A couple of days ago I got a phone call from a friend from the Picto group (alternative-photography-people-joining-group) we both join. He said his former teacher Peter Labarque was cleaning out his darkroom and studio because of moving out of their place. I could pick up a DeVere 8×10″ enlarger if I wanted to, for free! That didn’t take me long to consider 😉
I arranged a van for past Sunday, yesterday, found my dad and Bart so kind to help me drag this monster into the van and bring it back home. With good intentions and a happy feeling we drove towards Avelgem, a 250 KM drive for us, one way. The journey went fine, some traffic jams but not anything major. We had a warm welcome including a nice cup of coffee. Some chitchat which was very interesting btw. Lovely house and really interesting people!
Then we descended to the first floor and went to see the studio. Darn…ceilings from 4 meters up…really cool! After that we turned to the darkroom to go look for the enlarger…wow…I have never seen anything big like that! It was simply HUGE! I knew it was big, but THAT big! I felt this huge lump in my stomach growing…
I knew that the enlarger would be 2m 40 tall beforehand and that it wouldn’t fit my darkroom as is because it’s only 2m 15 high. But if I want something I’ll just find a way to make it work. But when I saw this beast I realized there was no way, at all, I was gonna make this thing to work. It was not just the mere height but everything! The baseboard was at least 1m 25 wide and the whole thing measured from the wall was at least 1m 50. There just was no way…
So I had to tell Peter I wasn’t gonna bring it home. Too bad as it’s a fantastic machine and would’ve loved to have been able to add it to my stable. I could enlarge my 10×10″ collodion negatives with that thing which was the plan. Anyway, I’m gonna start looking for a new place to live which houses a bigger atelier than our current one, with ceilings at at least 3 meters 😉 Haha, the dreaming is a nice journey on its own!
It’s a crappy iPhone photo, unsharp as I was trembling too much haha!
If someone is interested in this monster or other things that man has laying around (which was a LOT, Focomat enlarger, large studio tripods, props, I don’t know what all) shoot me an email for the contact information. It wasn’t all for free but the really big things were anyway 😉