My photographic journey started in the mid to late 80’s when my parents bought my sister and I a Minolta 35mm Disc camera for Christmas. This camera was light, compact and simple. Pop the film disc in (actually a thin plastic square) and shoot. The film processed the same as a roll of 35mm.
I don’t have a clue as to what happened to it. I will probably find one online just for the hell of it and use it(!) I also don’t remember what camera I used (probably a hand-me-down) when my high school was offering photography and developing your own work in a dark room.
Keep in mind too, that I was never a photo nerd. I didn’t shoot for the school newsletter or for the yearbooks. I still played varsity football and soccer but the idea of doing something fun while earning credit sure beats learning French, okay?
I remember the smell of the chemicals and the safe lights. I cannot remember specifically how I unrolled the film and then transferred it to paper stock. I can’t tell you which toners we used or how to dodge and burn. Before there was Adobe Lightroom, there was the darkroom.
Had I known how invested into photography I would be I would have held on to everything. My first camera, those rolls of film, my prints, everything. Damn it! Aargh!
I regret now not paying enough attention to the details. We had our assignments (fun!) and I enjoyed watching the images magically appear as soon as I put my paper in the chemicals. The details didn’t matter, I only cared about the results.
I think this is an ongoing issue not only with myself but for a lot of people as well. The ability to snap a photo with no skill or knowledge is making photography too easy. The ease of modern photography has robbed us of learning the basics.
I want to relearn what I have forgotten. With the acquisition of some vintage 35mm film cameras I’ll have them lab processed at first to see how the cameras held up after all this time. If successful, there is a darkroom open to the public I can use and take advantage of.
I am just as excited now as I was back then with that tiny little camera. This time, we’re going to do it properly.