Tuesday, December 29, 2020

 HAND COLORING – have you ever considered adding colors to your B&W photos? I’m told you can do that with photoshop but I prefer using the skills from my darkroom. The type of prints that I work with are silver gelatin photographs, not digital. What follows is a Facebook post by Marshall’s Photo Coloring System you may find helpful should you venture into hand coloring:

"To begin with, you’ll need some PM solution made by combining turpentine at 2/3, and 1/3 safflower oil. A small jar would be plenty.  Turpenoid can also be used and it seems to work as well and not smell as bad. Distilled turpentine would probably be safer as far as yellowing down the road. Safflower oil has been used for making white oil paint for years as it does not yellow. Use PM to prime the paper before using oils and pencils. Apply with cotton and rub it down with paper towels. Apply paint with cotton swabs or toothpicks wrapped with cotton and kind of buff to smooth it out. Apply color pencils and rub or stroke with swabs or tooth picks wrapped with cotton to smooth that out. Get good cotton at drugstore. Do one section at a time using the above steps."

Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear your reaction be it photoshop or darkroom. Thanks for your time!

Hand colored cards & prints at



Monday, December 21, 2020


MY FRONT YARD – this past summer, I was relaxing on our front porch bench. Looking to my left, I gazed upon the trees at the edge of our property. The sunlight was perfect, shining on the leaves, and highlighting between them and the branches. I got my camera, loaded with Infrared Film, looked through the viewfinder, and saw the image I liked. Next step was the darkroom.

Whether you use film or digital, do you look right around you to compose an image in your mind and capture it? It’s great fun and requires no travel. Try it!

Please let me know your thoughts/techniques. Leave a comment below. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020


MY EARLY START - The art of black & white film photography has been around for more than 100 years. It started with a number of pioneers and grew into a very dynamic major industry with leaders like Kodak and Polaroid.

Well, my start was in April 1955 at age 9.

Dad took me on a steam train excursion pulled by the last operating steam locomotive of the Central Railroad of NJ similar to the one in my Facebook post. I was very excited about the sights, sounds, and smells of the engine, and wanted to take a picture to remember the day. Dad had previously reviewed with me the basics of his manual folding camera so he said, "Son, you try it." That image, frozen in time, hangs in my office to this day.

When I turned 15, Dad brought me into his darkroom to learn film processing and print development. That was 60 years ago.

I miss those times with my Dad. What he taught me about the art of black & white photography, I still enjoy immensely today. It’s why I do what I do!

How ‘bout you? Do you have a hobby you love, perhaps one that’s turned into a side business? I’d love to know all about it. Share in the comments below.