November news…

Exhibition print job, Liquid Emulsion photographic Book and new Foma products just in.

Last month I finished a limited edition of Australian photographer Ricky Maynard. “Saddened Were the Hearts of Many Menwas originally printed in 2015 using Fomabrom 111 paper. After initial processing the prints received a custom Bleach and Thiocarbamide toning process. Upon drying, a few prints looked pretty off due to the change of both the Bleaching bath and the Toner bath. As the prints were on 20/24″ paper, it used a lot of chemistry, but as the tones changed so subtly, the eye becomes fooled. So, this time around I “Topped Up” both the Bleach and the toner for each print. A good result with no surprises. This edition was commissioned by in San Diego and facilitated by Emma @ Bett Gallery, Hobart

The below images © Ricky Maynard, printed by Blanco Negro

Last week found me once again working with Stephen Dupont on our latest challenge. Using Blanco Negro’s unique Devere DS Digital Enlarger, whereby digital files may be printed in the darkroom using various analogue printing techniques, this machine was perfect for the project.

The Mission: 14 editions of a custom made photographic book. One hundred and seven images to be printed using the Liquid Emulsion technique onto double side watercolour paper.

Challenges: Projection Control for quick enlarger set up, Cutting and marking up of paper without mix ups. Quickest method for consistent coatings. Additives to emulsion such as Chrome Alum, gelatine subbing, Processing procedures for efficiency of time, etc, etc… So there was a few days spent over a few weeks just fine tuning the various challenges. Although I may have been working with Liquid Emulsion for over 2 decades, I have never been faced with such a demanding project. The volume of work was quite daunting. Luckily Steve was at hand to crack the whip 🙂

It was a Fun time in the darkroom and a great learning experience. And I’m looking forward to our next two weeks in the dark in December.

The below images © Stephen Dupont, printed by Blanco Negro

Another arrival from Foma Bohemia has landed, and this consignment of goods included a few extra items not usually stocked. Included was the Fomapan R100 in 35mm format. I also have, but yet to list the Super 8mm R100 ( DS8 ) film stock. Also available by request is 16mm reversal film. And next month I will be importing the R100 reversal processing chemistry kit. Also included were several boxes of Fomapan 100 and 400 in 9×12 cm format. There are only a few left, so be quick if your in need, though I can order this format in by request if I am out of stock. And last but not least, a number of 250 gms of Foma Liquid Emulsion has also arrived.

The below images © Blanco Negro’s iPhone

Thank you for reading, until next time…


Chris reid

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Instagram pics, back online….

A few pics from my Instagram posts.

Print finishing. The final step of creating a black and white hand made print #photogram #blanconegro#fineartdarkroom #handmade#doitinthedark 

This photogram on the left (15 in total) was printed on the discontinued 123 Fomabrom paper at 20/24″ size. I played around a fair bit with the exposures as one does and I am looking forward to playing a bit more to give the background some interest… Do it in the dark….

To the right is a pic of some of the films (159 in total) I hand processed a few weeks ago. All film’s had to be I.d.’d with the students names and then written up onto the Print File archival sleeves. All the films were souped in D-76 and replenished with a home made replenisher. I wonder why Kodak stopped making the Rep…? It is reassuring that some Universities are still sticking to film in this modern digital age. But as the teachers mentioned, film can teach so many skills, as you need to “know” what you are actually doing.

blanconegrodarkroomFILM, LOVE IT OR LOSE IT! Earlier this month I dev’d 159 rolls of Foma 400 for the University of Wollongong An annual gig that takes me a few days to I.D., dev, cut and sleeve. All processed by and using D-76 With Home made replenishing. #blanconegro#customdarkroom #doitinthedark#blackandwhitefilm #foma #handmade




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New Bromoil paper from Foma now available. Fomabrom Variant 113 BO

Blanco Negro is happy to announce the new Bromoil paper from Foma Bohemia is now available to purchase online. I sent off a few sample packs to experienced bromoil printers who said their initial testing shows great promise.

Being a novice bromoiler myself, I have yet to take the plunge and have a crack. I did make a series of grade tests as well as a Fomatol PW developer test. It seems the BO 113 has little Chloride salts, so the effect with the PW was minimal. This also explains the neutral colour of the paper. My next step is toner tests, mainly Selenium, Gold and Thiocarbamide, followed by a bromoil run. Fingers crossed I get some sort of result!


