This semester I took an intermediate darkroom class where I learned how to shoot 35mm film, medium format film, and how to develop it in the darkroom.
At first it was very frustrating, I spent three hours in the darkroom just trying to make one print.
Imagine this, you’re in a large closet, the walls are black, red light gives the room an eerie glow, and the developer has this semi-sweet and burnt smell. The vent is on, so it’s like a constant gust of wind bearing down on the center of the small room, and you have to make art in that little place.
Music is my hero, it makes the whole experience more enjoyable. I sometimes even swish the water to the beat of the music, or triple-step triple-step to the other side of the room.
Dust and lint is the enemy, creating little white specks or lines on the print. If I have more than 3 pieces of dust on the print, I have to clean off the negative and try again.
Even though it’s frustrating and painful, I fell in love with the process. The results can be exciting. It’s a journey and a discovery. It’s scientific, technical, and dangerous. No wonder my professor seems to sometimes have an evil laugh or that menacing grin of a mad scientist. The darkroom can drive you mad, but you love it all the same.
The darkroom is for control freaks and those who like to get their hands dirty. It’s for those of us who don’t mind becoming secluded for the next few hours, because we are doing it for art. We do it to create. We darkroom for the adrenaline of watching a white piece of paper turn into a landscape or a portrait of a stranger.
This image was taken for the pastoral landscape assignment. I chose it because it was a landscape that shows a pastors duty, counculing those who are going through grief.