It Was Dark in a Room…


At this point in time, my most favorite part of the week is when I get to drive to the Camera Doctor and attend my darkroom class. I love not knowing every single image that’s on my rolls of film. It’s like Christmas every week.

Last week’s class was just an introduction to film photography and the darkroom. It was cool, but I was ready to actually get to work in that darkroom. We were told to shoot one to two rolls of film before the next class. Well… it rained for four or five days straight. I decided I’d take my AE-1 to the big Falcon’s playoff game and capture whatever caught my eye. The characters and spirit and Falcons flare inspired me tremendously. The concept of taking photos at a Falcon’s game is similar to street photography. Sometimes, I asked permission and, other times, I discretely snapped my shutter button. I shot photos of all the folks tailgatin’ and of the actual game. It ended up being a very sad day for the Falcons and for the city of Atlanta. But, at half time, I captured the happy faces of fans who thought the Falcons were going to win. If one were to view my photos, one would not even know they ended up losing.

Anyways, I was a tad anxious about my next class. If you know me at all, I tend to be a worry wart for no reason. I was nervous to see if my negatives turned out. I was nervous for my negatives to be looked at and judged by my classmates and teacher. I was nervous about printing contact sheets. I always start out worrying like this during any new adventure and then… I learn to let it go and enjoy the challenge. My class, this past week,  consisted of a 14 year old boy (who was fun to watch and learn from) and a guy that seemed to know exactly what he was doing).


Contact sheet for one roll of film… I took another roll but we could only develop one. Shot with Canon AE-1. Polly Nance. 2013.

My negatives turned out pretty good… some were better than others. Some were slightly underexposed and others were perfectly exposed. We made contact sheets of our negatives (I think I timed mine wrong though cause it didn’t look as good as my negatives). My teacher told me, however, that he was going to show us how to dodge and burn. So, we were to pick a photo that would challenge us (unless we weren’t up for a challenge lol). I chose one that my husband made me take lol. I chose it not really for that reason, but for the pure and simple fact that I didn’t like the shadows on the faces. I wanted to learn how to lighten them up. I knew the photo wouldn’t turn out perfectly, but I loved the photo anyways and desired to learn from it. We only had enough time to print the one photo as a test strip… to see which exposure to use for next week’s class when we get to print our first real prints. Until then, and in the meantime, I’m supposed to shoot two more rolls of film. I’m excited for next week already!!!!

Test strip photo. Shot with a Canon AE-1. Polly Nance. 2013.

Test strip photo. Shot with a Canon AE-1. Polly Nance. 2013.

On a side note, I have been uninspired to blog over the past few months. I’ve been terrible when I used to look forward to writing my blog posts. This class is changing that. And, I hope to continue to share this journey with all of my readers. Thank you again for sticking with me, while I grow on this photographic adventure and career of mine!

Thank you for taking the time to visit and view my blog!

As always, please feel free to leave any and all feedback.

PEACE, LOVE until my next bloggy-blog post, dear fellow blog-readin’ friends.

9 thoughts on “It Was Dark in a Room…

  1. MANY years ago, I had the experience of developing photos I took when I was the editor of a weekly paper, don’t know how I learned. Question, where do you buy film now and where do you get it developed if you don’t have a darkroom? Keep up the goodwork.

    • You can buy film online… Amazon, etc. it’s easy to find. I buy from a local camera store where I’m talking my class, but I also get my film developed there. You can also send it off to and they do a good job. You request a mailer and then when you get it, you send it off. Then you can buy a disc with images or whatever you need when they have been developed. They upload your album to their site. Thanks so much for your comment!

  2. Oh, the days in the darkroom (a converted space in my basement) were sublime–time to watch the miracles of alchemy and photography blend. You are going to have so much fun and learn a whole other aspect of image making.

  3. A project is a great way to kick-start your blog back up again! Seeing your images here really brings back memories of my photography class! We used to make test strips (instead of a test photo) to determine the amount of time we should expose the paper. It sure is a lot of work, and you can end up using up a lot of paper and chemicals. But I can see how exciting it would be if a photo turned out perfectly! My dad has been into photography since he was a teenager. He was a photographer for the Stars & Stripes newspaper, and continued for a long time after the Army (including photography and dark room work for the local police department). I’m surprised that I didn’t discover it until recently! This class should teach you quite a bit, and I hope you have a lot of fun with it!! 🙂

  4. It looks to me as if the photos themselves were underexposed. But it could be that the contact print was too soft. If you used multigrade paper, that could explain it. Yjat test pring also looks too soft. The thing to do, is to start printing the negatives.

    • The photos were underexposed… Which is why I said they were underexposed but the ones at the bottom were properly exposed (according to my teacher). This was the first class and we have to use pearl paper. I can’t print negatives until I learn that part! Thanks so much for your feedback 🙂 hopefully they’ll get better. My teacher is teaching us how to use contrast filters next class 😉

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