebastian Edge in 2011 and opened to members in May
2012. The Darkroom aims to provide photographers with the space and the
necessary facilities to produce BLACK & WHITE large or small,
carefully managed, darkroom prints.
The Darkroom is intended for you, the photographer. As the
costs of analogue materials increase, it is important to provide professional
photographers with an affordable space to keep producing their prints.
So what's here, and what do you get from your membership? (for
Where is it?
The Darkroom is located 5 minutes walk from Tottenham Hale
Underground Station on the Victoria line and Overground, one stop to Liverpool
The Darkroom is beneath JUMP photographic
studios and REK7 music productions,
on an industrial estate in Tottenham Hale.
When can I access the Darkroom?
You get your own key & 24h access. The Darkroom is never
closed, but you are responsible for locking up, turning the lights off and
tidying up after yourself. All you need to do is use the google calendar,
shared between you and the other members.
What can you print there?
Almost anything, if you don't mind a bit of elbow grease. You can
comfortably make FB prints up to 20x24", but we can also
make controlled UV exposed sun prints up to 12x16"
with separate toning sinks and wash sinks. Resin coated prints,
machine dried up to 24" wide. Fb prints washed archivally in iZone print
wash. and the ability to print up to 50x70" on RC or 30x40" FB
What films can I process?
We have deep tanks, with IKodak Xtol chemistry for Black and
White, Kodak Stop and Ilford Hypam Fixative. Wetting agent and temperature-controlled
wash tanks (very important!) This is what is provided, but we can change suppliers
if requested by the group members, or you can bring your own and keep it in
your locker. There is a full range of stainless cages for large batch
developing. Or Jobo Tanks, for processing 35mm all the way to 10x8 sheet film.
What enlargers do you use?
We have 5 working serviced enlargers. lots of different flavours,
depending on your preferences and needs.
We have some great equipment** and since we had a two-page article
in BJP it keeps getting better, because we work together as a collective. We
started off with a donation from the National Gallery, Print wash sinks and
the HK Pro, a bit of a monster, formerly used for printing
archival material in the gallery. Its brother is still in the depths of
the Gallery, still making prints. The neg carrier is 10x10"!
We also have a range of DeVeres, two 504's, one
with an amazingly crisp and rich Cathomag head, one with a varicon head, for
sharp negs, that don't miss any detail from a nice dense negative. Then there
is the 203 with an Ilford 500H mixer head, easy
and fast to use, with built in paper grades, best suited for Ilford Multi-grade
papers. The DeVere 5108, designed for 10x8" negative
to 35mm , with a drop baseboard, for big prints.
We have also just received from the studio of a
prominent photographer something very special, the last of the Durst
Pichtochrom 5x4 enlargers. We even have a lasergraphics machine for basic
digital to negative LVT's on 35mm film.
What is supplied in the Darkroom?
You get your basic stock film developer, and you get Multi-grade
paper developer, stop and Fix for the trays (you'll be shown how to use the
chemistry efficiently and safely and how to test it). From time to
time, we also get materials donated, which we sometimes share out. We also
provide Hypo Clear for FB prints, this is important for the archival stability
of the print.
Can I process Colour?
No, sorry guys. It's just not financially viable at the
current early stages of NLD. It is a very different ball game to black and
white, but might be something we consider as the darkroom expands.
What if I need help?
The Darkroom is not regularly managed. I keep an eye on it and
members email me or text me from time to time to report things that need to be
worked on, or reporting materials we run low on. But really you should be
reasonably competent in the darkroom. You will get shown around and helped to
understand the kit, treat as your own private space.
If you are a member and need help with something, there are nine
other members! Everybody doing interesting things, in and out of the darkroom.
We have a broad skill base and a shared calendar, which lets us see what we are
all up to in the darkroom, or who is showing, even if we need a hand to raid
the darkrooms of established photographers!
Best thing to do is get in touch, and we'll have a chat. Contact form
I need an Office!
We got one, The office is sound dulled with two screens a Mac,
with your own login***, a neg scanner for up to 5x4 neg, a laser printer****
and some great speakers. it's all accessible and shared using the google
calendar, which is what makes the darkroom run very smoothly. We are planning
soon on providing an Imacaon scanner as we continually re-invest in the space.
How is the Darkroom funded?
The Darkroom setup was funded by me, but the Members fee pays its
maintenance and monthly running cost of the facilities. I strongly believe in
keeping the ability to make high quality darkroom prints to give photographers
choice and to give manufacturers of darkroom materials reason to keep making
Can I sell work through the Darkroom
Yes you can, (a work in progress) but we have recorded a few
sales. Our website offers you a print sales platform at low commission rates,
on which you are free to upload prints of your choice. Besides the sale of
prints, our shop also has a sections for books, publications and materials. or
anything else. As we reach a larger number of members, so does our buying
power. We are working on keeping relationship with retailers and manufacturers
for our members, as well as forming relationships with other print agencies and
galleries such as the Rockarchive .
Do I get storage?
Yes, you get a locker, which has room for boxes of 20x24" and
a drawer in the planner chest. At the moment you are encouraged to
take material home and let others know through our calendar or notice
board if something needs to be left out to dry etc. Their is also some storage
for the odd large box.
Yes, its black and white, flushes, comes with soap, toilet roll...
and a library!
Where is the Darkroom going?
The Darkroom is primarily a place for individual photographers to
work from. It provides a platform to make high quality prints, privately or
shared and without
the irritations sometimes associated with shared darkrooms
or taught darkrooms.
The Darkroom has aspirations to expand, increase the facilities,
and improve the options available to our members. North London Darkroom also
helps its members to show and sell their printed work through exhibition and
via our online shop. This has been set up to be self-sustaining and with a very
low and fair commission rate.
Become a Member
If you have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch
*'collective' refers to the manner of the photographers sharing
the space to make prints
**all equipment unless otherwise stated remains property of North London
***We take no responsibility for data loss in any form.
****Honesty box, for paper and cartridges.