Back in the Dark Room Again…

I’ve been taking pictures since I was in the 6th grade.  My first camera was the Kodak Disc, a small plastic thingy that you slipped in a round “disc” of film.  Back then I mostly took pictures of my classmates during our final days in elementary school, field trips, and 2 years later to document our family trip to Disney World.

When I was an undergraduate student at Loyola Marymount University here in Los Angeles, I took a photography course and used my father’s old Olympus SLR (single lens reflex) camera.  We used a dark room to develop our own film.  I loved working in the dark room, creating my own prints.  My final project was “Super-imposition,” where I used multiple (usually 2) negatives to create one print.  A few years later, with my own SLR camera (can’t remember which one) I participated in “Think Blue Week” at Dodger stadium where I was chosen to be the team “fantasy photographer” for a game.  I took 3 rolls of film during the whole 9 innings, and nearly had my head taken off when a foul ball hit by the Dodger’s Brett Butler sent the real team photographer and myself diving in the 1st base side photographers well.

Skip 18 years, and I am now in my 6th year at a local high school working in the Special ED department.  This year, during 3rd period, I have been, along with another aid, helping 3 of our students as they are taking a cooking elective.  Last week, I was asked to move to another elective to help a student in his photography elective, I jumped at the chance.

After my student had developed his film, we took the negatives into the dark room.  Now, I had not been a dark room for over 18 years, and it scared the hell out of me when I followed him in.  Even though the red rights were on, I still couldn’t see a thing, my eyes needed almost 20 minutes just to adjust to the low light.  But once they did, and the photo teacher showed my student how to make a print, it all came coming back, and I felt at home in the dark room.  I now look forward to helping my student develop more film and make prints..

At the end of that period, the photo teacher made a comment to me, that he once tour with the country group Alabama, which instantly put the song, “Mountain Music” in my head for the rest of the day and night…

Here are some of my pictures from the photo class I took at LMU:

this is a pin hole camera shot of the Westside Pavillion

this is a pin hole camera shot of the Westside Pavillion

our assignment was to capture "motion," so I set up my tripod and hung out on the overhang above the 405

our assignment was to capture “motion,” so I set up my tripod and hung out on the overhang above the 405

for the "people" assignment I went to the Santa Monica Pier and came across a man sleeping on a bench.

for the “people” assignment I went to the Santa Monica Pier and came across a man sleeping on a bench.

as I mentioned above, my final project was "super-imposition."  For this print, I put together the negatives of my very first car, along with a negative of a shot looking down a hill.  Funny how easy it is to do now, using a computer...

as I mentioned above, my final project was “super-imposition.” For this print, I put together the negatives of my very first car, along with a negative of a shot looking down a hill. Funny how easy it is to do now, using a computer…

So, with Christmas only 3 weeks away, I ask:

HOW YOU DOIN???

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One comment on “Back in the Dark Room Again…

  1. Michael says:

    Nice post. Those older shots are great. I remember taking photography at Hamilton and was one of the school photographers at sporting events.

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