Been thinking a lot about how much I miss my darkroom days recently.
There is something so satisfying about working in a darkroom to achieve all sorts of breathtaking effects that are not only labour and time intensive but also costly. All these effects that are so easily replicated in a tool like Photoshop.
Don't get me wrong I love Photoshop, but there is something so much more authentic and tangible about the darkroom. I am more empowered there; a sense of purpose. Even when you are unsure of what will emerge as a result of your experimentations there, the excitement as you wait for your image to develop on the seemingly magical paper is palpable!
There are a million possible affects you can achieve there. Some silver toner to give your image depth and a haunting quality that brings out the metallic colours in your prints. Selenium diluted will give you red-brown hues to your prints. Undiluted will become purple. Layering fabrics over photographic paper as you place it under the enlarger can imprint another texture onto your print. Using a paint brush to paint your developer on only parts of your paper will give you a print that only semi developed.
The possibilities are simply endless.
Every man and his dog can use Photoshop...but to master the darkroom....ahh...that’s something else all together! And I am by no means any expert in the darkroom. A novice at best. But if I could afford it, I would set up my very own dark room, get me the darkroom cookbook (http://www.amazon.com/Darkroom-Cookbook-v-1/dp/0240801962) and learn more every opportunity I got :) I think the darkroom is the only thing I every truly got passionate about in my life and I do miss it terribly.
So yes, if I had a million dollars, I'm sure one of the first things I would do is set up my own darkroom. (Darkroom tools and equipment has ALWAYS been expensive but since the digital photography revolution the costs have risen almost threefold.)
The second would probably be to buy the home of my dreams that would of course have its own swimming pool :D
What would you do?