I Miss My Darkroom - ChrisDahl

March 14, 2015


I miss my darkroom. I have had many darkrooms over the years. The first one was built by my Dad in the storage shed next to his wood shop, I was 11 or 12 years old then. No heat, no hot water no AC, just a dark room.

In time I had one at work, it was nice but very small. It was only used for that "we need it now" photo requested by the Six Flags Over Georgian PR Manager. After a while I worked in a professional darkroom, Mesiel Photchrome in Atlanta. You were in that darkroom 8 hours a day. With a professional QC calling the shots and demanding photographers injecting their opinions. I printed 8x10 inch wedding photos (not 4x5, not 11x14), 8x10 from 2 and 1/4 square negatives. The Enlarger never moved. I would get sick at weddings for the next few years.

After a year or two of that I applied for and moved into a department known as the "Black Hole", it was a large area with many enlargers in one room. It got the nickname because projects went in and never came out. We actually did some very creative photo compositions. Lots of work for trade shows and advertising. I moved from Meisel to Meteor after a few years and moved into a larger more technical darkroom, where we made photo magic. In time we enlarged the area because of the growth and built all new darkrooms surrounding the graphics prep area. We had it going on at Meteor. Great team and fantastic work.

My hobby had been computers at the time. I was asked to help build out the digital imaging group. We really did not know what that was at the time. But we knew what we wanted it to be. Over the years of working on other peoples photos, I did photography as a hobby. I built a few darkrooms in my houses and would spend hours making prints. The photos above are the last darkroom I built. I sold the equipment to a group building a darkroom to teach kids photography.

Now I sit here at my computer, thinking about how I made computers my job and how good technology has been to me. I miss my darkroom, but I love Lightroom and Photoshop

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