Apologies for my extended holiday which went on a little longer than I'd planned. I thought a week or a fortnight at most would be enough to recharge by blogging batteries but that's not the way it turned out. I just needed a little more time away from blogging and photography.
However, in the words of an iron-pumping, cigar-chomping, alleged Nazi sympathiser and former governor of California, for good or ill, "I'm back" - and it feels good! I'll be posting three times a week on average as before, banging the gong as ever for everything to do with film photography and the darkroom.
Speaking of which, if you still have some spending money left over from Christmas and you suffer from sweaty hand syndrome when using your normal changing bag, then AG Photographic might have the answer to your problem.
The pop up changing bag is a great idea and might be familiar to some of you already since AG have just announced its "return". I know it will be of interest to at least two readers - Phil Rogers and David M. - since they exchanged emails of anorak proportions on just this subject a few months back.
It is amazing, though, how hot and humid the inside of a changing bag can get when you're fumbling with a film for a few minutes. I remember a photographer pal asking me years ago in all sincerity why I didn't use some talcum powder to counter damp digit syndrome. Mind you, he did say that he actually enjoyed spotting prints…
The AG product is £50 all bar 10p but it could save you a lot of grief, particularly if you get through copious amounts of film. It's a good size, too, measuring 21"x16"x16" but folds flat. It would also be ideal for loading up large format film holders which can feel quite bulky and unwieldy in a normal changing bag.
It would even be a good idea to keep one in the car for those, hopefully, very rare occasions when a camera or film jams and has to be opened in the dark to resolve the problem. I could have done with one myself when something similar happened to me last month.