Developing reel, developing tank, roll of film, an opener, scissors, and dark room…check. Anything else? The sense of excitement as well as an overwhelming feeling develops the first time you process your own roll of film. Or at least in my case it did. Photography as an elective at University left me in this dark space about 6 years ago, fiddling around with a roll of film and lots of care as to not damage or ruin all of my efforts. I wouldn’t get a second chance. There was not an undo button as with digital, and this led to mixed emotions. It is actually a bit amusing to look back and think of all of us in the class standing there in the room full of light practicing loading the developing reel over and over again if needed. However, if you think about it, it really is an amazing thing to be able to prepare the film in pure darkness.
Anyways, I managed to successfully prepare my film and move on to processing and printing. The understanding of photography lies in some of these basic concepts learned while developing your own prints. It is absolutely amazing to watch the process of your paper being agitated, allowing for your image to appear and to be analysed and re-analysed for things such as exposure and contrast. I cannot say that I remember everything, but I remember how much I enjoyed the complete process from taking photos all the way to mounting. Okay, I may have been a bit frustrated from time to time at the amount of adjustments and not getting things right, but overall the satisfaction of making my own prints was above all of the time consuming aspects. The more and more I think about the process makes me love photography even more than I already do. I still wish that I knew more, although I know that there is nothing stopping me from finding out and extending upon my experience.
Although the photo above does not portray the quality of the prints, these were some photos I took in Long Beach, Seal Beach, Bolsa Chica, and Huntington Beach, California and processed myself. Love those offshore surfing days from the Santa Ana waves. Amazing how many memories, stories, connections, and emotions evolve from a photo. The photo in the middle on the right with the telescope was taken aboard the Queen Mary, looking back toward Long Beach where I was born. There is just something about this photo that I love. Once we left home, my parents redecorated one of the bedrooms and framed some of these prints for the wall which has made them even more special to me.
I love photography and have spent a lot of time taking photos for fun. However, I do not feel as if I have explored enough with photography and the possibilities that I know are available. I was really looking at gaining a minor in photography at University, but getting engaged while studying abroad and coming back to finish my two years left into one, did not allow me any spare time. I have continued my passion for photography and always seem to carry my camera around for those many moments where I am usually always inclined to take photos. Not just one either. My computer is filled with photos, many being only slightly different to the next, but I can never decide which one I like better. I am really looking forward to hopefully getting a new digital camera as I have had mine for some time now. Remember the Canon Digital Rebel XT? Yip, I am still using one. I am open to recommendations for those of you willing to share your knowledge and personal use with digital SLR cameras. Any photography tips, tricks, and useful information is also welcome. Feel free to share :).