Shlomo Ben-Yaacov

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Articles, Reviews and Awards for the Studio/Darkroom


Patents: A Portable Darkroom

A Portable Darkroom: Just Add Water

Some years back, Shlomo Ben-Yaacov, a freelance photographer, set up a photography school in New York. "I only had 300 square feet of space to run my program," he said. "That forced me to challenge traditional thinking about darkrooms."

Now Ben-Yaacov has patented what he describes as a self-contained photographic studio that enables photographers to process film, develop and dry prints, duplicate slides and cut photo mats at a well-organized station that is about the size of a small armoire.

The station looks somewhat like a chrome pastry shelf with a deep sink in the middle of it. A dark curtain enshrouds the station when it is being used as a darkroom. "You can hook up the sink to a water source, just as you would a washing machine," Ben-Yaacov said.

Inside the station are a photo enlarger and a light table. Below are a dryer and racks for print storage. The deep sink contains processing trays that stack on top of one another in a step fashion. And the bottom of the sink slopes so that it may be easily drained. At the very top are rolls of differently colored cloth that can be draped over all the other equipment so that the station can be used for photographing still lifes.

All this organization does not come cheap: Ben-Yaacov said a custom unit cost $7,000 to $8,000. "Ultimately, my goal is to make it affordable and mass-market it for a lot less," he said.

Ben-Yaacov received patent 5,579,073.
c.1997 N.Y. Times News Service

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By Judith Schoolman

NEW YORK (Reuter) -

A New York-based photographer has designed a compact personal studio and processing system that allows students, amateurs as well as professional photographers to take pictures, develop and print the film in a small space, such as at home.

The Zig from ZiggyZig, was developed by Shlomo Ben-Yaacov. In its closed form it resembles a metal box. It opens up and converts for as many as 15 different photographic functions.

In one mode, it can be used for a studio/still life area. Other modes move through the developing, trimming, printing and other photographic functions.

It comes with chemical processing trays, sink, water filter, faucet, storage systems, drying screens, light table and other equipment, all compactly positioned in the module.

The Zig comes in three sizes. The small desk size Zig is 30 inches wide, by 60 inches long, by 38 inches high. The small and the medium, which is slightly larger, expand to about seven feet high for a light enclosure and full version studio darkroom.

The Big Zig, which can be used to print murals, expands to about 9-10 feet high.

All the Zigs have to be connected to a water source, such as a kitchen sink.

The Zigs range in price from $7,000 to $12,000.

For more information, contact ZiggyZig Photographic Studio Systems, 51

Lispenard Street, New York, N.Y. 10013. voice/fax 212-274-0366.

11:51 09-16-97

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© 2009, Shlomo Ben-Yaacov, All rights reserved

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