Not Kerouac, not Dorothy and not Mandalay, although I guess there is a little “Oz” in the Ruby lights.
Our mobile wet-plate darkroom is “on the road” after a few days fitting out. The main work has been the insulation, light-proofing and getting plenty of efficient ventilation. It is designed for three people to work inside and needs a good light trap, so with the ether, alcohol and other chemistry, fresh air and temperature control is uppermost in my mind.
In summer temperatures reach the the mid 30s centigrade most days, so it would get uncomfortable and affect the chemistry so cooling it is very important.
There is so much to see in Languedoc, I have a list of “projects” I plan to make into a series of portfolios, most of these ideas are within an hours drive from Villa Roquette and look like keeping me busy for several years (I hope).
I took the darkroom van on a short trip today, just outside our village to a spot in the vineyards overlooking Montblanc. I will use this as the first test for a wet-plate next week. But today I just wanted to see that everything stood the test of bumpy farm tracks and steep hills – so far, so good.
I expect to be using the rooftop camera platform a lot, it gives me a great advantage from the roadside for a lot of the landscape work I am planning – the platform is a strong steel grill, which the feet of the tripods fit into perfectly and safely.
Inside I have just fitted work surfaces and plenty of storage – I have ideas about pumping water for washing plates and securing the silver-boxes etc. I will make haste slowly, most importantly I want to get out and get some plates made