Established in 2017 and located in West Kirby Arts Centre, Wirral, Lightbox darkroom is an open film photography darkroom available for hire and for learning.
Why open a darkroom?
Film photography is experiencing a resurgence. A generation who have never experienced film are discovering the creative potential of developing and printing.
I've opened the darkroom to satisfy my own creative endeavours and to help others fuel their own creative output through film photography.
Who's did this?
My name is Martin Chapman Fromm, a designer. Having been a creative director for many years I now run the successful digital agency, Error. Photography – specifically film photography – is one of my passions, so I’ve decided to create Lightbox to channel my energies into something that can be shared with others. I am also involved in Ten O’Clock Books, a photography book publishing venture.
When did it all happen?
The darkroom was literally built from the ground up between December 2016 to June 2017. From July 2017, Lightbox opened the darkroom for wider use.
Lightbox provides a darkroom service and learning environment to those who want to explore film photography beyond the camera. A longer term aim is for Lightbox to meaningfully contribute to the world of photography and art.
Darkroom capabilities and equipment
The darkroom is capable of developing and printing black & white and colour 35mm, medium format, and 4x5 large format photographs. Current equipment includes:
- two enlargers: a De Vere 203 with Ilford 500H Multigrade head (up to 6x9 medium format and 35mm); a De Vere 504 with Dichromat colour head (4x5 large format, medium format, 35mm);
- trays for up to 20 x 16 print size;
- a Jobo CPE2 Lift rotary (colour) film and print developer (can process up to 5 x 35mm films in one go, and print up to 12 x 16 RA4 print size in rotary tanks);
- Archival print washer for fibre paper up to 12 x 16, and;
- the usual darkroom paraphernalia (developing tanks inc. 4x5 Mod54 frames for Paterson tanks, trays, wash sink).