I need a teacher

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by manda, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. manda

    manda instigator of pottymouthedness

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    Tell me...
    If I want to learn how to do this properly, what is the first thing I should do?
    Buy a book, read up on the net, buy equipment, do a course?
    I don't know where to begin.
    I've been wanting to do a B&W course for about err..5 years but just havent got my act together.

    I can't afford to keep having these films developed. Is it just as expensive or more so to do it myself?

    Help! :guilty:
     
  2. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know if they have something similar anywhere near you, but they have adult education courses around here that are offered by our local school districts. The course is something like $20 or $30 dollars and there are about 12 different photography courses they offer. They also have a full darkroom facility.

    If they have anything like that around you, I would definitely suggest looking into it.
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would recommend all of the above, with the possible exception of buying more equipment - at least until you're dead certain what you want and need. Otherwise you might be throwing good money after bad, you know??

    Classes should be available through local school systems, as Chase suggested - and you might also have access to local photography schools, though they might be a tad more expensive. But you're certain to have darkroom access that way.

    And reading is just an ongoing thing for me - I don't think I ever get enough at this point! :D
     
  4. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    Manda, I think taking a class would be best. It will give you access to all of the chemicals and a darkroom and someone to go through everything with you first hand. I looked on google and saw classes at Sydney Community College and some North Sydney Community Center, they were both around 180$. Dunno if those are close to you, but those might be the kind of things to look for.
     
  5. manda

    manda instigator of pottymouthedness

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    North Sydney is where I used to live, Im on the other side of the city now hehe
    Thanks babe! You're the best
    Thanks for your comments guys. :sillysmi:
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Books are an easy and convenient way to learn. As I've recommended in other posts, Henry Horenstein's "Black & White Photography: A Basic Manual" is a great book to get you started. It's easy to understand, and you can follow it up with his book "Beyond Basic Photography: A Technical Manual". And of course, once you feel ready to dive into the deep end be sure to read Ansel Adams "The Camera", "The Negative", and "The Print".

    What you will get out of a class will depend mostly on two things: the teacher and the equipment/facilities. If you get a good teacher and good facilities then you'll learn a lot. On the other hand, a questionable teacher and lousy equipment will probably be discouraging. Ask questions about the class when you are signing up. See if you can talk to the instructor. Check out the darkroom you'll be using, etc....

    The fastest and best way to learn though is to just get into the darkroom and start doing it. Basic darkroom skills are not hard to learn on your own. You will become more comfortable and confident as you gain experience. Keep it simple at first, once you are familar with the basics, you can move onto more difficult concepts and techniques.

    If you know that you are serious about continuing to use film, and you have the space and money for a darkroom, then I say go for it. Folks on this forum can give you equipment recommendations, and darkroom stuff is going cheap theses days. I guy I work with just picked up a complete darkroom set up capable of 35mm and MF work for $400(US). I do all I can to support "public" darkrooms (at community centers, art centers, schools, etc...), but my experience is that they are often messy (fixer dripped all over the place, yikes!!!) and the equipment is worn out. Not all are like that, but a rickety enlarger and chemistry contamination can really hinder learning.

    Anyway, however you do it, whether through a class or on your own, just get into the darkroom and DO IT!!
     

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