The John Brady Photography Darkroom

I had my first darkroom when I was about 14 years old, my father helped me build it and it was an oasis. Everything was perfect of developing and printing 35mm negatives.

Today my darkroom is quite a bit more advanced, the enlarger was built in England and can expose 8x10 film onto paper as large as 30x40 inches.

My darkroom is a place where I can create beautiful silver gelatin prints from my 8x10 negatives. I use a DeVere 5108 enlarger and Ilford Multigrade paper.

The DeVere 5108 is a diffusion enlarger that is perfect for making prints from 8x10 negatives. It has a powerful light source and also has a variable contrast head that allows me to control the contrast of my prints.

I use Ilford Multigrade FB Classic paper for my silver gelatin prints. This paper is a traditional fiber-based paper that produces beautiful, archival prints.

The Process

The process of making a silver gelatin print is a bit involved, but it is also very rewarding. The first step is to develop the negative. I use a Ilford DD-X for my 8x10 and 4x5 negatives.

Once the negative is developed, I rinse it in water and then fix it in Ilford Rapid Fixer. The fixing process removes all of the unexposed silver halide from the negative, which prevents it from turning yellow over time.

After the negative is fixed, I wash it in water for several minutes to remove all of the chemicals.

The next step is to make the print. I use an enlarger to project the negative onto a sheet of Ilford Multigrade paper. The exposure time will vary depending on the density of the negative and the type of paper I am using.

Once the print is exposed, I develop it in Ilford Multigrade developer. I then rinse the print in water and fix it in Ilford Rapid Fixer.

After the print is fixed, I wash it in water for several minutes to remove all of the chemicals.

The final step is to tone the print. Toning is a process that changes the color of the print. I use a variety of toners, including selenium.

The Results

The results of this process are beautiful, archival silver gelatin prints. These prints are a testament to the skill and artistry of the photographer. Each print is hand made and unique, like a snow flake, no two are exactly the same.