Thursday, September 07, 2006


I did a lot of photography in high school, not only in the school darkroom but I set up my own darkroom at home. When I got to college I tried to get into a photography class, but I got more or less laughed at when I took my portfolio to the professor to apply for the course, so that was the end of that.

Last year I took photography 1 and 2 with my daughter--since she is 13 she can take courses at the community college's extension program if I take them with her. I liked the teacher, but it was a long evening once a week and I learned almost nothing I didn't already know. Last night I got my reward.

The next course started last night: Black and White Photography. We got into the darkroom and developed our own film. We played with the enlargers but didn't actually make prints yet. I love it. I wondered if I would still be able to wind film onto a developing reel in total darkness--I thought maybe that knowledge was still in my fingers. It was--I did it smoothly on the first try.

I think maybe I should have been a chemist. I'm not particularly talented at taking pictures, but I do love the darkroom. My daughter thought it was really fun. Next we will look for the box of my old darkroom equipment that may still be in our attic. The plan right now is just so she can practice winding film onto the developing reel, but we are going to be tempted to set it up (and we have a halfway decent place--a basement room with no windows though non-light tight doors, laundry sink in the next room right by the door). The nice thing about black and white photography is that unlike almost everything else, the technology has hardly changed in 30 years. But I don't have time...

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