Did you know, the tern ‘Camera Obscura’ in Latin means ‘Dark Room’?

Known even during Leonardo De Vinci’s time, the camera obscura, like the pinhole camera was simply a darkened room with a tiny hole at one end to admit light. Into this room rays of light from brightly lit scenes outside would pass through, giving rise to an upside-down image that could be projected onto the wall. Unfortunately this method lacks one essential element: the permanent recording of the image projected.

The first person to succeed in creating permanent images using this method was Joseph Nicephore Nepse: a Frenchman and amateur scientist. He was experimenting as early as 1816 with this method hoping to record pictures on a chemically treated stone. After much trial and error, he finally used bitumen spread over a pewter plate and succeeded in obtaining an image from his window.

Many other names followed in the pursuit of moving photography forward to its modern day form. Although digital photography is now the most popular form, there’s still a certain poetry and thrill to be had from darkroom photography. Indeed, at times the process can seem pure magic. After all, for the longest time darkrooms were a photographer’s refuge and world. So much so that many photographers still rhapsodise about the experience.

If you’re looking to purchase traditional darkroom equipment online, head to RK Photographic. We sell a variety of darkroom equipment including cleaning, handling and anti-static, enlargers and darkroom accessories.