The paper is available in either 10/8″ X 25 sheet pack or 11/14″ X 10 sheet pack

The paper can be bought here : http://localhost/

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Some news from the darkroom: No deliveries 24th – 28th due to teaching @ Gold St Studios

New Foma Delivery Due Next Week

So next week I am expecting the latest Foma delivery, and with it comes 150 rolls of the latest release of the new Foma Retropan “soft” 320 film in the 120 format. Also arriving is load of the Fomaspeed matte 10/8 in 25 sheet packs, for all the Uni students who have been using it of late and any special orders people have asked. Remember, Foma sell all kinds of paper that I do not stock as standard. For printers looking for something difference check out this LINK for Foma’s other paper stocks. Included are Graded papers for the traditionalist printer as well as some textured paper stocks. Anyone interested in trying out something different can simply drop me a line and I shall check stock levels.

Please note: as I will be away, no deliveries will be possible between Thursday 24th & Tuesday 28th May.

Workshops at Gold St Studios 24th – 28th May: No deliveries will be possible

I shall also be heading back down to Gold Street Studios where an extra workshop has been added due to demand. Isn’t that nice…. This time around I’ll be teaching the Lith Printing process and Liquid Emulsion printing. I am pretty sure there is still spot available for the second Lith workshop. Click this link for more information. Each workshop will have a maximum of 3 people for better communication and work flow.

As I will be away, no deliveries will be possible between Thursday 24th & Tuesday 28th May.

Upcoming travel photography tour – Pakistan, October 2018

For any snappers who like to travel, award winning photographer Andrea Francolini is offering a unique photographic experience in Pakistan. Andrea has been travelling to Pakistan for years now, he has set up new schools via his charity My First School. While there, Andrea has also be shooting personal projects with his 5/4″ camera and the Mamiya 7 and then creating beautiful hand crafted silver gelatin prints bordered by colourful stickers. Anyone interested in the travel tour can click HERE

And that’s about it for now…

Chris Reid 18/05/18

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Some news from the darkroom…

Film Paper & Workshops…

Blanco Negro is happy to announce the arrival of Foma Bohemia’s latest film, Retropan 320 in the 120 format. I am pretty excited to be testing the new film this weekend and dusting off the Mamiya 7 & C330 and may even get a few prints off next week… Stocks are very limited at this stage, but I shall be getting more delivered in the next few weeks. Cost per roll is $7.75

Also delivered are the sample packs of the new Bromoil paper 113 BO. Although only containing 5 sheets they are free to pick up ( in Newtown, NSW ) or I’m happy to post if the costs are covered. Drop me a line if interested. Again packs are very limited. The cost for the Bromoil paper is as follow’s:

10/8″ x 25 sheets $55.00     11/14″ x 10 sheets $55.00     11/14″ x 25 sheets $130.00

Workshop news

Last week I headed down to Victoria for a few days to teach at Gold Street Studios. This 2 day workshop covered many aspects of Silver Gelatin print making and the second day we toned a few dozen prints. I’m pretty sure we covered most toner combinations, but two of my fav’s was a print ( an image of an urn ) I locally bleached then tone in Thiocarbamide, then toned overall with Selenium and the other was a landscape that was toned in Thio. first, then toned again in my custom Blue toner for a Green effect. The students were pretty happy with the results 🙂

I’ll be travelling down to Gold Street Studios again this month to teach a few more workshops on alternative silver gelatin printing. The Lith printing workshop is fully booked, but there are still places available for the Liquid Emulsion lessons. Click here for more information : Gold St Studios

Before I head down though I’ll be beginning a new commission for Stephen Dupont to make a hand made  photographic book using Foma’s Liquid Emulsion. I’m not too sure how many pages, I think it is around the plus 200 mark and Steve was thinking of about 12 editions. I’m thinking I’ll be in need of a holiday afterwards! Thankfully Steve will be giving me a hand. We’ll be printing via the Devere DS Digital enlarger which will life a lot easier in regards to layout and consistently of the tonality. I’ll be posting some pics on our progress…

And that’s about it from the darkroom

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Silver Gelatin workshop at Gold Street Studio

I just thought I would put a shout “out there” regarding a placement at my upcoming workshop in Gold Street Studios this Thursday 26th and Friday 27th April. Anyone who is interested please contact Ellie Young directly via her website:

For more information regarding the workshop, please click HERE

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Foma release a new paper for Bromoil’s

Well the folks are Foma have been keeping busy. After last months news about the release of Retropan in 120 format, Foma have just announced the production of a new paper designed for Bromoils.

