Sunday, 23 August 2015

Venice. Memories of the darkroom

Taking pictures with my Polaroid cameras got me thinking more about film photography and about trying out some 135mm film again. I have my parents' old Minolta camera, and a few years ago, I was given a photo bag with complete equipment - a fabulous Nikon reflex camera and lenses - by a friend of my parents. 

I started looking for some old photos I had taken in Venice about 1994 or 1995. I can't even remember what camera I had back then. There was a darkroom in my school. I didn't really have permission to use it, but a friend of mine did, and he was more than happy to book the room in his name, give me the briefest of introductions on how to develop photos and hand me over the keys. I spent an afternoon in sheer bliss. I loved dipping the photo paper in the different basins and seeing the images slowly appear, trying out different times of developing time and to see how this changed the effect of the photo. It was the only time I ever spent in a darkroom, developing my own photos, but I absolutely loved it.

It's funny. If I went to Venice today, I would no doubt come home with about 500 to 1000 images on my memory sticks. From that wonderful trip 20 years ago, I only have a handful of images. But they are enough to immediately bring me back to that great city, and looking at them probably gives me more pleasure than 500 digital photos would.

And a day trip to the island of Murano. I can still remember the boat trip. Someone had bought some fresh cherries on the market early in the morning. They were the most perfect and delicious cherries you'd ever seen. We all sat in a row at the side of the boat, eating the cherries and spitting the stones over the railing.

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