Another one bites the Dust!
LOL …. the whole month has been Cloudy and rain filled, no I’m not beachin! Just stating some facts . . . actually I am very glad for the rain. My cough is still hanging on . . . grrrr hate crud. I am wanting to try some different Astro Photography equipment which as they say is the most likely cause for the clouds and rain. But . . .
Yesterday I was sad, I went to a fellow photographers house . . . He’s moving away, and selling / giving / throwing years of accumulated darkroom and other photographic gear away . . . selling off bits if he can . . . why Sad you ask? Well he is only a few years my senior, and I could only reflect and see myself soon in his shoes. See Film photography and all the trappings that came with it are for the most part passe . . . and as this photographer closes the door on a fruitful career as a photographer and teacher I can only think “Another one bites the dust“.
I think I’ve had a good run myself with photography, with film and darkroom magic. When what meant being a photographer was knowing what an F/stop was, what ASA meant . . . how to use a light meter or just winging it and using that ol’ standby “the Sunny 16 Rule” to make my exposures. I learnt how to light a subject and most of all apply composition in camera and not wait to “Fix it later in Photoshop”. One shot (not a stream of shots filling a data card) in a way that if you did any tweaks it was very minor and most likely was dodging or burning in for effect. One tried to capture the shot the first time, maybe bracketing two, perhaps three or four shots max. A 24 or 36 exposure roll was the number you had with a 35mm camera, 12 – 20 for 120 . . . so being frugal and shot conscious was the rule . . . I rolled my own cans while working at the newspaper with tri-X or pan , again the reason was being frugal I loaded 10 shot rolls anything more was really a waste, except when shooting sports . . . I new how to push or pull process for effect. I mistreated Tri-X pushing it and sometimes rushing the processing so much that you could almost see the grain with out a magnifier (sometimes aI even used Dektol on tri-x . . . LOL talk about grain . . . whew) . . . Most often I carried two cameras with three lenses (20mm, 50mm or 105mm, 180mm) a flash with bounce card 20-30 cans of film . . . I cut my teeth shooting for the local paper, and that was in B&W. Got good enough to get the Sunday full page “color – Kodachrome” Lifestyle section more often then I should have. I shot high school sports, and when I could I strung for Associated Press or United Press . . . it didn’t pay good but I had my name and cutline occasionally in the national news section. Did advertising, product and an occasional wedding or portrait . . . life was good, was fun, I was often in the darkroom at work or home, that acrid smell of fixer what fun. Then it was off to the Navy for a bit, priorities changed, life intervened photography took a back seat . . . jump ahead 2005, I was intrigued by digital and borrowed a Nikon D70 from work, loved it and dove back in.
The writing was already on the wall for film . . . for the darkroom . . . you either adapted or dropped out.
Yesterday I picked up some darkroom equipment, I know in my heart it is time I let it go, but not yet . . . one more fling . . . just a bit more film, play a bit in the dark . . . watch the magic . . . it never gets old . . . yes I can do things quicker, better (that’s debatable), easier with digital . . . but the chemicals and the magic of that latent image appearing under the dim red light still holds sway over the young man (at heart) and I’m not ready to let that go, no digital process can compete with the magic of developing a B&W photo by sloshing paper and chemicals in a tray and watching that image appear and knowing that I made it.
Oh did I say it was raining, has been all month. March has come in like a Lion . . . the forecast calls for another week of clouds and rain ahead. . . it’s good the rain . . . I am sad , yes sad for today’s photographers that have never experienced film, or the darkroom . . .