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Steve Rogers
sjrogers@woolenmillstudio.net
    

2012.05.20

THE COLLEGE COURSE

I think everyone should take a college course, not so much to learn something (not that that isn't a worthy goal), but that you would know the overpowering joy and exhilaration one experiences when the semester is over. What will I do with all my time? 'Let's go out for an evening' you say (what is this 'go out' you speak of). You say 'let's go shopping' (surely you mean we are going to the library).

Perhaps schools should offer a one hour course (immediately after the final) that eases one back into society. Group sessions where each can verbalize their fear of not reading a chapter, writing a paper or formulating an opinion (it's ok to go to a movie -- nothing will be turned in late if you do).

Well suffice it to say I just finished a long semester -- a course in the History of Photography. This course is not for the faint of heart. There are frank discussions about hauling massive camera's and 8 minute exposures (this is after they improved upon much lengthier sit times) and having to coat a plate immediately prior to taking the picture. Flash powder and the fire dangers thereof. The daguerreotype (the mirror with a memory), the collotype, collodian prints, albumin prints, salt paper, glass and wet plates. There are the era's -- pictorialism (the fuzzy picture), straight photography (all things not fuzzy), modern and post modern. There is the quest for form, instant vision, documentary and photo journalism,

When we pick up a camera today and the flash fires or the shutter passes at 1/5000 of second and the image is transmitted across the Internet -- it is a wonderful thing. You should count your lucky fixer that your hands no longer have to pass through a trough of developer although I do miss the smell of the dark room.

__________________

Above is a picture of my dark room from years ago. The bottle's across the back row are the B&W chemicals (developer, stop bath, fixer). The orange tubs contain the chemicals for the two rolls of color slides I developed).

Below is another picture dated December 1969.






"You don't take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it."

- Author Unknown





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