Thursday, 12 January 2012
When I was at school, we used to have special classes on Wednesday afternoons. They were not assessed, they were just something to let everyone do something different. I chose the photography class which was run by a lovely guy who lived 2 doors away from me. He was also my maths teacher.
We played with cameras. We took photos. We developed the film and printed our pictures in the dark room. It was great fun.
Getting a finished picture involved extracting the film from its case and winding the film into a developing tank- in complete darkness. Then the tank was filled with chemicals to develop the film. What teenager does not enjoy messing with chemicals?
Then, because we were doing black and white photos, we could work with a red light - feeding the negatives into the enlarger (a big contraption with a light in it that projected the image onto the paper), timing the exposure (get it wrong and you photo is too light or too dark), and then putting the photo into the developing fluid where your photo would slowly appear. It was like magic. We all looked forward to Wednesday afternoons...
Today I went to a local photo store and did the same thing, 21st century style. I put my memory card into the machine, chose the images and sizes and hit a button. Out came my beautiful photos. The results are great, but somewhere along the line I think it lost some of the magic. But I do get to spend a lot more time taking photos instead of floundering around in the dark!