Film photography is experiencing a resurgence of enthusiasm from photographers. Many younger photographers have only known a digital photographic world, and for them learning and using film opens a whole new world of creativity. But that enthusiasm for the media has always been embraced by photographer Zach Weston who has grown up with film photography, being the son of Kim Weston and the great-grandson of Edward Weston.
Today we join Zach Weston in his work space.
Please tell us about your work space.
I process my negatives and make prints in my father’s darkroom on Wildcat Hill. The space is about 15ft x 6ft with two enlargers, shelves for negatives, and a long sink for printing and processing negatives.
What “objects of inspiration” do you have in your space?
I think the space that my dad shares with me is an inspiration in itself; it’s really special to have the opportunity to make art where he does.
Do you have any favorite tools in your work space?
One of the cool things we have is the “Jobo Tank System” which processes 4×5 film for you. I process all my smaller negatives by hand but the Jobo makes it really easy and fast with the larger formats. I also really like a small brush of Edward’s that I use to clean my 4×5 film holders.
How did you set up your space to accommodate the different media and techniques that you use?
The darkroom is only used for silver gelatin prints, which makes up the majority of my work. I am attracted to the hands-on craft of printing in the darkroom. I edit and process any digital images on my laptop using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop; it’s nice to have that convenience sometimes.
How do you work sharing a work space with your father, Kim Weston? Do you have a schedule?
We do not have scheduled work times. If I want to get in the darkroom I ask if he is going to use it and if he isn’t it is open! He gets priority of course. I do work with my dad sometimes. Most of the time if I get stuck I ask him for help and guidance and he always knows how to fix the problem I am facing.
Is there was one thing you could change about your space what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything. The space is where I first learned how to process film and it is perfect.
How do you keep track of all of your ideas?
I try really hard to write down my ideas for shoots either in a notebook or on my phone so that I don’t forget.
What is on your desk right now?
One of my favorite parts about traditional darkroom printing is that I don’t have a desk; but, one of my favorite things in our darkroom is a big bulletin board with old pictures of friends and family.
Does your space inspire you?
Very much so. Being on the property where Edward Weston lived along with printing in my father’s darkroom is very special to me.
Thank you Zach, to learn more about Zach Weston please visit his site at, Zach Weston.