So as you can see, I’ve been into the black and white photos lately – there’s a reason for that. I’ve always loved black and white photographs, but until 8 weeks ago, I was finally able to get into it for real. I have been wanting to do a course in black & white film, and the closest photography school to me ran it for the first time in a while. I registered immediately (course is limited to 6 people) and was extremely excited to do it!
Anyway, to cut the story short, we learnt how to develop and process and print photos – it was very intense and exciting! I met some other aspiring photographers and also professional photographers who were trying to improve their skills, and our teacher was so intoxicating and inspiring and incredibly patient with us – thanks Sam! There were many fun sessions in the dark room – the class joked that we should record our conversations in the dark and sell them as podcasts – there were many moments of panic (dropping film) and hysterical laughter.
So my first roll was a complete disaster – I had completely underexposed all my photos and only had 1 that was worth printing. I guess you learn the hard way right? For my second and third rolls – the photos came out better. Unfortunately, I had a bit of ‘fogging’ – as some light entered my camera while taking photos. This we figured was because the seals around the back of the camera were completely disintegrated and were not protecting at all (this is now fixed, managed to put in some adhesive felt in there to provide a seal).
Anyway, when it came to printing in the dark room, it was impressive. It is a combination of excitement and pride – who would have thought black and white film photos were so darn hard to make? All the work and patience we had put into our work, then processing, shaking that canister – and now we were about to make a print using the enlarger – woohoo! After completing the set up and testing, we had chosen our photograph, had our paper ready, our timer and our chemicals. The anticipation of seeing that image appear as you wet the paper is amazing – I know it sounds geeky, but I loved it. I had chosen a photo that I took of my mom, it was the second last photo on my roll – I was so desperate to finish it, I remember it clearly that morning.
Anyway, I made a print of this one:
This photo is now framed and sits in my parents’ house. They both loved it.
I have scanned all these photos using a film scanner – and have not played with the contrast etc. Anyway, here are some of the photos – I had a play with some while taking them. Even did a 10sec exposure and have my brother move his head around to get a ghostly image (I like it!). The ones of my dog were very popular with the class too! If you ever want to learn how to do this – do it! It’s a lost art, and makes for a beautiful gift I think 🙂 I cannot wait to do the next level of the class!
This is the school for you locals: Brisbane College of Photography & Art