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Davey Towers

The good olde Days

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I was reminiscing just this afternoon on days gone by in the photographers world. I remember learning about fstops, depth of field, shutter speed, ISO's, film grain, pushing film, pulling film, film latitude etc etc. But mostly, before I had my own darkroom, the stickers you got on your prints telling you what you already knew!!! My absolute fave photographer is/was Ansel Adams. I bet he didn't have those problems. What sticks out in your mind of days gone by in the photographic world? Regards, Davey

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I no longer look back, that is not the direction I am travelling ;)

 

Seriously though, my mind is on what I am going to do with my photography and writing in 2016 and beyond.

 

I am grateful for what I learned by shooting film with entirely manual cameras, processing and printing it myself. I do not need to "chimp" every shot, I generally know what I will get without having to review it. Batteries last a lot longer as a result!

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Everything you mention still applies but in different ways. You just don't dip your fingers in liquids in the dark any more.

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Everything you mention still applies but in different ways. You just don't dip your fingers in liquids in the dark any more.

Quite correct, ie: grain is now noise!! And I don't set my fingers on fire from lighting a cigarette with fixing solution all over my hands!!!!!!! oops :wacko: !

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The size of the checks/cheques and the insurance payouts on lost slides........ahhhhh..... indeed the good olde days

Yes Geoff i also remember, one particular insurance payout for damaged slides netted me $12,000 plus a few other claims on lost sales, and some of those cheques/ checks, yes the good old days! and the gear also seemed to be cheaper.

Edited by Paul Mayall

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Everything you mention still applies but in different ways. You just don't dip your fingers in liquids in the dark any more.

Quite correct, ie: grain is now noise!! And I don't set my fingers on fire from lighting a cigarette with fixing solution all over my hands!!!!!!! oops :wacko: !

 

What on earth were you using as fixer???

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I miss the money I earned back then.

 

Also, with stock submissions to Tony Stone Images in London, all they required me to do was stamp my copyright on the slide's cardboard holder and write one or two words of ID, again on the slide holder -- no keywording, not PP.  Of course lugging around that heavy tripod was no fun.  :)

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I was reminiscing just this afternoon on days gone by in the photographers world. I remember learning about fstops, depth of field, shutter speed, ISO's, film grain, pushing film, pulling film, film latitude etc etc. 

 

Back in the real old days we didn't have ISO. We had ASA.

 

What I miss most is the look and feel of a good fiber based silver gelatin print. Fortunately I still have quite a few around the house.

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Ah the good old days, when nobody could grab your camera a look at what you

just photographed....  Can't imagine the problems that would had caused in the

"good old days"..

 

I do miss dropping the film at FEDEX or with an airline passenger then sucking

down a couple of vodka martinis while looking at Polaroids.  My "Roids" as well

as my vodka martinis are gone.

 

The good old days were also not that good.  Live in the present.

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I was reminiscing just this afternoon on days gone by in the photographers world. I remember learning about fstops, depth of field, shutter speed, ISO's, film grain, pushing film, pulling film, film latitude etc etc. 

 

Back in the real old days we didn't have ISO. We had ASA.

 

What I miss most is the look and feel of a good fiber based silver gelatin print. Fortunately I still have quite a few around the house.

 

 

I wish I had been able to produce a good fibre based silver-gelatin print, I was not a good printer :( But I can and will, or more correctly enable others to, make good prints (ink-jet or Fuji Crystal) from my digital files. Better than I ever managed with wet printing.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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I only miss the pleasure of seeing a good print appear in the darkroom tray, but I don't miss anything else about the darkroom.

Like Martin, I also don't need to 'chimp' having used manual cameras for decades (as a hobby photographer) except when I'm setting some flash shots up.

I also don't need to take hundreds of pictures of a subject like the machine gunners I keep hearing, even in churches, thanks to having had to pay for cans of film on a tight budget many years ago, and having to make all shots count. 

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There as a certain pleasure to be had in seeing the image appear on the bariet paper. My first published image I received money for was an image developed in my toilet dark room.

 

For the rest I am pleased to see the back of a lot of the good ole days. Mounting and labelling slides... sending around the world them to different agents... waiting sometimes years to see any income from an investment... then came in scanning and spotting... pffff...

