Film for its own sake

I went and checked out the darkroom co-op today. It's in a rather bleak part of town, but it's easily accessible by transit and the price is right. They have three darkrooms, a wet room, and a color printer. I also spent four hours in a black and white darkroom refresher course. It was a one on one session with the operator of the co-op. We developed a roll of 35mm black and white film and did a black and white print. I also got a crash course in how to operate the enlarger. This one was more sophisticated than the one I used to use in high school. I also learned how to use the grain focuser, which was a new thing for me.

It was amazing how quickly everything came back. I suppose it helped that I did a bit of brushing up before I went there. I found some Youtube videos on developing negatives which I watched before I went. I had also forgotten how much fun it is to work in the darkroom. During the last week or so my mindset has shifted a bit, and this trip back to the darkroom has confirmed it.

I started this project as a means to creating better Photoshop actions for black and white digital conversion. I'm now starting to re-appreciate film photography for its own sake, rather than just as a means to a digital end.

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