Richard Nicholson began taking pictures of London’s professional darkrooms in 2006. There were some 200 working at the time. Less than five years later and there are now 8. The supposed backbone of an artform has suddenly vanished at the same time as that form has seen exponential growth through sales of DSLRs, micro interchangeables and pixel-perfect cameraphones. That this exhibition is taking place at Riflemaker in Soho – a venue stripped back to reveal the outline of a crampt old shop that seems to come from ages past – only adds to the feeling that this is most definitely a record of history. As the lomographers move on to the hipstamatic app and more and more films leave the market there will be no going back to this way of working.
The images are fascinating – revealing the mix of chaos and order that defined the darkrooms. Different papers, different chemicals and machines that now look as modern as the set of Lost in Space. It’s another world – one well worth popping into and if not actually weeping for its loss then maybe just feeling a tinge of regret that life is getting just a little less quirky.
Read all about it here.