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Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

The story of the Studebaker darkroom print

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you may have seen that I was in the darkroom this weekend.

In March 2020, I purchased this Ansco Speedex from a local hip shop On&On. Around that same time a family member gifted me some expired Kodak Tri-X that he’s had frozen since 1982. A few weeks later, on a rather rainy afternoon, I set out with the Speedex and an umbrella to expose some of my very first frames of medium format film. That same evening I developed the film in our apartment kitchen sink and scanned the negatives the next morning. Which I published to my blog.

Here are a few photos from those days in March.

The Ansco Speedex the day I bought it – March 2020
The Ansco Speedex, with Kodak Tri-X expired in 1982 – March 2020
The camera under the umbrella – March 2020
An iPhone shot of the Studebaker laying in state – March 2020
The developed negatives – March 2020
My original digital scan from March – March 2020

Now, in December, we’ve moved to a new home and we have room in our basement for darkroom equipment. On Saturday night, after many weeks of practicing printing, I have learned enough to make this frame-worthy print for our bathroom.

The enlarger on the floor (low ceilings in basement) – December 2020
The print in the fixer- December 2020
The finished print- December 2020

This print was a bit challenging due to the negatives being a bit flat. It may not appear to be flat given the digital scan – but that is very easy to compensate for digitally. This darkroom print needed a number of areas to be burned (which I’m still learning how to do). Expired film generally makes you work a lot harder for good results.

I’m super stoked. I love the provenance of these film projects. They are more than just photographs, they are our history.