I had a camera in my hand on and off starting at age 4. Mom loved photography, and was very good about handing the old 110 camera over to me when I asked for it. There are hundreds of bad pictures scattered through the family picture collection. Most of them come from the hands of the two youngest members of the family. In high school, I jumped at the chance to take a “real” photography class.
I struggled through learning the various techniques, through learning how to compose a compelling image, and how to translate the cool thing my brain saw into an image others would enjoy. My favorite part was always the darkroom. Dinking around with rolls of film, the quiet and solitude of standing around in the dark, waiting patiently to see if something good showed up…this was the best part of the day.
After college, I eventually graduated to the world of digital. It was a great way to get back into photography after a layoff, without the expense of film. I built up a pretty impressive library over the past 15 years or so.
Recently, I stumbled across an article on stand developing. This got me interested in doing some of my own black and white developing again. So I picked up a few cheap rolls of film, jammed them into a camera, and started shooting. I’ve also started to develop some old rolls of film that I had kicking around from when I lived in DC.
Doing your own processing requires a little more focus. Stand developing is pretty forgiving of mistakes. But the process of getting your film ready for processing is much less forgiving. I’ve got old school metal reels, and they push you to be patient and use good technique. Poor technique means a bad load, and then bad, blotchy developing.
I’m having to force myself to slow down, and not cut corners. It’s by turns irritating, and incredibly useful. It’s making me work through a problem, not just throw up my hands and walk away.
I’ll start posting some of the experiments. I’m aiming to get at least 1 roll of something shot, and developed each week. It’s not a hard plan, more of an elective kind of idea. The biggest thing is I’m not pressing myself for perfect. I’m not going to get perfect with this technique. I’m learning to accept things as they are, not as I want them to be.
There’s that beautiful moment where the last light of the day, mixes with the lights of your Christmas tree and the room just glows. There’s a beautiful mix of promise and warmth in that light. So many people cut Christmas off abruptly on the 26th. Others wait for the 1st of January. I always wait through the full 12 days of Christmas.
As the Feast of the Ephihany approaches, the light on Christmas slowly goes out. It’s important to enjoy those last moments.
Today should have been one of those days where you complain that nothing goes right. I had plans. None of them actually got accomplished. But it's not a problem.
This morning I had to make a run out to a friend's house early. I woke up around 4:30 and just couldn't go back to sleep. So around sunrise I headed out. As I was driving, I passed some fog burning off the ground, combining with the beautiful morning color.
I couldn't find it in myself to complain too much after that. It was a beautiful start to the morning. Just a beautiful day.
Later while picking up some medication for a foster kitty, I ran into Princess. She's a 10 year old lady kitty, and she was in need of a lift to an adoption site. I was planning to head back home after getting the meds. I ended up giving Princess a lift. She was quite grateful.
So by now, the afternoon is getting away from me. I stopped off to grab dinner. Driving home I encountered a beautiful sky. I made a snap decision to bypass the game, and head down 360 to get some pretty shots.
Things were pretty, but it looked like I had missed the best light. I stuck around a bit longer and I'm glad I did.
A beautiful start to the day, and a stunning evening. Just wow.