Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An Ode to my 35mm

I fell in love with photography in high school
(and maybe perhaps before that)
when I took my first photography class.
I loved it.

A few years later I took a college photography class as well,
and as I was cleaning out a box today, I found some photos from those days.

I didn't have a digital camera in high school.
I had my trusty old Olympus 35mm that my mom gave me,
along with her passion for photography.

I decided to scan the photos I took in 1996, 12 years ago, to share with you guys.
These were taken on film, hand developed by me in an actual dark room.
Did you know we had to go into a tiny, blacked-out closet
to take the flim out of the camera and roll it onto a special canister?
It was hard to do it properly in the dark, let me tell you.
Then you had to measure chemicals and time how long to leave things.
You put your negatives onto contact sheets...I'll show you.

Ooops, this isn't a photo.

This is one of my artistic attempts are NOT drawing a stick person.
My boys are always laughing at my pathetic stick figure people,
so I decided to go all plump and freaky.
Remy insists he can't color unless I color with him.
So this is what I produced the other day.

And I found that I could mess with my drawings when I uploaded them to Picnik.

See, I inverted the colors on this picture. Isn't that cool? Why can't I DRAW like that.

Ok, sorry for that detour, onto the real photography.

Here we had contact sheets we just exposed to light...with feathers on them.
So, it's not a photo as much as a dark room exercise.
Made for a cool effect.

Here's an example of my contact sheet of negatives.
From this sheet we would use little magnifying glasses to inspect the pictures
and decide which ones to enlarge.

Here's a better close up of my contact sheet.
I can't believe how long ago this feels like.
Ancient history.

Then I would enlarge and print out photos...all in the dark room.

Here are some I enlarged and still had in my photography binder that I just found.

There was something so magical and fun about taking photos
and developing them in the dark room.
I miss those days.

But, now photography is a lot easier, with computers and editing software.

I'll never forget my 35mm though.


scargosun said...

You have an amazing eye. My old camera is in a breifcase/storage box with all the lenses. I am sure it is lonely.

Oreste said...

A salute from Rome. Ciao

Unknown said...

Even back then you had a natural eye for photographic creativity. I liked the drawing you did...she's get a little wiggle in her middle and some crazy I know where Remy get's it from. She should be the author of the book though. "Miss Wigglebottom and the aliens"!!! There it is...we have a title!!!

Unknown said...

Those are great photos, Rhea. Have you framed any of them and put them on your wall ?

You could even sell some of them. That one with the old farming equipment is really good !!

Valarie Lea said...

Those pictures are great! I never had a great 35 mm. I do remember having one of thos disc camera.

Angie's Spot said...

Beautiful pics! I love black & whites. And yes, as fabulous as the digital age is, there's nothing like the classic 35mm film and darkroom developing. Sigh.

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Rhea, those are gorgeous! You should frame them. AND hang them up. (I sometimes skip that step :-)

I never took a photography class - but I really need one. I have no idea as to what I am doing. And I know my pictures would improve so much if I could ever learn to take a picture that is not on the automatic setting.

Mama Dawg said...

I know what you mean. I took a photography class in high school and we had to develop our own film in a darkroom as well. No color film for us. It was all black and white. I LOVED that class.

I'll have to dig up some of my old pics and put them in.

Thanks for letting me walk down your memory lane.

Great photos!

Insane Mama said...

How cool that you found those photos.

cheatymoon said...

Nice shots. Good that you found them. I sort of miss the days of the dark room... ("sort of" because my ex is a photographer, and, well...'nuf said).

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

You are sooooo amazing. And, think, these were from a while ago. My sis is just now taking her first college photography class. I am so excited for her. She is creative and has a knack for it. I need to show her your blog.

And... gotta say hat's off to the stick figure in both pics. That was hysterical LOL.

Hope you are having a great day!

Jen said...

Rhea, you are truely talented! Those are amazing photos. Photography was always something that I wanted to get into. I thought it would be so much fun to have a dark room. Ah, dreams...

Susie said...

Wow!! You ARE really talented! Just breathtaking work!!

david mcmahon said...

I was taught how to use a darkroom when I was 13. Loved it.

CrystalChick said...

Great pictures! My daughter has a 35 mm Canon that she got from a teacher at her school maybe in 2001? So she had a little experience with that but for as long as I have been taking pics, I never developed any myself. :(

Britt said...

You've always had a knack with the camera, haven't you? Those are great!

Aunt Julie said...

I can't remember if I've told you this, but my youngest is majoring in Studio Art with an emphasis on Photography in college. She needs to start a blog! I've passed along your link to her--I think you are extremely inspirational...Thanks!

sassy stephanie said...

Man, you are good.

I took three years between photo j and yearbook. I so loved it. Dark room was my fave place. We even used to play poker and booray in there when not developing.

Justine said...

Whoa, these are some really cool photos!!!!!!!!! Way damn better than anything I could ever take!

Justine :o )

the mama bird diaries said...

i love sifting through old photos. These are great.

Katie said...

I LOVE the last one of the skull with the barbed wire. Wow, it's amazing. You are very artistic. My photos always suck, so it's cool to see what someone who knows what they're doing can come up with.

Cristin said...

I don't miss the old film days... I'm such a crappy photographer that I need the luxury of taking 100 photos on my digital so I can pick one or two that are decent.

I've always been awed by people who could work those fancy cameras and make pictures in a dark room.

Love those photos!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the nostalgic post. I adore contact sheets. and I think learning "the old way" (dark room, dodging & burning) makes us better photographers! love the skull in the barbed wire.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful shots. And I also like the artwork ;).

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

Beautiful pictures!

Shannon said...

Wow, very cool pics! I love b&w photos.

I would really like to take some sort of photography class... just something so I can take pics without using the automatic feature, like Kat said!

Jenni said...

I got into photography recently--the last couple years, but more in recent months. So I did not have the advantage of learning the "old fashioned" way. I think it probably teaches you better. But Thankfully, with digital I can take a zillion pictures and no one cares or know but my hard drive (except maybe my girls when I subject them to photo sessions)! I love your pictures.

Anonymous said...

I loved photography in high school! I was just so, SO BAD at putting the film through the little container before it got treated. (I remember the terms so well, huh?! haha) That was the only thing I absolutely hated! Thank goodness for digital!

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Very cool pictures. I wish I had taken classes like this in hs and college, but I was such a dork, that I didn't...and then couldn't get into the classes.

The Egel Nest said...

Gorgeous photos...and you have just given me a use for the measurement millimeter...which I have not used since 8th grade math :) TY! :)

Came over from David's blog!

The Egel Nest

Unknown said...

Oh...i remeber my photography class 6 the dark room. i still have all of my contact sheets... Wish my prof hadn't been such a jerk 6 that I had stayed with it!

Momma Trish said...

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for posting them.

Merisi said...

Beautiful nostalgia provoking essay!

I can relate to your story, developing and silver gelatin printing my own b/w images is a passion of mine. Unfortunately, since I moved from Washington DC, I have not access to a darkroom anymore. My Ilford paper's waiting for me, though, to make good use of it. I hope soon! :-)