Monday, October 08, 2012

But when I'm not working...

I've always had a love affair with the darkroom. I first started developing my own black and white in high school, under the guise of working for the school newspaper and yearbook. A guy I had a huge crush on taught me how to develop film and print photos using the enlarger, and I spent many happy hours in there, under the red light, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone. My first real job was doing shift-work in a large photo-processing plant the summer after my first year of college. Fun times.

I did a quick refresher black and white workshop last summer (whee! developing film on a warm August afternoon in the alley behind Queen Street in Toronto, the smell of drunk barf from the night before still lingering in the air... if you can develop film there, you can do it anywhere, I promise). I don't print my own, just develop the negs and scan them. Yay, technology! Progress! Maybe some day I'll play with doing my own colour film, but right now that's too fiddly for me.

When my long-time hobbyist photographer father-in-law heard that I was now developing my own black and white, he dug out and gave me a couple of his old film cameras (he went digital in the late 90s). They are wonderful things, and I love them. Here's a couple shots from the first few rolls I've run through his old Minolta Autocord II (all black and white are home-processed in Rodinol). I have another black and white roll from this camera drying right now, yay! (Upcoming post: the other adopted vintage camera, the 1946-47 Argus C3 Brick.)

There are two seasons in Toronto. "Cold" and "Patio Season"
(March 2012, Ilford HP5+ 400)

Shopping on Queen Street West
(March 2012, Ilford HP5+ 400)

Cherry Blossoms at U of T
(April 2012, Lomography CN400)

CN Tower in Redscale
(June 2012, Lomography Redscale
XR 50-200, shot@50iso)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Still Here, Still Working

I work with words,
but maybe not the way you do.
For me, they are sounds and symbols,
bits and pieces,
some parts visible, some parts not;
to be taken apart
and assigned some kind of meaning.
Social, grammatical — sometimes it's the same.
It's meaning.
Quantify it, code it, count it, run it, explain it.
My life is with words, and their tiny bits and parts.