The Photograph Considered number forty one  – Danny Tasmakis

The Photograph Considered number forty one – Danny Tasmakis

The Gate at Pentridge. Silver gelatin print.

Walking through former Pentridge Prison precinct on a warm summer’s day surrounded by bluestone laid in the mid 1800’s with modern architecture and conveniences’ built around it creates a pleasant atmosphere to be in. This is where I was after seeing a movie in the new shopping and cinema complex, the prison is now a lifestyle of choice with boutique apartments, restaurants and cafes, the photographic possibilities here are good.

I’m constantly looking for photographic opportunities, I mean constantly, going to work, driving in a new area, walking the dog, etc.  Whoever is reading this also practicing the craft is nodding their head and understand exactly what I’m talking about…wow look at the clouds today! 

Whilst walking around Pentridge I spotted the gate in the wall, the sun beaming through casting the gate shadow, I made the mental note it was around 4:00pm, closed one eye to flatten the scene and felt it would make a good image. I use a phone app called Viewfinder Preview, I can input all my camera formats along with the lenses so I can see what format/lens perspective would suit the scene quickly without having to carry around my gear, like pre digital when photographers used Polaroids to do a proof shot.

I use most film formats from 35mm, medium format, 4 x 5 and now recently acquired 8 x 10 but mostly medium format until now where I’m starting to enjoy the slow motion of large format, I have the ability to enlarge and print silver gelatin prints using  up to 4 x 5 negatives with my enlarger in my temporarily dismantled darkroom. I’ve made less than six images with the 8 x 10 camera so I’m still trying to establish a routine or ‘groove’ with it.

I came back for this image on another day and set up around 2:00pm to see the difference in length of light and shadow I settled for the 4:00pm shot it just felt balanced. I decided on 8 x 10 using a 210mm lens, I wanted the ability to make contact prints on silver gelatin photographic paper and eventually salt prints. The 210mm lens is considered a medium wide angle lens for 8 x 10.

The image was captured on Shanghai (GP3 100) film rated at ISO 50 developed in 510 Pyro for the stain it produces on the negative which apparently achieves more contrasty salt prints. The negative was scanned for upload.

My passion for the whole photographic process, from taking the picture to hand printing the final result was sparked when I took the School Photography Class back in 78-79 I was in year 8 or 9 and have been on and off since then. At the moment the passion is stronger than ever and I’m enjoying the resurgence of film photography and the fact that the generations after me have the opportunity to experience it also. 

My daytime job is in Mechanical Design Engineering which started off as a metal trade apprenticeship where I worked on the tools for 17 with another 20 years doing what I’m doing now. 

More of Danny’s work can be seen here.

Danny Tasmakis with 8×10 camera.
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This article was written by
Danny Tasmakis

Danny Tasmakis is a Melbourne based hobbyist photographer.

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