Re: Bobs photos

Andy Harman

At 05:15 PM 1/13/2015 -0800, you wrote:
use the services of others for all printing. As I have found myself of late it is also becoming more and
more difficult to purchase decent black & white photographic printing paper and chemicals. Once
they have been found the price is often prohibitive as well. Whatever happened to American
opportunity and competition? It is even effecting the STMFC hobby field.
I had a small but very functional purpose built darkroom at my old house. 5x8' with a counter top, double sink, ventilation, the works. Going in there was like going into a casino. No clocks - time would go by. More than once I went in after dinner, and when I came out the sun was coming up. Alas when I moved in 2003, I dismantled it and my equipment is in storage. But I still have it. I could probably set up a usable darkroom in my basement on a temporary basis, but there is that question of paper and chemistry. I haven't gone shopping for it since the 90s. I even have undeveloped B&W film from the 90s that I really need to get done - I never let anybody else develop my B&W film. At least if I get the negs, I can scan them which is what I've been slowly doing with my slide collection.

I loved darkroom work. I grew up with it - there was a time when a home darkroom wasn't all that unusual, and the corner drugstore sold some basic chemicals and supplies. I probably made my first prints when I was 5 or 6. But it is very time consuming. I've never been much into art printing - most of my subjects were railroad and family, and I was only concerned with getting a good print, not doing 4 hours worth of dodge-burn on a single print. Even so, in a session I might produce 50, 60 8x10 prints and I'd emerge with a stiff neck and blurry vision. I can't imagine what it's like to do that on a "production" basis.

Funny - I was showing Annette my Leicas tonight. We were watching a TV show where a woman was taking pictures in 1953, and she had a correct prop - a Leica screwmount with a collapsible lens. Unfortunately she was taking all her pictures with the lens in collapsed position. Ask me how I know that doesn't work.... I got out my 1957 M3 w/collapsible, and my 2000 M6. A part of me says I should sell them and get some decent money, another part of me wants to go buy some TMX and just go drive out in the country somewhere and shoot a roll like I used to do 20 years ago.


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