Master Printer Dazzles in the Darkroom

ilfordThe cameras rolled and filming began as Bradford College’s WWI Film School teamed up with ILFORD Imaging to make a new film that will be used as a teaching aid for photographers wishing to improve their printing techniques and will be distributed in schools, colleges and universities across the world.

With the help of students from the WWI Film School working on the production, the new film will provide a comprehensive ‘how to guide’ on how to make photographic prints in the darkroom.

Ilford Imaging is a manufacturer of photographic materials known worldwide for its black-and-white film, papers and chemicals, as well as its range of Ilfochrome and Ilfocolor colour printing materials.

Elaborating further, Steven Brierley, Sales and Marketing Director for Ilford said: “We’re making a film that students can watch which shows them how to make prints in the darkroom for the first time. It’s about creating a teaching aid for teachers to download off the web in high quality.  Some colleges won’t need any help as they’ll have staff with the same level of skills that are resident in this college.  There will be other colleges that perhaps might not be as confident to teach the subject and may need a little assistance – and this video will be a big help.

“It will also be useful for people that are not at college and want to learn how to work in a darkroom and make prints.  They can watch a professionally made film that will be available on YouTube.   The aim of this is to create a very strong well-made film that is highly educational and relevant. The Film School has played a very large part in making this possible as the students are making the film and taking responsibility for the production.”

Film School student John Talbot (aged 19) was delighted to be working on the project, elaborating further John said: “It’s fantastic to be involved in this project, not a lot of colleges and universities get these chances. It’s great to get our names out there, possibly on the credits, which might lead to potential job opportunities.”

The star of the film, Steve Macleod, is a senior director of one of Europe’s biggest imaging labs Metro Imaging, Steve has a wealth of experience within the printing industry that spans over 25 years. He has worked with some of the world’s top artists and photographers and regularly teaches and conducts darkroom workshops.

Commenting on how it felt to be part of the film, Steve said: “I’m delighted as I’ve worked with Ilford and Steven for many years, Ilford has always been at the heart of black and white photography. There’s a natural synergy to be doing something like this. Darkroom has always been popular, but also very misunderstood. Here we have an opportunity to demystify some of the problems and issues that people might have in the darkroom. When you actually get down to the nuts and bolts of the process it is actually very simple. If you get the basics sorted out you can actually be very creative in the darkroom.  That’s my job and what I get the pleasure of doing.”

Steve continued: “I’ve seen the transition from analogue film based photography to digital. At the core of whether it’s analogue or digital photography, black and white photography, darkroom practice – craft process is still a viable and a very highly regarded option for many people.”

Steve added: “I’m fascinated by what is going on behind the cameras as well as what’s going on in front of the cameras. The students and Trevor have been fantastic as I’m relatively new to this, they’ve been great.”

Commenting on the Ilford Imaging Film and the Film Schools involvement, Director of Bradford-WWI Film School, Trevor Griffiths said: “We have worked with Ilford for over 20 years and this is a wonderful opportunity for staff and student to repay some of the support that they have given us over all those years. The Film School is built on the importance of teaching work based practice and I couldn’t think of a better opportunity to engage with both Film and Photography than this opportunity offers. We are now in post-production and are still on target to have the completed work early in the New Year.

Pic: Director of Bradford-WWI Film School, Trevor Griffiths with Steven Brierley, Sales and Marketing Director for ILFORD Imaging and Steve Macleod, Senior Director Metro Imaging.

Written on 9th December 2014Lillie Geistdorfer. Published in Members News