A couple month’s ago I took a black & white photography class at Irvine Fine Arts Center. You really gotta love Orange County & give props to Irvine in particular for having a place like this. They’re all about the arts. There’s not a lot of stuff available like this in Orange County so I think it’s pretty cool they value old school arts like photography & letterpress. They have a full darkroom set up. They also offer printmaking & letterpress classes (they have a legit letterpress studio as well) and lots of other fun stuff.
Anyway, I was on yearbook in junior high and we developed all our pics for the yearbook. (wow, those were the good old days!) I also remember developing a lot of photos of this guy I had a huge crush on. My friends took my camera on a church trip we all went on and took a bunch of photos of him. (I was way to shy to even talk to him let alone take a photo of him!) Yea, looking back, that was probably really creepy that I developed photos of him, haha. My high school also had a darkroom but I didn’t do much developing. Definitely did not appreciate it by then, seeing how digital was coming in and that was the latest and greatest.
All the chemicals! Developer. Stopper. Fixer
All the contact sheets getting washed above!
I kind of snuck in this class because it was a summer teen class. But when I emailed the teacher asking if they’d possibly open an adult one, he told me to just sign up and mark my age as a teen. so I did it. I really wanted to take it! I definitely didn’t pass as a teen (when I walked in, the teacher asked me if I was a parent! yikes. lol) but it was funny being surrounded by these really young people! It seems like so long ago that I was once so little like that! (well most were taller than me, but they had such young faces)
I totally recommend taking this kind of class to everyone – it is so cool to see the process and it is so fun to watch your print develop right before your eyes. Better than a polaroid 😉 If you’re interested in taking the class, I suggest emailing them and asking for them to start a black&white photography class for adults! I am sure they would if enough people showed interest. If you’re not in OC, try looking at your local community colleges for classes and darkrooms. If you’re familiar with developing photos, I’d even look into high schools to see if you can rent the darkroom out or something.