Sabrina Dangol, 25, doesn’t have a darkroom of her own, but that has not stopped her from shooting on film and processing her own analogue prints, which are now on display at Siddhartha Art Gallery. The freelancer, who uses digital cameras for her professional work, started developing her own photographs after she came across Film Foundry.
“I used to play around with cameras when I was young, and was always curious about the process of developing photographs,” she says. “When I started developing my own photos, I loved figuring out how different chemicals can bring out different tints, and how the type of paper makes a difference to the tone. Besides, holding a physical copy of a photo that you have made yourself is kind of magical.”
Dangol represents a younger generation of photographers who are keeping the spirit of analogue alive in Kathmandu. Film Foundry conducts workshops on creating and curating photographs, provides space for youngsters to satisfy their curiosity and revive a technology considered to be on its way out. They buy chemicals in bulk and make their own mixture for the darkrooms, and experiment with colours, tones, and printing mediums.
“You would think that no one would be interested in this technology today, but that is not correct. We have so many young enthusiasts coming to learn all about analogue,” says Film Foundry’s Jagadish Upadhya.”You don’t waste time in the darkroom, you go there to spend time. Once you start working with analogue cameras, digital feels bland.”