The Otter’s Pocket

Recently the Otter’s Pocket, the London Hackspace’s wet room, was kindly donated photograph developing equipment from Lester after Heather, Tom, Phil, and Paddy had finished converting the room to also function as a dark room. All that’s now left to do is test everything works and tonight I had the chance to help Heather with the first test run of the equipment.

We were a bit slow to get started so only managed to get 3 photographs developed, 2 were mine and 1 was Heather’s. Heather developed a 35mm shot she had taken of a wall in Barnet Market (more info). She scanned all the prints so here on the left is her test print and on the right is the end result.

The two photographs I chose to develop were taken back around 2003 as part of activities week at Coulsdon College using a 35mm Canon SLR. The first photograph was taken in Trafalgar Square while on the first day trip around London. It’s a bit underexposed and a bit out of focus but I felt it wasn’t bad for a first attempt.

The second shot was taken on the first day that we were loaned the cameras while on the journey home. I was with a couple of other friends on the old slam door trains trying to take a picture but the shutter button jammed and I ended up taking this shot. There was a watermark on the negative, which is visible in the first two pictures, so I decided to edit the picture a bit to clean up all the dust, scratches, and marks. Much more pleased with this one.

Apart from an initial accidental exposure, due to forgetting to turn the enlarger off, things went pretty well. It was awesome to finally get a chance at developing some of the photographs that I didn’t have time to do during activities week. Now I just have to find time to develop the rest before giving my Canon Canonet it’s first use in over 20 years.

Things to note:

  • Larger (layout breaking) versions of the scanned prints can be found in the Gallery album.
  • Heather is a rebel. What kind of person would put the developer in the tray labelled fix and the fix in the tray labelled developer?!
  • Singing “ROXXXXAANNNNEEEE!!!” every time the safe/red light is on never gets old. In fact, I would say it’s compulsory.
  • The grain magnifier is a strange beast that can easily lure you into a few moments of derp.