Fenland Camera And Darkroom – a semi retirement project sharing the love of analogue photography in the Fenlands.

Finishing full time employment after 39 years in the same industry was always going to be a challenge.

I walked away, no redundancy and no real idea of what was to come. It was and remains a leap of faith.

I had some idea , some home improvements, spending more time offering my services to our Parish Church , time in the Fens with film and then more time in the darkroom.

Fenland – a Polaroid

The Fens are a magical place ……

I love spending time there, contemplating life and the strangeness of the surroundings…… and it’s a place I love to share with visitors.

And I have many years of photographic darkroom and film experience .

Which I also love to share.

Semi retirement brings challenges- quite frankly I can’t afford to retire but the strong partnership with Julie my friend and Wife for 36 years who has stood by me, supported me and encouraged me that somehow it “would all be ok”.

So I thought why not offer my time and experience and the love of the Fens as workshops, but workshops aimed at those who really wouldn’t consider them because of a prohibitive cost.

How do you value something ?

I’m looking to share the love and make enough money to keep buying materials… that’s all.

Others have a different business model and that’s ok – they offer different things.

But my darkroom was too small so I set about enlarging it .

In a way it would have been easier to start from scratch but hey – down came the end wall after days spent clearing the end of the garage and removing “so much stuff” from my small darkroom.

The new stud wall meant the usable space had nearly doubled making Covid friendly one on one or one on two much easier. Plus as you can see the aliens or government cannot send subliminal messages into our heads whilst in there.

My pal Fintan Ellis gave me a lovely sink and stand which I had to leave in the new space whilst building it as it wouldn’t fit in through the door…..

A new dry lining wall went up and tongue and groove flooring. I extended the radial electric feed around the new walls to give me power for my Nova print processor and other unforeseen things.

I relocated the two extractor fans , the air inlet on the darkroom door remains in place.

MDF skirting board went down after painting the floor with a heavy duty floor paint that took over a week to cure.

My 5×4 enlarger stayed in situ the whole time as it’s a pain to move.

Some old kitchen units came in handy courtesy of our Son.

And an IKEA cube thing from his bedroom (he’s left home and he didn’t need it in his new place. The Jobo CPE2 will likely remain there.

Added a second shelf with plywood from our Son’s garage.

Some small tables constructed either side of the sink unit means I can house the Nova and print washer .

Some rudimentary plumbing is needed but that can wait.

The sign was a Father’s Day present.

And so we are about done , a few small things to do like fit the extendable washing line to hang prints.

Some folks booked in from August to learn all sorts from film development, lith printing, honing darkroom skills, introduction to large format Photography.

Stay safe.

4 Comments

  1. Good luck with this Andrew! I hadn’t realised you’d taken quite such a leap of faith but sounds like I’m not the only one with an amazing Missus. Dave

    Like

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