Thursday, September 9, 2010

Photography... for dummies.. (me)

I have decided that I want to pursue photography so I can capture my children's youth without paying a buckoos load of money to a professional. Then, if I get good enough, I would start branching out and create my own photography business.  This fall, I decided to go straight to the beginning of photography and take a black room class at my new college. I never knew how hard manual black and white photography was going to be! I was like, this is going to be a piece of cake... haha ha ha.  I was wrong. Digital photography is so much easier than manual. I have realized that after 3 weeks into this class... I am redefining patience. I did as my professor said and purchased a completely manual 35 mm camera; my husband even joked about purchasing a disposal, ha ha ha sweetie- no cookie for your wit this time!

Purchasing the materials:

Expect to pay a lot for film, and special RC paper. If you are a newbie like me... you will be eating peanuts for awhile.

Our first assignment: Make a photo gram.

  You seriously can't screw this project up. You grab items from home that you think will expose well under a light projector in the black room, and see what kind of art you've created once the paper is developed.  I was actually tickled with this project because all of the items I used reflected my 3 year old daughter.  My favorite was a small doll and a mesh bag. I placed the doll over the mesh bag and exposed it to light for about 6 seconds. When I developed the paper through this cool machine, (I can't develop paper with chemicals until next semester) what I got was magical. The doll was almost luminous, and it appeared as if I had caught her with the bag-- like a lightening bug. All of the students thought that it looked like I had caught Tinkerbell. :) Mission accomplished.

Second assignment: Use a whole roll of 400 TX film on recapturing "childhood memories" through your "child" eyes. 

Luckily, I have two little ones that can give me some inspiration. I brought the little one to the tot lot and started to snap away at different angles of the monkey bars and the swing set. I went along a river up north and took pictures of a little waterfall. (I was or am a very outdoors adventurous type, especially when I was a child.) I took pictures of a puzzle.. Needless to say, I tried to get creative.

When I got to class yesterday, we learned how to roll our film in pitch black and into a canister. Needless to say, that was not an easy task! You have to use a can opener tool to open the film casing and then snip the odd end of the negative with scissors... in the dark. I have done more daunting things in the Marine Corps, and having to handle my bare negatives in the dark scared the crap out of me. I was just praying that I didn't jack it all up before I could develop it.

Then, we learn to develop the negatives-- a tedious time consuming task that required my patience.
 I was getting so anxious to see my first photo creation!

Just when I managed to finish my little development... horror struck.

My creation didn't show up on the negative, and I was puzzled. I was like, "How did I jack this up?" Embarrassed, I went to the professor and showed her my mishap. I felt like a dummy. She was confused as well, and asked to see my camera. She told me that I had the ISO at 100 instead of 400 and the pictures didn't take. UGH!!

So there you have it my friends... Photography for dummies.

Stay tuned for next weeks possible mishaps as I make my journey through the "dark room".