Profile: The Fox Darkroom, Melbourne
I recently received an email from Tom Goldner of The Fox Darkroom telling me about his recently established darkroom in Melbourne. It’s great to see a new facility for film photographers become available in this digital day and age and so I sent over a few questions to Tom to find out more about the venture.
Can you tell me a little about The Fox Darkroom – where you’re based and something of a background to the darkroom?
The Fox Darkroom is a stunning photographic studio and black and white darkroom located in the newly restored Young Husband Building at No. 10 Elizabeth St, Kensington. Nothing satisfies like making something by hand. Here, we indulge our love of traditional black and white photographic techniques.
Why Fox? The Fox Darkroom honours the contribute of pioneering British photographer and artist Henry Fox Talbot (1800 – 1877).
Our philosophy is built on inspiring others to turn back the clock to a time when photography was deliberate, valued and made by hand. It’s a simple idea but driven with a lot of passion
— Tom Goldner, Founder.
What photographic facilities and services do you offer?
Our service includes introductory workshops, darkroom hire and darkroom membership.
We pride ourselves on offering workshop that give our costumers the most personalised and creative learning experience around.
It’s our belief that anybody can learn how to take beautiful photographs and make stunning black and white prints in the darkroom regardless of level of experience. For this reason we have a maximum of 5 students per class. Currently we are offering two workshops which run most Saturdays – Photography & Developing Basics and Darkroom Printing Basics. For more information and bookings please visit www.thefoxdarkroom.com.au
Here at The Fox Darkroom we are building a thriving community of photographers and enthusiasts. Our very affordable $95.00 annual membership includes:
- Darkroom introductory session (1/2 hour)
- Equipment and chemicals all inclusive
- Expert advice and support on hand
- 25% discount on darkroom hire
- 10% discount on film, paper and frames
- Michael’s Camera Store discount
- Darkroom Hire
Everything you need to develop and print beautiful black and white prints will be at your disposal. All equipment and chemicals provided. Film and paper available for purchase. Make use of our fantastic facilities or make a coffee, spin a record and find inspiration in our photo library. We have 5 enlarger stations catering for 35mm to large format photography.
Hourly rate (members) – $15
Hourly rate (non-members) – $20
What is your personal background in photography? What are you interested in, as a photographer, and what kind of equipment do you use?
My career spans art, portraiture and commercial photography. In 2010 I founded Photo for Freedom, which helped raise awareness and $85,000 to fight child slavery in Ghana. In 2014 I established The Fox Darkroom as a creative hub where photographers can share their expertise and passion for black and white photography, breathing new life into traditional photographic techniques and processes. Photography for me is simply a way to pursue what I am passionate about. I believe there so much to be gained from the old way of doing things.
How is business looking at the moment? Is film actually alive and well, despite rumours to the contrary?
Although the business has only recently launched the response has been phenomenal. The community of analogue photography in Melbourne is so welcoming of what I am trying to achieve with The Fox Darkroom. One of the great pleasures of starting the business has been making connections with the remarkable individuals and organisations working to preserve traditional process. It is funny it has taken around almost a decade for people to realise something fundamental has been lost in our practice. I think film is most definitely alive but we need to work hard to preserve this important part of our history.
What are your plans for the future of The Fox Darkroom? What might visitors expect to see or do in 2015?
We endeavour to continue to improve our facilities, expand our membership base, exhibit, roll out new and advanced workshops and offer international photography tours to the public. I also want to build ongoing partnerships with likeminded individuals, businesses and organisations. Most importantly I want to keep opening peoples eyes to the magic of producing images by hand!
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions that readers of the blog may be interested in attending?
With the growth of our membership base we will explore the possibilities of holding an annual exhibition. You can keep track of our progress through our Facebook page
Anything else to add?
Thanks for taking the time to write up on us Alastair.
More information about The Fox Darkroom can be found at their website.