I had SO MUCH FUN in my darkroom class last night. We explored contrast filters and I really enjoyed the process of watching the image change and improve. Our teacher first had us dive in and make a print. I chose this photo I took of the pyramids at the Louvre. The image below is what I came up with.
Very dark and no whites to speak of. Our teacher decided to use this image as an example to show us how to use the filters. It was an instant improvement and I couldn’t believe it. It was fun because we used the chemistry to develop this (instead of the machine) so I got to watch the image emerge on the paper.
It’s crazy how much of a difference a little contrast can make!
Here is one that I did on my own so I could fix a couple of things and make sure the process sticks in my head.
Now I need to work on getting things straight on the paper. For some reason I am having a really hard time with that part of it. Again, though, it really drives home the importance of getting things right in-camera.
Also, I scanned this image earlier in the day and I have to say that I love the print version better, despite it’s off-centered-ness. Maybe because I made it by hand myself. But I also think it just looks better. The computer screen really doesn’t do it justice.
We also did dodging and burning. I will share my results of that process in my next post.
My darkroom class began on Monday evening and since this blog is mostly about my documenting those experiences that are new and exciting for me, I thought I would post a little something about it.
First of all, signing up for the class itself was a huge step for me. I don’t know if you people realize this but I am super (super) shy. Painfully so. I think when people look at me they don’t assume this about me (for whatever reason) and they get the idea that I might be stand-offish but the reality is that, inside, I am all hand-sweaty and heart-beaty because I am Miss Introvert to the Nth degree. So I signed up for the class and, I swear, I heard this big applause in my head because I have been wanting to do this for at least a year and I FINALLY did it.
Another milestone for me was that I FINALLY developed a roll of film. I have taken several darkroom classes in my time and, for some reason, have always been afraid to develop film. The printing part of it has been fine, it’s the film developing that has always eluded me. I always made someone develop my film for me. So the fact that I actually DID it was pretty huge and I am very proud of myself.
I developed more Paris photos, two of which were the photos you see in this post, the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. I scanned a few of the negatives this morning so I could see how they turned out. I was going to wait until next week when we make our contact sheets but I am impatient.
So yes! Fun times! I get to use the darkroom at Newspace as much as I want this month for free and I intend to do just that so I can get this whole process down in my brainz.
Next week we learn how to make prints.
Bikes and Skateboarders at the Musee D’Orsay
I got a roll of Paris film developed this week and, sigh. It made me relive my short trip this past September. The roll that was developed was taken on our last day there. We spent the day at both the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay and then we decided to walk the Champs-Élysées so we could we see the Arc de Triomphe. By the time we reached the place where this photo was taken we had been walking for hours and hours and were in so much pain. As we walked back to our hotel we rested here, in front of the Musee d’Orsay and watched a couple of guys skateboard. I think about this moment often, for some reason. I was so happy, the sun was setting, and I was sitting in front of this museum full of famous paintings that I saw earlier in the day. I drank it all in completely and totally. It was a bitter sweet moment because I knew I would be leaving the next day. And there, as we sat there, were these guys skateboarding. It all felt surreal.
This photo was made with my Pentax P30t and Tri-x film.
Visiting Paris = The highlight of my life.
I had an amazing year. Finally. A year that was all good. I can’t think of anything to complain about regarding the past year, and for this I am grateful (’cause the past several years have been kinda painful. Thanks for the break, Universe!)
Travel. If someone had told me a year ago that I would visit France in the coming year I would have called them a liar. But I DID IT! I went to France! And I loved it! And now I want to go back. And I want to visit ALL THE PLACES.
Photography. I had a lot of fun this year with it. I always do but exploring film photography was super fun. I will be doing more of it in the coming year. First on the list of things to do: develop my own film already! (taking it in to be developed is breaking the bank. I need my money to visit ALL THE PLACES.)
Running. I have had an on again/off again relationship with running for most of my life. Regardless, It is my favorite form of exercise and it is important to me. My big running goal has been to run 5 miles. This goal, for whatever reason, had eluded me. Not anymore! This past summer I finally reached that milestone and even surpassed it! Yay me!
Blogging. I moved my blog to WordPress.com about a year ago and in the process have been plugged into an amazing blogging community, the likes of which I haven’t seen in years. I have seriously enjoyed “meeting” and getting to know all of you! And I continue to enjoy being introduced to many amazing and inspiring blogs. Also, I managed to blog everyday this year! Well except for that one day in August. But it’s JUST ONE. Hmm. It appears missed a day in June as well. so two days. I missed TWO DAYS out of an entire year. Do I get a medal? No? oh well. It was nice to check in everyday here. For the most part, it was a very positive experience. I might do it again next year. Or I might take a tiny break. We’ll see.
Favorites of 2012.
Two favorite books:
Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins
Christopher Moore’s Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art
Read them both. They are excellent.
Three favorite albums
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: The Heist
Caravan Palace: Panic
Happy new year!!!
I wanted to write a substantial blog post but the day got away from me so, instead, I am sharing another photo from our trip. Which, actually, is pretty substantial.
I am back at work this week. It’s hard to come back to work after being somewhere so life-changing and fabulous. I haven’t ever traveled outside the United States and the experience of visiting another country was so amazingly eye-opening. I want more of it! I have been bitten by the travel bug.
I am also completely in love with France. I have always had an interest, being that I am French genetically speaking. I have especially been fascinated by the French Revolution. But now I want to learn more. I am totally fascinated by Paris, the people, the history, everything.
For example, I had no idea the the Louvre was the King’s Castle before it became the Louvre. I just had no idea. I find it fascinating that this is not something that I knew. It is like the revolutionaries took over the castle, opened it up for the people as a museum, and then downplayed the fact that it belonged to royalty. I am kind of thinking that is pretty cool. Fascinating, for sure.
Also, seeing this building in person was incredible. It is absolutely mind-blowing in it’s grandeur. We have nothing like this here, really. I had no basis for comparison at all. This castle (and this is the first castle I have ever seen in person) drives home how royalty lived, and it really caused me to see the Revolution in a whole new light.
Seeing this history that I have been reading about for so many years was beyond amazing.