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Previous | Next :: Darkroom Blast from the Past : Print Space : New York City | February 28, 2012, 11:54 pm

Darkroom Blast from the Past : Print Space : New York City
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I went to a black and white darkroom......... yeah .... you know....... with chemicals and red lights and pieces of photographic paper and negatives.......... like ....... well...... you know old school photography........

It was really kind of amazing......... like being transported back in time......... when you remember something from a sound or a feel it seems to circumvent the usual filing cabinet of memory........... seems to be more viseral as if you are just transported back instantaniously.......

With darkrooms....... its that smell of dev that does it ....... mixed with stop bath and fix ......... the smell of the darkroom from back in the day ........ I love the smell of ID11 in the morning .......... hehehe........ It is actually slightly terrible I think I might even be allergic to stop bath .... and yet it just takes you back instantly......... its the smell of teen spirt ......... Of my darkroom at Steves place ........ where I first learned to print all night as a teenager ......... the fumes of the past........ of my youth and my college days hanging by the print machine with my mates ......... and early professional career........ those unventilated darkrooms of Report/IFL my first job in photography .......... in the attic on Oxford St in London........ the basement darkroom I built with Neil T....... The Insight darkrooms on Coronet St......... even the fab darkroom we had built at Red Lion Sq.........

Amazing to think darkrooms played such an important roll in our lives........ and now they are something akin to a horse and cart passing......... you still know its function but ......... its more of an echo of a past.......... a past....... that seems kind of distant now ............

So when I first started to print I was shocked by how difficult it was ....... how each print is a performance in its own right ....... how each is individual......... a total one off......... how very different to these days of photoshop.........

Once I started to get rolling on it I started to enjoy it........ then I found my hand going out to the imagined position of the light ......... I had kind of muscle memory of where the light was in the Insight Coronet Street darkroom.......... the last darkroom where I turned out thousands of prints myself .........

The picture shows prints I have made hanging around in the fix tray............

It was kind of amazing to be back in the darkroom......... I was in a weird state of remembering it all......... then the phone would ring......... and today would break into the isolation and day dream of the past....... :-))))))))))))

Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

www.jezblog.com

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