Kit Young | Darkroom visit

Kit Young | Darkroom visit

Kit Young (b.1984) set out on his photographic journey in 2009 when he moved to France where he joined a group of Paris-based photographers led by Gérard Moulin. Since returning to the UK, Kit has been shooting the area around his home in East Anglia extensively, captivated by the beauty and power of the bleak landscapes and big skies. His photographs are the result of his mastery of darkroom techniques and the countless hours spent in the darkness, alone, perfecting and finessing each print.
"I consider myself to be a photographer and a printer. I think that’s an important distinction to make. I don’t just take photos; I make photos too." - Kit Young, 2021
'Where the Rain Clouds Gather' is a visceral memory of a trip taken under more certain skies. Following characters as they wait with anticipation for their journey to begin in quaint coastal bus shelters and steam plumed train stations seemingly from another time. Out and into elements. Flashes of the sea flicker through windows as we wind along glistening pathways. Stopping only to soak up the epic vistas under blackened and tumultuous skies. Those characters have become silhouetted ants now. Visible in the distance. Almost indistinguishable from the rich veil of grain that adorns each scene.
The Concept
"The images in Where the Rain Clouds Gather, my second publication, appear as if from a dream state. Moments in time, brought to life in the darkroom and weaved together to create a journey." - Kit Young, 2021
Path, Kit Young, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
The Changing Landscape
"The contrasts of the urban and landscape environments have always captivated me: restricted vs. expansive, proximal vs. distal, populated vs. uninhabited. I think, ultimately, I look to catch glimpses: urban photographs that are perhaps incomplete in some way — obstructed views, distorted subjects, unidentifiable protagonists — and landscape photographs that teeter on the very edge of the naturalistic and look into more abstract ways of exploring shape through tone." - Kit Young, 2021
Kit Young printing in the darkroom, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
The Darkroom
"It's a conscious decision to only work with hand-made silver gelatin prints when sharing my work. I consider the hand-made silver gelatin print to be the final manifestation of my vision and I truly believe in the power of photographs as tangible objects. Each silver gelatin print I make will always be unique in some way; each print has its perfect imperfections. It’s a lot of hard work and, generally speaking, a slow process but it’s an incredibly rewarding one too." - Kit Young
Darkroom editions of Misty Morning, Kit Young, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
A Memorable Photograph: Sea Storm
"Sea Storm was a memorable photograph to take. I had just arrived at Winterton-on-Sea and as I clambered over the dunes to get a view of the beach, I was greeted by an almighty sea storm that was impressive not only by its size but also by its weight—the range of tone was astounding: I could see everything from dark purples and blues to golden highlights, where the sun’s rays were piercing the thick blanket of rain." - Kit Young, 2021
Sea Storm, Kit Young, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
A Closer Look: Wash
"What initially pulled my gaze, I think, were the silhouettes walking along the beach, with the luminous slither of sea radiating light and the leaden sky passing overhead. What inland details the camera had recorded on the film were of no interest to me as I didn't care to remember them or indeed care for them to be remembered, at least not on this occasion — they ultimately detract from my subject: the sea and the sky." - Kit Young, 2021
Contact sheet comparison, Kit Young, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
Darkroom transformation of Beach print
“The photographer in me is responsive, impulsive, reacting to subject matter on the spur of the moment, more often than not giving very little thought to anything more than the lines and tone of what’s in front of me; the printer in me is methodical, exacting, always working in a more meditative way. I do, however, think that both the photographer and printer in me are curious, inquisitive and often playful – and neither is afraid to make mistakes.” - Kit Young, 2021
Contact sheet comparison, Kit Young, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
Perfectionist
The artworks shown here are the master prints for Kit Young's series Where The Rain Clouds Gather. Every image in the book and every resulting print sold from this collection is the result of endless hours spent in the darkroom meticulously noting every action he makes so that every subsequent print produced of that image reaches his high standards and realises his artistic vision.
The master prints for Where the Rain Clouds Gather
Not every print reaches Kit's high standards. If it's anything short of perfection, the print is destroyed.
A rejected print
Parade, 2021, Kit Young
The prints from this series are available exclusively in a new larger size. 16 x 20″ Edition of 7 + 2APs (Artist Proofs) Hand-printed by the artist Selenium-toned FB silver gelatin print Signed, titled and editioned on the verso by the artist
All prints are printed by hand and signed on the verso