|THE EDUARD J. CROMBIE HISTORICS.|
History of "Studio Crombie".
During the period 1974 to 1981 there was a professional commercial photographic business active in Dendermonde, Belgium.
Sequentially it was situated in two premises.
The first studio was located at ‘Brusselsestraat 81’ from 1974 to 1977.
It was situated in a big 19th century row house which was once the propriety and dwelling of Belgian Senator George Alfons Goossens (°1896 – †1971 - Socialist Party).
As the proprietor, the son of the senator, insisted on keeping the aspect of the house as much as possible unchanged, the only modification to the front was a new entrance ‘glassy’ door and three retractable sunlight protection canopies over the door and the two high display windows (vertical white and blue colour stripes).
There are no images
front of the building at that period.
The interior decoration was kept in the general style of the buildings period character.
The floor was in French parquet material and walls and curtains reflected as much as possible the aspects of a mid-20th century interior. Ceiling height was about four meters.
On the ground floor there was a reception area divided by a large room-wide arch on columns from the photographic studio. The 4 by 8 meter surface was almost entirely covered by the interchangeable 3,5 meter wide background color carton (white, black, light sky blue) on 10 meter rolls.
Lighting consisted of professional studio halogen spots and floodlights (total power 4000 W) and alternatively 4 Courtenay Sola 400 Ws flash heads with flash meter.
The studio was followed by a cloakroom with toilets, clothes hangers and theater-style make-up tables. The atrium style room was topped by a very large skylight, usable for some nice daylight portraits with seasonal variations.
The 6 by 6 meter large former diner with kitchen in the back of the house, looking out on a very large garden, was transformed in a modern up-to-date professional photographic darkroom and printing lab. With the help of one assistant, Katrien Seghers, the daily job of colour developing, printing, enlarging, retouching, mounting and framing large amounts of photographic production went very smoothly. Some occasional monochrome work was also realized.
In 1975 the traditional manual equipment for colour processing was expanded with a Colenta-60-AT rotating developing machine.
Below one of the rare images taken of the boss by my assistant Katrien.
The second studio was located at ‘Dijkstraat 112’ from 1977 to 1981.
The former ‘Küpperbusch’ kitchen installation business with shop and workshop was abandoned through mismanagement and bankruptcy.
I transformed it in
into a production unit with a large shop and reception area. The very
large display window was also an impressing asset.
It also had two special constructed display counters with light boxes for viewing transparencies and negatives.
A long hallway took you into the portrait and group studio. A large bathroom was also used as a make-up room.
Very efficient and standardized lighting was realized with a Broncolor RT-1500 flash generator and 4 flash heads. Each head maxed at 1500 Ws and had a 250 W halogen modeling light, also usable for Tungsten type black and white portraits.
One background roll was 4,5 meter wide for images of family groups and weddings.
In the hallway was a staircase going to the upstairs offices, where more elaborate costume changes in secluded conditions were possible.
Behind the studio and bathroom was a modern colour darkroom and laboratory. The Colenta developing machine was joined by modern exposure equipment and tabletop colour paper developing machines and dryers.
In the back of the building was a very large studio with tungsten and halogen lighting to accommodate large objects, bikes and cars.
There was a garage giving passage to the street accommodating three vehicles.
Below are some images taken at the time of the opening of the new studio (looks like a florist shop!).