All photographs of Kurt Deruyter are made in the darkroom. It's the traditional way of printing which photographers have used for a little more than a century. Contrary to popular belief, there's still quite some photographers out there that continue to print traditionally in the darkroom.
- Aesthetic value: In terms of photographic print aesthetics, it's just really hard to beat a well-executed fibre based darkroom print. This is mainly due to the way photographic printing paper is constructed. In a traditional print, the emulsion is partly transparent and when we look at a print we look through the emulsion. What we see is in fact the reflection of a 50% opaque emulsion on the base white of the print. This gives the print a somewhat three-dimensional effect that lacks in inkjet prints because the layer that holds the ink is on top of the base white of the paper.
- Uniqueness: every print is unique because every photograph is printed separately and there will always be minor variations in the workflow of that particular print.
- Hands-on approach: printing in the darkroom is a physical affair and some people like it, some people don't. It also changes your workflow and the way you think about a print. Not everything is possible so you tend to work more creatively within the confines of your darkroom practice. For me it works inspiring. It's like there's a set route to a final print and I have to work hard to reach that goal.
- The fact that it has a proven archival stability adds to its charm and appeal.