Saturday, July 13, 2019

Lessons learned in a darkroom

I started an online photography course today from Michigan State University. It's actually a set of five courses that cover all aspects of photography. I've been taking pictures for a long time, but I want to get better.

Both instructors are older and they talk about spending time in darkrooms developing film and pictures. I can relate. 

When I first started working for the weekly newspaper in 1973, one of my jobs was to take pictures and print them for the paper. I spent countless hours under a dark amber safelight. 

I'm sure some of my weirdness comes from inhaling photographic developer and fixer for so many years.

Even after I left the paper, I bought an enlarger and built a darkroom in the barn. 

Watching an image appear on a blank white sheet of photo paper has always seemed like magic to me.

I know there are millions of photographers these days who shoot remarkable photographs and they've never gotten a "fixer buzz" after midnight in a darkroom.

I'm not one to judge but this I know for sure. All those hours I spent in a darkroom fixing pictures that were shot poorly has helped me understand how to approach taking pictures in a digital world.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Ah ha, the dark room had me worried for a minute! LOL It must be a thrill to see the picture 'develop'. I thought that art was fading with the digital advancements.
    anyway we loved the pic as usual!
    Sherry & jack still in the Amish country!

    I need a proofer, even on a comment! :-(

  3. I never was in a dark room but has seen that in plenty of movies. That must be becoming a lost art. I can’t wait to see what you create for your course. Love the picture you show here

  4. It is years since I played in a dark room. And yes, seeing the images emerge was definitely magic.

  5. Dark room experiences sure led you to a passion.


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