A Kickstarter launched to build a new community darkroom in Hawaii has just reached its funding goal.

Film photographer Mike Caputo launched the campaign on Tuesday, seeking some $2,500 (£1,925) to finish construction of a partly completed darkroom in Hilo Town in the island of Hawaii.

In the Kickstarter, Caputo says: The Hawaii Darkroom is going to be a special place. It’s located in historic Hilo town on the east side of the island between the Kress Building and the Pacific Tsunami Museum; you can walk out of the front door and watch the surf roll in at Bayfront. Not too bad being located in paradise. But don’t take my word for it – better to come and see for yourself.”

The darkroom is being built with the help of local printshop Eric Liefer. Caputo says the darkroom will be aimed both at locals and visitors wanting to shoot film and develop it in Hawaii.

Street in Hilo, Hawaii
The new darkroom will be located in Hilo, Hawaii (Pic: Mike Caputo)

The rewards include day passes that allow photographers to develop the black-and-white film they have shot, plus membership.

“If you live in Hawaii we will see you in the studio soon. Come by and talk with us about shooting black and white film – if you need some we can supply it. Use the day pass on your return visit to develop that film and make a print! I’m sure you will want to join after you see the photo slowly appear on paper submerged in the developing tray. It’s magical to watch,” Caputo says.

“If you don’t live on the islands, then why not take a well-needed vacation? I’m sure you want to break up that brutal winter – we can only sympathise living in this tropical climate. Come to the Big Island and bask on the beaches, have drinks with umbrellas, visit Volcanoes National Park, take photos of rainbows and waterfalls then develop and print that film while you’re here! You’ll love it here, especially now that you can spend some of your bright tropical holiday in a darkened room with the glorious smell of photographic chemicals.”

The Kickstarter campaign ends on 21 March.

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Stephen Dowling
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