Apr 22, 2017

the dark room

My first photography class was a film class at the local community college over ten years ago. That's when I decided I wanted to learn photography and start at the beginning - film. Little did I realize at the time film is such a beautiful, expressive art. My husband had taken the class many times and I used to tease him about smelling like chemicals when he got home after lab, despite my teasing he agreed to take the class again with me.  The class was hard but amazing at the same time - I learned about f-stops, shutter speeds, and if that wasn't enough the whole developing film process - there was a lot to accomplish.  The lab hours flew by with time spent loading film into canisters in pitch black and laughing until your stomach hurt with friends while trying to not ruin your film.  There were hilarious circumstances involved,  how could anyone learn to load film onto those holders and get them into the canister, sometimes it required using and passing scissors in the dark!  My photos were definitely not award winning and that's ok, what I learned about photography and the respect I have for film developing was the prize. I became truly impressed at all the weddings my husband had done using film. Not having the instant gratification of knowing if your photo turned out until you were in the dark room was difficult, but watching your photograph develop before your eyes was very cool.
Another bonus of taking this class was the teacher, he has one of the most inspiring life stories to tell. He has explored and hiked for over 60 years and he still does. Lee takes amazing black & white photos of nature while he hikes. Students get to go with him on monthly field trips to isolated desert and mountain areas for the weekend where they take photographs and explore and camp(he's all about roughing it no glamping for him.) In his spare time, he teaches survival classes and his second book is about his 35 day hike from Death Valley to the Salton Sea.

Putting this blog post together has inspired me to take Lee's class again! Hopefully I will improve my black & white photographs since I have a better understanding of photography.