Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Darkroom Induction

My first camera was film; an Olympus Trip 500 for my 9th birthday. Nothing special, but I cherished it for years. This is what first got me interested in photography. I loved the anticipation of getting the prints back, and although there was the limited number of photos issue, it made me think carefully and savour the film. After digital cameras became mainstream, I completely neglected film. It was fun trying it again at college.

Darkroom Inductions - 14, 28 March, 4 April.
Developing film.
In the first session (14/3), our group got out a Pentax K1000 each from college and we went out and about in Plymouth taking pictures ready to develop in the darkroom. No Auto settings so no temptation!

Rinsing the film.
After taking the pictures and manually winding the film back, in our second session (28/3) we had to learn how to unwind the film and wrap it around the wheel in the complete darkness!

When developing the film - luckily it didn't have to be dark for this!- it took a while for me to remember times for different chemicals to add, when to gently shake the container the film was in, how long to leave it, when to fix and wash out. I was so afraid it would turn out wrong, or wouldn't turn out at all!

Cutting the film to fit.
Turns out, I did get it right! I could see my photos coming through. I just needed to let the film rinse for 20 minutes.

We let our films dry and cut them to size.

Seeing how my photos turned out.
In the third session (4/4) we were developing the film and printing the photos we took. It was a while before I learnt the correct settings.

The first year of the BA course next year is apparently orientated towards film and developing. Although I prefer digital, it will be good to revisit using film and learning how to develop. 

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