Hiroshi Watanabe – Darkroom revisited

03-03-20 Hiroshi Watanabe darkroom KI6A3766

In 2011 I met up with Hiroshi Watanabe to discuss a new photobook he had recently published and during my visit, I made a photograph of his really well laid out analog (wet) darkroom, which I posted here. The resulting post has continued to be a popular article on this blog for each year since. This week I had another chance to meet up with Watanabe, this time for an interview I am writing for PhotoBook Journal and had an opportunity to check out his new photo digs that included his new massive wet darkroom. wow.

Most of his darkroom equipment has been transferred from his old Melrose studio, with a few additions to accommodate his new location. Foremost was the increase of size and to provide a sense of scale, he converted a two-car garage into a darkroom space. There is plenty of room to work with his three 4×5″ enlargers. Fyi, his primary analog go-to is medium format film, primarily using a Hasselblad camera platform.

I will have to say that if I were to develop a personal darkroom to work in, I would want one just like Watanabe’s. My one regret is that I had not anticipated re-photographing his darkroom, thus only had my 50mm lens for my DSLR, not the 24-105mm, where I could have used the wide angle 24mm focal length to include more of the space.


Featured photograph: Hiroshi Watanabe, Darkroom, Los Angeles copyright 2020 Douglas Stockdale

My upcoming events:

Medium Photo 2020 Workshop: Developing a Creative Book workshop that I will be leading from March, 19-22, 2020, a four-day extended weekend workshop in San Diego (workshop registration is still open and some spots are still available)

Medium Photo 2020 Lecture Series, I will be giving a one-evening lecture Artist Books as Art Objects on March 20th, from 7:30 – 9pm at the You Belong Here artist venue, located at 3619 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, California 92104.

Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) Faculty Exhibition, in Los Angeles at the new LACP gallery, located at 566 Washington Blvd. The exhibition opening and reception is Saturday, March 21, 2020, from 7-10pm. The exhibition runs until May 12.

03-03-20 Watanabe darkroom KI6A3769


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