FOMABROM VARIANT 113 BO features a very rich half-tone scale over all contrast grades, a shining white paper base and saturated blacks. The paper is manufactured using silver chlorobromide emulsion that gives neutral-to-medium warm tone to the silver image.

This stock in available in these sizes only: 8 x 10 inch and 11 x 14 inch. I shall be importing this stock as soon as it becomes available, in the meantime Foma are sending me some samples with my next delivery due in 10 days or so… I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Anyone who is interested in this stock simply drop me a line to touch base regarding costs and availability.

With the next delivery I shall also be collecting the first batch of the 120 Retropan which I am very much looking forward to testing. Time to unbox the Mamiya 7…


There will be NO delivery available from Tuesday 24th April as I travel to Gold Street Studios to teach for several days. Online delivery will resume on Monday 30th.









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Foma release new Retropan 120 format film!

Great news from Foma Bohemia. 

It seems the folk at Foma have listened to the people and have begun production of the Retropan 320 Soft in 120 (Medium) format.

Press release:

Dear Sir or Madame,

We are glad to inform you that we have launched a new product- RETROPAN 320 as 120 film.

RETROPAN 320 soft is a panchromatically sensitized special negative black and white film with fine grain, good resolution and contour sharpness. The film is characterized by a wide range of half tones and soft light which makes it suitable for photography and subsequent contact printing or “retro” style enlarging of negatives (photographs of still lives, architecture, experiments, landscapes, portraits, etc.).

Please note that the new RETROPAN 320 120 has TAC base 0,125 mm unlike our other 120 films.


I will placing an order tomorrow with Foma to import this new stock and will you informed of arrival.

Foma, keeping us in the dark!!


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A little bit of bits and bobs…

Well living in the sticks sure gives one time for playing in the darkroom. With very little to distract, all focus is directed in the printing or processing of images. I cannot believe how much time is saved without the interruptions of phone calls and emails. My current routine, as my solar set up is still unreliable, is to drive the 7 minutes to the top of my hill and check my communications via an iPad. This is extremely time efficient!

It has been about 3  months now since I have relocated the darkroom and it is reassuring that the online sales continue to tick over.

I am contacting Foma to order fresh films for Christmas as well as looking into the possibility of manufacturing GRADED printing paper, as their FomaluxSP 111, an AZO type paper,  is no longer being produced due to lack of demand. Surprisingly though I have had a number of enquiries regarding this very special paper stock…

I shall be running lessons in the new year with students having the options to stay overnight in the studio.

It really is pretty special watching the sun set over the valley and waking to the sound of bird call. Although the 5.30am start takes a little getting use too! Anyone interested can contact me in the usual way.

And lastly, for all my Victorian customer, Michaels Camera Store in Melbourne are interested in stocking the FOMA range. I shall keep you’all posted on progress…



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November news… from the off grid darkroom. Working at Gold Street Studios 9th -14th Nov, again!

Well it has been just over 6 weeks now since I have started working form the bush and I must say you can get sooo much more work finished in a much shorter time. Being off line also helps a hell of a lot. I travel 7 minutes to the top of my hill to get reception and within 30 minutes the days telecommunications is over and done with. Then it is back to the darkroom for a bit more fun.

This week I had my first guests travel the hour and forty minutes from Sydney to use the darkroom. First up was Simon Kennedy working on his solarization creations, flashing the film and the prints. I first taught Simon about 18 months ago and I am very much looking forward to seeing his hand made prints upon a wall. Next up was Stephen Dupont. I’d just finished processing 150+ rolls from his ongoing project and Steve came up to save some $$$ by making his own contact sheets. Both fellas said the accommodation in the studio was comfy and the BBQ not too bad…


In some other news… Please note that REWIND PHOTO LAB now stocks a range of Foma materials for all you Sydney-siders…

I shall be away from the 9th – 14th November working at Gold Street Studios (again!). I will not be able to process any online orders at this time… I am at Gold St. be the lab rat for The Large Format Gathering, where I’ll be processing for about 6 hours straight for up to 25+ photographer all shooting between 5/4″ – 16/20″ sheet films. This is an yearly event in it’s 11th year. Goodness knows how many sheets I’ve processed since then… More info HERE

Fragile Bounty

Exhibition news… Short, yet sweet: “Fragile Bounty”. Collodion tintype photographs by Phillip England at Nolan Gallery, HOBART.

From Nov 10-Dec 6.

