LOOKING FOR THE ESSENTIAL
It’s difficult to introduce myself because in my life I made too many things. Some people know me as a digital/computer man and a semiotics professor, others only as a photographer. Most think I was just a daily newspaper culture journalist. A few say Sergio Dall’Omo is a good offshore sailing skipper.
Well, I’m all of this, though. And a bit more. That’s it.
I’m in love with photography. In deep, my heart is there, even if I spent my last 30 years in a daily newspaper’s newsroom. And even today, I do something for pleasure. I must admit this job lightened my life, taught me so much, allowed me to discover the world in a very special way.
There’s only one thing you should know before starting to rove into this large chapter of my life.
Almost all of the photos you see here are 30/40 years old (any historic value?), and are analog, that’s to say mechanical cameras, Kodak films, freehand shooting (and tripod), darkroom, studio. My survived archive is made of some hundred thousands slides, B&W and color negatives. Nowadays I do use digital cameras, some professional, some compact and… cellphones (my favorites). Obviously, processing software, essentially Photoshop and Kolor.I’m in love with photography. In deep, my heart is there, even if I spent my last 30 years in a daily newspaper’s newsroom.
Experimental standards in chemical development of films
Many years ago, when photography was not yet my job, I used to spend most of my free time in the darkroom. After reading everything I could on the development and printing techniques, I started experimenting. Primarily working with black and white negative.
As a professional, I passed from a standard procedure to a much more technical.
At that time, I used mainly Ilford 100 ASA films. This was an emulsion rather “tough” and difficult, which tended to perform too much contrast. I had adopted a development method at differentiated dilutions, typically in 3 stages, distilled water, development 30%, and development 50%. This allowed me to extend the time to get more control. For the test, during shooting, I worked with two cameras set differently on the same range of subjects, chosen for the various characteristics of light and shadows. Normally I obtained three rolls of film for each camera. Then, in the laboratory, I developed the rolls with slightly different times. Once finished, I passed them to the enlarger, recording the different values for each frame with a densitometer. At that point I transformed the results in a table, utilizing these values for the subsequent chemical processing. All this, today, fortunately, is no longer needed.