It's been a while since I last posted and much has happened since then. I won't bore you with the details (they included moving house and becoming a grandparent) but the result is that time for photography has been quite limited. That's the main reason for my absence.

I'd also lost a bit of enthusiasm, probably resulting from the above issue, and just stopped looking for photographs or thinking about photography. The house move also meant starting from scratch darkroom-wise and I still haven't got it up and running yet.

The house we're now in - the first time I've lived in Fife on the south side of the River Tay - is smaller, as befits a property that people of normal means "retire to". The good points are that it's in the lovely, historic town of St Andrews and means we're mortgage free now and forever.

My darkroom/study is quite cramped, though, and I'll have to get creative to make the most of it. It has a cupboard with sliding doors that I've shelved and my thinking is that an enlarger and most of the accessories will go in there. The doors lift off in a few seconds so it will be just like working at a normal work bench when I'm printing.

I've been thinking a lot about getting rid of everything bar some 35mm gear and my three Rollei TLRs. That would mean I could move on the big Durst hiding in the cupboard and the Leitz V35 and just keep the two enlargers I really like, the Leitz 1C and Valloy II. OK, I'd have no enlarger for the Rollei negs but I could always scan them. But I'm not sure if the two Leitz enlargers would fit side-by-side in the cupboard so one of them would probably be in the room.

I've written before about the issues around having too many cameras and too many formats to choose from. For me, it's gone from being great fun to a curse. I know I'm never going to be a 5x4 or larger photographer so there's no point keeping the big cameras. I've never really bonded with the Rollei SL66E either and, although I like the Mamiya Press, I'm not sure I'd want to keep it if I didn't have an enlarger that could accommodate the 6x9 negs.

After persevering long enough a couple of years ago to start enjoying the Leica outfit, I couldn't seem to get back to that point after a lengthy period when it was away being serviced so it will probably go as well. So the goal is to pare everything down to a couple of 35mm outfits and my old Rolleis which have a lot of sentimental value to me.

In the darkroon, I'm thinking of doing away with developing trays and having a 10x12 slot processor instead. It would sit in a 12x16 tray and would mean a smaller footprint as well as a quicker setting up time as the chemicals can sit in the slots for a week or two and the built in heater brings them up to temperature with little fuss.

You might be noticing a pattern here - simplifying and paring away for maximum convenience. What can I say? At the moment, I'm using a Nikon F90x with two Nikon zooms and Delta 400 rated at 800 ISO so I don't need a tripod. It's quick and easy photography and I'm starting to enjoy it. It would have been great had I been able to keep my earlier enthusiasm for big formats and heavy tripods going but I find nowadays that it's all too much of a faff. As the great Clint Eastwood once said, "A man's got to know his limitations". Coming to terms with that is all part of life's rich tapestry.

As for the blog, I've been tidying it up a bit since getting my PC operational again - it's too much hassle trying to work on it using an ipad. Hopefully, all the menus (some drop-down and others just a link) beneath the blog title will be working now although there are still quite a lot of dead links embedded in the 500+ posts going back years. I'll sort them out as I come across them. The cause of all of this extra work was a mix-up between me and my old service provider which led to the address lapsing. They wanted more than I was willing to pay to re-establish it so the blog is now hosted purely on It should make no difference to you.

I hope you're OK with the design I've chosen for the blog. I wanted to keep it plain and simple. If you click on a pic that's in a post it will be enlarged. Click it again and you should move on to the next photograph in the post, if there's more than one. Double clicking a pic will take you back to the post. There's a whole load of, to me, useless social media icons along the top of the page that I can't easily get rid of so I've just left them. The search box is at the top right of the page. It should be easy enough to find your way around. If you find any problems or anything that annoys you then let me know in the comments and I'll try to sort it out.

I'll post something new in a few days. It's a post I've had sitting there more or less complete for about a year but never posted. I think my limitations are there for all to see...


  1. Bruce, I'm really glad to see you back. I've been checking your site frequently. I will put a link to The Online Darkroom on my blog,, which I hope will drive some traffic to your site, and I hope some of your readers will visit my blog also.

  2. Hello, Bruce. It's good to see you're sorting up your life and finally getting back at photography. I've kept coming from time to time to look for a new post, something meaningful and properly written to read about photography, and of course some great
    photos. I do understand you're need to simplification photographically wise, keeping things quick and easy and really enjoy them. You couldn't have put it in better words. I think the new look of T.O.D. also reflects that, plain and simple, all about the matter, Photography, and no frills.

    Cheers and good luck with your new start at photography.


  3. It's nice to hear from people again. I did wonder if I'd have any readers left. 😁

    1. I wondered what happened to you. If possible the best route is one-minimalism, one good watch, one good car, one good house, one good woman. Oh, one good camera.

  4. Welcome back again.
    This rings a bell, as I've been thinking that I don't use all the stuff that I've gathered over the years. But where to start? I'm a victim of "just in case."
    Looking forward to the next pearls.

  5. Hmmm..... too much gear is great fun but reduces enthusiasm.... sounds like me, I'm madly selling gear on Ebay having discovered I have 3 5x4, 6 120 and 9 35mm cameras and way too many lenses. It all added up to paralysis.
    That's without the digital and I might just get rid of all of that.
    My final cut;- Rollei 3.5E3, Hassie SWC, Leica M6, the rest can go.
    Great to see you back in the saddle.
    I think it was John Lennon who said 'Life is what happens while you are planning what to do with your life' or something like that, seems appropriate.

  6. You're worse (or it that better) than me, Mark. I like your final selection. Three classy cameras.

  7. Hi Bruce,
    First congratulations on becoming a grandparent. You'll never lack for a portrait subject again :-)
    Also congratulations on the move, not an easy thing to do.
    I'm glad your blog is up and running again - I had trouble finding it but now it's bookmarked.
    As to downsizing the gear.. I can relate to that but haven't yet taken the necessary steps, it's a bit daunting! I certainly agree that too much choice can lead to decision paralysis. Mostly I use a couple of Barnacks (IIIc and IIIf), a Rollei 35S, two Yashica TLRs and a Bessa II. And just for fun, a recently-acquired Instax Mini.
    Looking forward to more of your pictures and your writing. Enjoy your beautiful new location.
    Warm regards,

  8. Thanks, Lynn. Little Lottie is coming along great and is a real bundle of fun even at such an early age. I've yet to start the downsizing for real as well although the "get rid of everything bar a couple of 35mm outfits" approach is sounding better all the time.