“Dear All,

You are very welcome to join me at the opening of my upcoming exhibition, Fragile Bounty, at 6pm, Friday November 10 at Nolan Gallery, 77 Salamanca Place, Hobart.
Fragile Bounty is inspired by the uniqueness, fragility and beauty of the Earth’s precious bounty. The works are made using one of the earliest photographic processes, collodion tintype: handmade, one-of-a-kind, image objects.  Showing until December 6.”


Darkroom gear for sale from Paul P.

“I have an LPL 7700 6×7 enlarger and some darkroom accessories for which I have no further need and would like to find a good home for.

Would you be interested in them or know of someone who might be?”

More stuff for sale:

From Barry P. “Darkroom equipment attached, as discussed.”

Anyone interested in the darkroom gear, please contact me directly and I will pass on the enquiry.

And that’s about it until my return from Gold Street Studios.

CGI Sunset over Laguna
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Rockin’ & Rollin’ in the darkroom

So finally after several weeks of cleaning and repairing the machines I have managed to get my hands wet. As usual when I have any sort of absence from the darkroom, I had the fear of “what if I have forgotten what to do!”, but thankfully this was not the case.

I have been working on several exhibition jobs over the last couple of weeks and to have so much space (approx. 55 sqm) has been such a luxury compared to the cramped conditions I had in my previous location. Although the darkroom is still a work in progress I really do feel I am getting there. I still have had a few off grid issues like the solar power, seems I have a faulty battery, so I gotta print while the sun shines. And the little genie I have had for years has finally seen some service.

© Ashleigh Garwood, FORM-1

Between the 19th – 24th of this month I shall be teaching down at Gold Street Studios, so there will be no online sales for a few days. I am looking forward to the drive, it is always so inspiring hanging out with Ellie & Alan.

In some other news… The last exhibition I printed in Alexandria was for Ashleigh Garwood. The prints I made were via the De vere digital machine, a digital to analogue enlarger and the only commercial machine in the country. It really is an excellent piece of kit. For more info please hit this link

The first exhibition off the rack at the new darkroom was for Chris Byrnes. Most of these images were also printed via digital enlarger.  “Circles of Light” is the title of the exhibition by Chris for the award of Master of Fine Art (Photography) at the National Art School Sydney.  Opens 2 November 6-10pm at the National Art School NAS Gallery on the Darlinghurst campus.  Then Runs and is open to the public 3-12 November 11 to 5pm. I made the photo of Chris small as she is a little shy 🙂


Well that is about it from me. I shall leave you all with a photo from the blank studio which I hope to jam pack with photographs and my printing press and UV exposure box. All I need is a little time to play…


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Into the light…

All powered up and ready to play. Well almost… Lights are on, though power points are yet to be completed, so just a little longer till play time.

The water was delivered and plumbed in and I had my first shower ever in the bush. Add drool comment about here! Ahh bliss and every drop will be recycled into the garden.

One sink is plumbed and Mr Undy’s donated sink is next up. Six and half meters of wet area with plenty of room for the processing of FB murals. The next machine to get a make over is the Durst 10″x10″ horizontal enlarger to create said murals. I’ve had the big boss in storage for well over eight years and when I turned it on last week it fired up, first go. Unfortunately that was all is did! However a friend has promised to try to help me, thank you Sam.


So by next week I am planning to start my first prints and run some test processing. And there will be peace once again in my life. Although the shop is no longer open in Sydney, I have received my first order from Rewind photo lab in Glebe. They’ll be stocking some Foma materials really soon, though photographers will still be able to order through Blanco Negro’s website as usual of course. I’ll be continuing to import Foma materials as long as they make em’. And long may they rein.

Paloma by Sam Stephenson. ©

In some other news, it’s not all about ME! A new photographic exhibition is opening soon in Sydney by Sam Stephenson and Harry Culy. Click here 

Sam made his prints at my old Sydney darkroom over a few sessions and this promises to be interesting event, well done Sam.

Another show opening later this coming week is “Journey 1984 – 2017” by Sydney photographer /printmaker Gordon Undy. Click here for more info.

And lastly is one more exhibition of hand crafted B&W prints (Foma paper ) by Stephen Hartup. “Tolwong Road –  a story of a fire” is still showing at Gallery X in Bungendore. Last days this week.

Click here for a link to the blog review by the ever industrious and film lover Sean Davey. Keep up the great work mate.


And thats about it from me, for now. Another HUGE thank you to everyone offering me support and patience while I am in the state of transition.

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