In the darkroom with the lights on…

The darkroom on Park Drive was really nothing more than a big closet in the garage. Daddy Bub was so proud of it – running water, an ice box to cool down the chemicals, air-conditioner, huge sink, (even though it drained into the garden where GrandMoye had her banana trees – she never could figure out why they always died!) and a classic Omega enlarger. The year was 1960. Daddy Bub would spend hours and hours in that darkroom – GrandMoye made him set up an intercom into the kitchen where she could talk to him when he was working. I remember sitting on one of the two stools with bamboo tongs in hand helping Daddy Bub rotate the prints from developer to stop bath to fix. It was pretty magical watching the images come from nowhere. I learned the basics at an early age thanks to the patience of Daddy Bub. My dear friend, Michael and I would spend hours experimenting and probably making a mess. That darkroom proved to be a catalyst for Daddy Bub’s eventual jump into professional photography. He had a “kitty” in the darkroom that his friends would contribute to when he would give them wonderful black & white prints of them and their family. The darkroom was still in operation after I graduated from SMU. In fact, my future business partner, Roy, and I printed hundreds of B&W team photos in that tiny darkroom. (We were the official photographers for the San Antonio Sunday School Athletic Association, 1973) After Wilson graduated from RIT and returned to San Antonio he taught me the mechanics of high contrast printing – Kodalith film and Kodalith A & B developers. What fun we had in that darkroom…

This morning I feel like I have been back in that darkroom but with the lights on! No more film,  just pixels for the imagination…I have become very interested in several new software applications that I am attempting to learn and understand. Lots of information and technique to take in…but oh my gosh, I lose track of time – just like when I was back in the darkroom! This morning I was attempting to work with single raw images, processing them into HDR files(PhotmatixPro) and then fine tuning them in Aperture 3.1. The images are not necessarily great photographs, I selected them based on their need for help…

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~ by leicaman on December 11, 2010.

One Response to “In the darkroom with the lights on…”

  1. Great processing. I love the ‘after’ lake shot. And I love the old camper van, but I’m biased. I love going out in my own little camper van, with laptop, which then serves as my darkroom.

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