when i was a senior in highschool i attended a new and unpopular school, mostly because i had to. a bogus school “rezoning” plan had been forced on us the year before and i didn’t feel like hasseling with a transfering for one year. but i am glad now that i didn’t. i got so many more opportunities i had my eye on that became a reality because of the lack of student body (one of those being, editor in chief of the school news paper). The school being only a year old they made sure that every class had at least one student computer and all the other supplies it needed. My photography class had a dark room with 8 enlargers each seperated by a eye level filing cabinet. i loved it… i spent every possible minute in under those red lights.
my teacher had previously been a professor and was also a art history major. so she taught photography as an art not a science. if you’ve taken it you know the difference, and she didn’t just teach it she was really good at it. she took pity on me and gave me little allowances and let me make twice as many prints as she had alotted us in the begining. she liked alot of my stuff and i was thankful because i liked it too and wanted to print all the best not just the best 3 like she had told us in the begining.
aside from playing with the prints, making double exposures, just parts of pictures and what not… my true love was the dark part of the darkroom… sitting in pitch black haveing only your fingers to see with. there are only a few places where pitch black can be found in out modern world with it’s white walls, street lights and digital clocks bright enough to cast a bit of a shadow. the silence there is deafening and the air was heavy. the blackness making it impossible to tell a difference, your eyes feeling like they are closed even when they are wide open, forcing you to consentrate on the feel of the film feeding from between your pictures. getting the film on the reel was not the simplest part but it was the most important. meant the difference between having your pictures or losing them forever. i was thankful that i only lost 3 pictures at the begining of one roll.
after that year i knew i would have a dark room one day, but first i have to work on finding myself a semi-perminant residence.