Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rescued images

A compelling story, and one that for me has a personal touch.  Back in high school I was one of the photographers on the yearbook staff, partly because my dad was a photography enthusiast and had a full darkroom setup.  He and I used to do exactly like this guy and develop the film ourselves.  Strangely, when I watched him as he was pouring the developer solution in this video, the sour chemical smell of it came back to me unbidden, like an olfactory memory released just as the visual memory of the negatives are released by the solution. It was weird and a bit bitter sweet at the same time, as developing film like that is an art that is very rarely required today.

Hat tip: Wirecutter.


  1. Yeah, me too. I also worked as a medical photographer in college. Fix was the smell that always got to me. D-76 wasn't too bad but stop bath and fix. I also can't believe he was handling those roles on a light box. I would of had them in a dark bag to keep anymore light damage at bay. I'm surprised he didn't run them through an x-ray scanner first.

  2. I had a makeshift darkroom in my folk's house- and I had just bought a set of filters for the enlarger, before I went off into the USAF.

    When I came back home 4 years later, I went up to my old room- and found that all my darkroom stuff was gone! My mother reckoned I wasn't using it, so she gave it all to a handicapped fellow down the block. Oh well, at least it did someone some good. I still wonder how those filters were going to look!

    And you're right- that sure does bring back memories.

    1. When I wrote the above, I hadn't yet seen the video- and now that I have, I must add: I strongly support his efforts, BUT--

      His darkroom methodology horrifies me. I'm amazed he gets even the poor quality results that he does. Back in the early '60s I used filtered water & long immersion tanks. Those crappy little spools are terrible, you don't get even results using them. (I could say lots more, but I won't bore you.)

      So this video really gives me mixed feelings: love what he's doing, but hate the way he's doing it!