Sunday, September 23, 2007

In my photo darkroom....

In this, the computer age, most people have a digital camera. Or even a cellphone that takes digital pictures.

The Kodak Company has made film for a 100 years - and was stunned by Polaroid for a while - but continued making film for cameras and X-Rays and other uses but eventually even they conceded that digital rules.

Film is basically a roll of celluloid coated with silver that changes when light hits it and, of course, color film and processing is a bit more complicated.

Machines were made to collect the leftover silver in the developing process and newspapers, photo processors and other large companies made a tidy sum from this reclaimed treasure. But, now it's all mainly digital.

But, back in the 1950s when I got into photography, I learned you could buy simple equipment to process and develop your black and white film "at home." Just find a dark spot to set up your photo lab. I worked in mine all through high school.

After you developed your film in total darkness, you put the negative into your enlarger and, under a yellowish "safe light," made enlargements on light sensitive photo paper. After sloshing them through several trays of chemicals you had mixed, you washed and dried them. Simple.

No more dropping off rolls of film at the neighborhood Walgreen's and waiting a week to come back by to pick up the envelope of small prints.

Now my education continues as I learn more about computers and Napster and Anti-Virus programs and blogging and iPods and Macs.

Oh, and being grateful I never bought any Kodak stock.

Labels: , , , , ,


At Tue Oct 02, 08:28:00 AM , Anonymous Patrick said...

My dad and I were just talking about how several of the photo developing businesses he has patronized for thirty years or more have started disappearing because no one is using film.

That's good and bad for many different reasons.

Overall, though, I'm thinking the bad outweighs the good.

At Tue Oct 02, 07:56:00 PM , Blogger chucker said...

Just about the time I mastered using Fax machines, the technology surged ahead and left it in the dust.

Remember the special flimsy paper rolls you had to buy and messages were lost because there was "no paper in the machine?"

Back in 1957 I worked for Norvell's Camera Exchange in the Francis Marion Hotel and I delivered boxes of special paper to use in a Xerox copy machine.

It was pretty expensive and not many people in Charleston had this high tech item.

At Sun Nov 18, 03:05:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Can you recommend any good photo labs in the Charleston area?

At Fri Nov 23, 10:27:00 AM , Blogger chucker said...

Hey Anon,

As described in this posting, I am totally digital so I have no clue who does photofinishing locally.

But here's a site that should have the answers for you. Check with Jason.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home