living rurally in the Highlands certainly has a romantic appeal, hiding away in the land of all those celtic legends, fascinating wildlife on the doorstep – literally at times! and never sure what the weather will be doing with wind sun and rain (and even snow!) all in one day.

on the flip side we have the challenges of the extreme conditions and the ever long list of grounds and property maintenance work so at times a nice little tidy dwelling in suburbia can seem rather attractive. In the winter months my studio workshop is just too cold and damp to use for photography without some serious heating up but when the weather breaks and we get beautiful spring and summer days and the ground stays dry all the dark harsh winter months become a distant memory the worshop is such a great place to work, right out there in all that nature.

this year for reasons shared later i have decided to locate all my analogue photography work out into the garden studio workshop for the summer and get the house back to being a home rather than a chaotic collection of workrooms. Lots of junk and old materials thrown out, shelves sorted and now everything in one place, well nearly, just needed a decent sink and running water for analogue processing.

then bingo, saw on Facebook an old butlers sink going cheep, looked a real mess but it’s only for filling jugs and washing trays. 4 hours later was handing over some cash after heaving the brute of the sink into the back of the Jeep ignoring the fact that there was no way I could get it out on my own but thinking to myself that’s a problem for later (thanks to fellow photographer friend Tim for his help here)

spin forward to today and it’s in  I built a base, heaved it into place – more help this time from Mike, managed to fix the nearby water feed that’s never worked since we moved here 19 yrs ago and fitted a tap to the wall and voila… a working sink. currently using a huge bucket underneath for drainage but will sort that one day, can’t be seen to rush things.

now at last i can setup, capture and process my analogue photography all in one place, no dashing into the house for water or chemicals, everything washed and drying under the workshop canopy ready for the next session.

and to celebrate and test capture for Vandyke and Palladium printing captured on 12″ x 9 1/2″ Ilford Multigrade paper as a negative in my 12×10 camera. Stills seems rather weird producing a negative on paper but since i was the destination of others clear outs with boxes of old paper seems the logical thing to do. Time will tell how much of the old stock thats been stored under far from ideal conditions in lofts and barns will be usable but my initial test seems to suggest that all is good, at least with this box 🙂 looks like i had a bit of light leaking into the plate holder but there was a lot of faffing about getting the paper in correctly so for a first attempt am encouraged with the possibilities, and saving in material costs for testing.

next – well time to see how the prints come out. will be starting with vandyke and maybe cyanotype before trying a palladium print .. watch this space !!

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