Thursday, 12 January 2012

Photography


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!

13 comments:

terri said...

I always wanted to learn how to develop photos. I never had the chance.

These days, I upload my photos to my computer and play around with editing them at home. Good enough for me!

wReggie said...

I used to shoot and develop my own back in high school. It was only black and white then.

"Abby" said...

First of all, your school sounds great for offering that Wednesday afternoons o' fun! I wish my kids' high school had something similar.

There is an art to doing a lot of things "old school". I never learned to develop my own photos, but I do appreciate the digital age.

Rock Chef said...

Terri - And you produce some great photos too! Dark room stuff is fun, but sadly obsolete now.

wReggie - Yes, my school prints were black and white too. We weren't trusted to do colour in complete darkness...

Rock Chef said...

Abby - I think it was a great idea, but it didn't last. My younger brother missed out on it. Given the time and money I would get a set up for doing old style black and white photos again - love those old, grainy images, especially for portaits.

Margaret Benbow said...

The old black-and-white ones are magic, aren't they? I'll bet that eventually you will have that dark room again!

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

I love photography too. A long time ago, during an exhibition in the capital city, I saw a photograph of the interior of an ancient mosque, with rays of light filtering from the cracked roof. Divine.
That picture inspired me to be a hobbyist photographer ;)

Rock Chef said...

Margaret Benbow - Thanks, I hope you are right.

Shadowthorne - Sounds like a great photo. I love you can pinpoint the moment of inspiration.

agg79 said...

Back in high school, I had aspirations to become a photographer. Worked with a guy who was the school photographer and learned how to shoot and develop pictures. I appreciate the ease and simplicity of digital cameras today, but developing photos has become a lost art.

Rock Chef said...

Agg79 - I am sure there are people out there who still do it the old way. Would be a shame to think that it was totally gone.

tz said...

I kind of miss the dark room though...there was more of a connection...

Shrinky said...

There's a sound aurguement to be made for still using black & white film to develop from - so the purists tell me. I never mastered the knack, myself, but admire those who did. Sweet image of you there as a teen (smile).

CiCi said...

Some pictures are just so much better in black and white. My mind "sees" in color and I also dream in color, but I am attracted to black and white photos. I have never used the machine you describe, have seen them, but I use my computer to do all my photos and I have two printers, one black and white and one is color. That way I can update my family pictures to put on my fridge when they email new photos.