After several people left comments here about my “Taste the Rainbow” print, and I’ve had some inquiries recently via Flickr asking about buying prints, I decided to pursue a dream. I’m going to buy an enlarger so I can print photographs at home.
In 7th & 8th grade, I did a science fair project on Photograms. I made it to the Illinois State Science Fair both years, which was a great experience. But what probably stuck with me even longer was working in my own “darkroom” of sorts. My parents set it up in our small second bath, and since I was doing photograms we only needed developing trays and a red-light plus some photographic paper to make them. I loved working on them – it was so much fun! So the passion was ignited. Matter of fact, one of the first items I ever purchased with the babysitting money I earned was a 35mm point-and-shoot camera. I’ve been hooked on photography ever since.
My senior year in high school, I took Photo I. I loved working in the darkroom. I loved the creative process. Elaine & I were trying to explain this to Kathy last night, and it came down to the fact that everything you can do in Photoshop, you can do in the darkroom. That is, after all, why it is called Photoshop. Since I took that class back in 1986, I’ve always wanted my own darkroom.
When we first looked at our house, I noted the fact that there is a second bathroom upstairs. It is sort of odd, because there are three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The original owners, who we bought the house from, had 3 teenagers when they moved in – so with a girl and two boys, it made sense to have two bathrooms. Jason doesn’t need two bathrooms though, so my first comment? “Look! This one would make a perfect darkroom!” There are no windows. I would have running water. It would be a dream come true.
Now, after the latest photography experience, I don’t want to walk away from working in the darkroom. Plus, I don’t really need to take Photo II because I don’t need any more electives for my degree. I would like to take it so I can learn more, because as I said the other day there is a lifetime of learning out there when it comes to photography. I will not take it with my current teacher though – if I take it, it will be at a different campus. Or I will take continuing education courses for fun. But the cost of a used enlarger and the cost of tuition for the course are about the same. No need for the extra credits, I’ll take an enlarger instead.
So, thanks to the joy of Craigslist, I have found an enlarger. Not only that, the photographer that is selling it actually wants to sell off all of her darkroom equipment, for a fantastic price. MUCH lower than retail.
In order to help get the darkroom set up, I’m planning on selling a limited edition run of the flamingo prints, numbered and signed. Both the hand-colored flamingos and the sleeping flamingos. I’m working out the last of the details right now, so I will keep you posted. I’ll probably set everything up after Thursday, when the finals are over.
I’m *so* excited, I can’t even put it into words. Seriously, it is a dream come true. Thank you again to all of you for your support and encouragement – with out you, I’m not sure if I would be brave enough to follow the dream.