Circuits

The Darkroom Masters

4 films
To me, the printer is my key co-worker, my soul brother; but for him, the photos wouldn't exist!
- Bernard Plossu

DK2R Team

This is indeed one career within the field of photography, but let us dare to say it: it merits its own exploration. Its function can vary from the production of a simple print, to a true work of art. The masters sign the fine art print next to the photographer.

To print is to interpret, it is far from mechanical: two printers will produce different results from one same image. A little darker here, a little lighter there, adjust the contrasts…

After Gustave le Gray who, in 1855, had already laid the foundations, those who know anything about printing are aware of its strength as a creative tool.

And what of those who keep the pictorial techniques going, with high “added value”: Carbon printing with the Fresson family, Barrantes’ gum bichromate printing, or even (already “vintage”!) Roland Dufau’ Cibachrome or Diamantino Quintas’ black and white.

These masters of printing assert the subjectivity and asperity of what is human.

Defenders of the “Walter Benjaminian” uniqueness, their prints are, as vinyl is to music, the last defence of the object against its dissolution into the digital “flow”.

Let us take you on a journey that will help you see that the best days of “the lab” still are yet to come!

Films on the circuit

MAITRES-TIRAGE-FRESSON movie category
movie duration 50’
The Workshop | The Fresson Process
France - 2013 volume icon fr subtitle icon English
The Darkroom Masters • Printing • Carbon printing ...
The Darkroom Masters • Printing ...

You are watching a trailer. The complete film is reserved for subscribers to The Darkroom Rumour.

from 2,49€/month

Trial offer

7 free days to discover The Darkroom Rumour

The Darkroom Masters • Printing • Carbon printing ...

Access the film info sheet

A dynasty of fine art craftsmen

Among the masters of printing, the Fressons are a family dynasty, and their workshop embodies the meeting of art and crafts. 

Mainly known for the contribution to colour photography of their process, the charcoal print, some of the greatest artists are among their unconditional supporters. It must be said that their work, carried out entirely by hand, and their "rule of thumb" subjectivity give these noble, matt sheets a vibration and a character that is unrivalled.

Access the film information sheet
MAITRES-TIRAGE-DIAMANTINO movie category
movie duration 22’
The Darkroom Masters | Diamantino Quintas
France - 2012 volume icon fr subtitle icon English
Black and White • The Darkroom Masters • Analogue photography ...
Black and White • The Darkroom Masters ...

You are watching a trailer. The complete film is reserved for subscribers to The Darkroom Rumour.

from 2,49€/month

Trial offer

7 free days to discover The Darkroom Rumour

Black and White • The Darkroom Masters • Analogue photography ...

Access the film info sheet

Traditional large format – a unique emotion

Judging by the busy thrum of the laboratory where Diamantino Quintas works, you can be sure that the gelatin silver print still has a bright future. We watch this master of the large format intervene at every stage, monitoring with precision all the techniques used in this art apart.

 

Time is the key here, and time devoted to getting to know the artist is part of the deal. How else can he know which density and contrast will tug on the heartstrings?

Access the film information sheet
MAITRES-TIRAGE-DUFAU movie category
movie duration 21’
Roland Dufau | Cibachrome Printer
France - 2015 volume icon fr subtitle icon English
Photography careers • The Darkroom Masters • Analogue photography ...
Photography careers • The Darkroom Masters ...

You are watching a trailer. The complete film is reserved for subscribers to The Darkroom Rumour.

from 2,49€/month

Trial offer

7 free days to discover The Darkroom Rumour

Photography careers • The Darkroom Masters • Analogue photography ...

Access the film info sheet

Sculpting light with colours

In his laboratory in the Odéon district, Roland Dufau takes us behind the scenes of his creation. Master of the Cibachrome print, this unique colour process which consists in finding the transparency and the intensity of the slide on paper, Roland devotes himself solely to collectors' prints.

His art, in total darkness, his "1970s machine", his masking know-how... so many vestiges of a craft that has now disappeared.

Access the film information sheet
MAITRE-TIRAGE-BARRANTES movie category
movie duration 26’
Carlos Barrantes | Artist and artisan
France - 2014 volume icon fr subtitle icon English
Black and White • Photography careers • The Darkroom Masters ...
Black and White • Photography careers ...

You are watching a trailer. The complete film is reserved for subscribers to The Darkroom Rumour.

from 2,49€/month

Trial offer

7 free days to discover The Darkroom Rumour

Black and White • Photography careers • The Darkroom Masters ...

Access the film info sheet

Historical processes seen by the photographer

In Perpignan, Carlos Barrantes devotes his energy to historical and alternative processes, these monochrome techniques that involve subtle chemistry and precise gestures: cyanotypes, gum bichromates, platinum palladium, salted paper, Vandyke, etc...

 However, the printer's skill does not end there. He started off as a photographer and continues to be one. But he distinguishes the printer's interpretation from the photographer's composition, and combines them wisely.

Access the film information sheet

Access all content
The Darkroom Rumour

Trial offer

7 free days to discover The Darkroom Rumour

Further exploration

To read

• LES GRANDS MAÎTRES DU TIRAGE - author: Dominique Gaessler ; 1987 ; Contrejour ; French

• CARBON TRANSFER PRINTING: A STEP-BY-STEP MANUAL, FEATURING CONTEMPORARY CARBON PRINTERS AND THEIR CREATIVE PRACTICE - author: Sandy King, Don Nelson and John Lockhart ; 2019 ; Focal Press

• EDGES - author and photographer: Dolorès Marat ; author: Pascal Bonafoux ; 1996 ; Dewi Lewis Publishing

• LEGACIES: INTERVIEWS WITH MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY FROM DARKROOM PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE - author: Janis Bultman ; 2018 ; Quercus Agrifolia Press

• THE PRINT - authors: Ansel Adams and Robert Baker ; 1995 ; Ansel Adams editions 

• THE PRINT - Time-Life authors ; 1982 ; Little Brown & Co

• LUCIEN CLERGUE, LES PREMIERS ALBUMS - directed by François Hébel and Christian Lacroix ; 2015 ; exhibition catalogue at the Grand Palais ; Réunion des musées nationaux edition ; in French

• ŒUVRES PHOTOGRAPHIQUES 1968-1992 - artist: Miguel Rio Branco ; 2020 ; Toluca Editions ; Bilingual

• RÉTROSPECTIVE, CARLOS BARRANTES, PHOTOGRAPHE ET TIREUR - 2014 ; Trabucaire editions ; in French

• UN JOUR PARTONS - 2014 ;  Mai-Photographies ; in French