Opening Nov 5th 2021: New Hub for Analog Photography in Southern New Hampshire

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Nodda Duma

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In the process of expanding the dry plate manufacturing out of my basement, the commercial space I leased was set up perfectly for opening a center for analog photography.

I’m pleased to announce that Photo Retro will be opening on Saturday, November 5, 2021 in Amherst, New Hampshire. My goal is to make this a hub for traditional silver gelatin based photography, and will offer:

- A public darkroom with six enlargers split between 2 rooms
- Two 4x5 enlargers (Omega D2’s)
- Two dichroics (Omega LPL’s)
- Two 35/medium format enlargers (Besseler 23C III’s)

- Basic workshops for shooting B&W & Color, developing and printing
- More advanced classes such as introduction to large format, shooting and developing dry plates, etc
- we’ll offer workshops by guest photographers as well

- A traditional large format analog portrait studio: B&W, Color, dry plates, and something special: silver gelatin based black glass ambrotypes.

- A retail store where you can stop in to buy film at competitive prices. It’s necessarily a small stock initially but I hope to grow the retail offering.

- A small gallery where we’ll display the work of photographers on a revolving basis who specialize in shooting and printing analog.

I’ve put together a small crew - local photographers with a passion for film — to help me get this started

Location is

141 St Rte 101A
Unit B7 (in the back)
Amherst, NH

It’s still under construction so excuse the rough edges, but check out the website at https://www.photoretro.biz

Sharing progress on instagram: www.instagram.com/photo_retro_nh

Enjoy some random pictures I’ve taken while we get the place ready to open.

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mgb74

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Congratulations! Excited to see it when I'm out there.
 

Dismayed

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Fantastic. I'll do my best to make the opening!
 

eddie

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I admire the dedication you've shown the analogue community. I wish you much success in this endeavor.
 
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Nodda Duma

Nodda Duma

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Thanks all.. I’ll be happy to see you all come in to visit… if you’re in the area of course. :smile:
 
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Nodda Duma

Nodda Duma

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1 more week!

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Nodda Duma

Nodda Duma

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Barry, looking forward to saying hi, although I’ll be scarce on Sat and Sunday: my day job has me out collecting imagery the day after opening and my wife’s birthday is on the 7th.


Very nice portrait of you Jason. Wish you all success in this new venture.

Thanks, Steve. That’s on a 8x10 dry plate ambrotype. Photo by Sid Ceaser, who is helping run the shop.
 

Dismayed

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I had hoped that this would be an option for me. Unfortunately, my immune system is compromised and the posted Instagram photos indicate that no one is taking COVID precautions. The photo of the first customer making a purchase pretty much drives home the point.

Good luck with the business.
 

Steve Goldstein

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Today was a beautiful fall day, perfect for a drive to check out Photo Retro and say hello to Jason. It's a nice space with two darkrooms (3 enlargers each, the smaller room probably limited to 8x10, the larger one up to 16x20 I think), a retail/reception space, a portrait studio in back with lots of lights, storage, and of course a (restricted access) production areas for J. Lane Dry Plates. Film (Kodak, Ilford, and Foma in 35mm, 120, and 4x5, some color too) and paper (all Arista RC as far as I could see but I didn't ask) are for sale at competitive prices. Of course you can also pick up dry plates in 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10, and new 2-plate holders in those sizes. This is the first time I've seen the holders in person, the design is really quite elegant. There's a very creative use of a couple of old Speed Ez-Els to support the coffee urn (I'll be you thought nobody would notice!) and finally some used film cameras and lenses for sale. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday between 10am and 7pm. As user Dismayed noted above, no COVID precautions, I was the only person wearing a mask, it's just what I do indoors.
 
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mgb74

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I was up there as well. Apparently a bit after Steve. It's well laid out, with a good selection of enlargers in each darkroom. The darkrooms aren't large (approximately 8 ft x10 ft working area) but well laid out. II think 2 people could work in each with a bit of coordination. The studio area with lights and background can provide access to lighting capabilities many don't have. Even an area to "hang out" while film dries.

Maybe I shouldn't mention it until Jason announces, but he had an example there of his upcoming positive dry plate. (Like an ambrotype but, if I understood correctly, with a dry plate.) Seeing a positive image on glass was really impressive and opens up a new opportunity for presentation.

Relatively easy access up Route 3 from Boston area. Though, on a day like yesterday, taking the slow route up through Groton, Pepperell, and Hollis was a pretty drive.
 
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Peter Schrager

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Great new space for the up and coming photographers of the world.
thank you Jason for for accelerating the photography world!!
 
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Nodda Duma

Nodda Duma

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Thanks guys. It was good to see everybody come in.

Stephen, that’s not quite correct. Without getting into the politics, there are COVID precautions in place: The staff is fully vaccinated, our central heat/AC ventilation fan for the space runs constantly during store hours (all the time, since I haven’t shut them off), and we keep our state-recommended distances — as best we can — most of us have not been in the retail business until just recently so give us some understanding as we forge a path forward.

Masks are advised in the darkrooms when working with customers due to the more confined space (I will wear mine when I’m teaching workshops in the darkrooms). Of course, customer choice of whether to wear masks is up to them.

State and town mandates are followed, but there are none currently in place for this type of business. I won’t advertise the covid precautions we take as it’s too politically charge and we will never satisfy everyone. The store is located in the state of New Hampshire and these precautions are not considered unusual here.
 
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Nodda Duma

Nodda Duma

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Jason, I stand corrected. Sorry. I made assumptions about things I didn’t see.

No worries, Steve! Again, I was really glad to see you and the other Photrio members come into the shop. Now us film-shooting nerds have a hangout :smile:
 

mgb74

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Good for you!
 
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