April 19, 2009

score of the decade

This is one of my very favorite photos I have ever taken. It was taken on a film camera. An old Pentax that my great aunt left to our family when she died (and I abscondated in college). The scene is an old Quaker church that was one street away from my college apartment.
My senior year, one of my roommates and I took a photography class. The old fashioned kind. We took black and white photos on Ilford film. Then we got to go into the dark room and develop the film and the photos.
It always seemed like magic to me. Watching the images appear on that white paper. The pitch black of the room where you had to get the film into the canister. The red light in the enlarger room. Oh, how I loved that chemical smell and the constant sound of water running.
My roommate and I spend HOURS there. We took 100's of photos. She sang me the entire soundtrack of Les Mis while we waited for the film to develop. Any time I hear those songs now, I instantly transported back to that darkroom on LU's campus. (ps....I'm sure you've all seen this by now, but I just loved it.)
After that class ended, I was so, so sad to say goodbye to the darkroom. I knew that I would never be able to afford to have one of my own. Not to mention a place that would work for a dark room in a home. I missed developing so much. I would go online sometimes and price out what it would cost me to try and set one up myself, only to once again be disappointed by the amount of cash it required. Oh, well....

Anyway...this week, something truly magical happened. I scored the find of the decade on Freecycle. I had unusually been on it much of the day because we/camp were trying to get rid of some tables. Up popped a post for photgraphy equipment. An enlarger and other things, it said. I immediately sent an email to ask about it (you have to move fast in Freecycle!). Low and behold, I was the first person to respond. I hopped in my car and picked up my treasure less than an hour later.
After getting home, I realized I had truly scored. The lady getting rid of the equipment had no idea what it was or how much it was worth. The enlarger appears to still work. Plus there were lots of other amazing things that pretty much set me up for my own darkroom minus the paper and chemicals. ALL FOR FREE!!!! Not only that, but I live at camp where we have a 70+ year old building with a giant, dark basement!

Can you tell I'm super excited?!!!


Caleb's Mom said...

LOVE Freecycle! I have basically filled Caleb's playroom with toys from it. Glad to hear you got such an awesome treasure!! :)

Diana said...

april, that's so cool. Im so happy for you. I so wanted to take that class at LU.