iPhone Life magazine

From Darkroom to Living Room

Years ago I tried to make color prints in an old fashioned darkroom. In order to make a print you needed to make test pictures. First, you'd try to get the right exposure making a test strip. Then, you tried to get the correct color. Usually it took (me at least) several sheets of paper and 30 minutes until I got a good (at least decent) print.

I was thinking about those "good old days" this afternoon when I made the photograph that is shown. The difference being that in order to combine those three images it took about two minutes. Diptic is easy to use. You identify which template you want to use and add the pictures one at a time. You can move them around until they look right. Adding the colored border took about an extra 15 seconds.

In order to do this in a traditional darkroom it would have taken me...well, I guess...a lifetime. You'd have to get each exposure and then try to duplicate it for the final combination. Yuck and probably impossible for an average printer to do. And, you'd have

to repeat the effort everytime you wanted another print.

Fortunely, with Diptic you make 'em once and just keep printing or emailing them. The good old days weren't so good if you had to spend time in the darkroom. Apps like Diptic make the good old days...today!

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Joel Heffner is a writer and speaker. He has been writing about photography for about thirty years, ever since his book Amphoto Guide to Wedding Photography was published. Today, he mainly uses two types of cameras, pinhole cameras and an iPhone, a photographic odd couple of sorts.