What Happens in the Dark…

September 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

As a photography student I have the complete opportunity to work in a dark room. In my opinion, every photographer of any sort should first work in a darkroom. There is a sense of mystery with this type of photography, your film (kept in a dark place) exposed to tiny bits of reflected light and then wound (in the dark) onto reels to then develop (again in the dark) when finally you can see the tiny inverted images on your film. The first magic moment to happen. Then you hide away in the darkness of the enlarging room. The master of light, harnessing and controlling it so your print is perfect. The dim yellow safe lights guide your way to the developer as you slide your blank paper into the liquid. Your hungry eyes wait for that moment when you see the hint of form and shape and volume. Your image appears as if it had always been there. You transfer the print from developer to stop bath, and then the fixer where you wait even longer until your print can come out of the darkness and into the light.

The beautiful idea here is that both light and shadow creates the images, 100% of either one does not make an image. It is only when you hold both in your hands that you become a photographer. It’s not about the color or information in the photo, because it all boils down to light.

Light and shadow are intangible things; we cannot touch them. We do capture them in tiny silver particles or bytes of data, but over time, light reclaims the pieces we steal away.


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