 

(Funny thing - I just tried googling to see if bariet is bariet in English - first page I find is an explanation by Wim - http://wiskerke.home.xs4all.nl/artikelen/bariet.html )

 

Oh dear. Frozen in time that one. Sorry it's Dutch only because they're old lecture notes.

Bariet = Baryta.

Because of this page that's still online, some of the retro photographers find me and I even get to visit a darkroom from time to time.

It's mainly nice because I still recognize it all. Not a whole lot of new gear has been produced since I quit working in the darkroom. Most of my moves still work. I can pick up where I left off basically. The best word for that is nostalgia though.

Mind I was a pretty good printer. Occasionally I've printed other people's work for books or exhibitions. And I've designed and built some darkrooms as well.

So I still get asked stuff.

This week's question from someone in Luxembourg: where can I get good paper for lith printing? So if any of you knows a good answer, I haven't found it yet.

 

wim

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Enjoy the Present, for Today will be Tomorrow's Good Olde Days.

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I was reminiscing just this afternoon on days gone by in the photographers world. I remember learning about fstops, depth of field, shutter speed, ISO's, film grain, pushing film, pulling film, film latitude etc etc. 

 

Back in the real old days we didn't have ISO. We had ASA.

 

What I miss most is the look and feel of a good fiber based silver gelatin print. Fortunately I still have quite a few around the house.

 

 

I wish I had been able to produce a good fibre based silver-gelatin print, I was not a good printer :( But I can and will, or more correctly enable others to, make good prints (ink-jet or Fuji Crystal) from my digital files. Better than I ever managed with wet printing.

 

I did a City & Guilds of London in Advanced Darkroom Techniques, (passed with distinction!) Six months later everything went digital!!!!! :(

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I still have most of old film cameras while my ancient MPP enlarger resides in the loft - been there untouched since we moved into this house about 28 years ago. I did continue using film, but scanned the negatives. I recall a continual battle against dust and drying marks, and taking forever to spot a scanned image.

 

Negatives have a reassuring permanence, being immune to changes in digital technology.

 

I retain a preference for B&W over colour, and monochrome prints seem to be in fashion at present, but sadly, not a good proposition here.

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Ah the good old days, when nobody could grab your camera a look at what you

just photographed....  Can't imagine the problems that would had caused in the

"good old days"..

 

I do miss dropping the film at FEDEX or with an airline passenger then sucking

down a couple of vodka martinis while looking at Polaroids.  My "Roids" as well

as my vodka martinis are gone.

 

The good old days were also not that good.  Live in the present.

 

Not so much has changed. Back in the day I had one client who was virtually snatching polaroids out of my hands as the shoot was set up. We chimped in those days....just had different technology.

 

Leaving aside the insurance payouts, what i really miss is the whole balance of shooting stock. In the 80s/90s, I would be shooting film for a few days per week and when the film came back (medium format) I would spend a morning to edit/sleeve/caption all the selects and then send them off to agencies. Now I shoot for half a day and spend the rest of the week messing around on the computer before they are sent out. A complete change around in workflow. many things are far better now but that fundamental is one I really do miss.

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What's significant isn't so much that you don't take Polaroids any more but that Polaroid isn't there any more.

And Momma did take my Kodachrome away, and very nearly Kodak too.

According to the tally on the back of the box I still have 43 sheets of Record-Rapid. Lovely tone even in ordinary dev.

Edited by spacecadet

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The 'good old days', for me, include listening to Test Match Special while beavering away, hour after hour, under a dim red light in the darkroom. I had good company: Brian Johnston, Trevor Bailey and, best of all, the Hampshire burr of John Arlott. When it rained, all the other commentators would tiptoe out of the box, leaving John to talk to the listeners about cricket, wine, life, etc.

 

I don't miss the days of film. I didn't shoot another roll after going digital with a Nikon D200...

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I was reminiscing just this afternoon on days gone by in the photographers world. I remember learning about fstops, depth of field, shutter speed, ISO's, film grain, pushing film, pulling film, film latitude etc etc. But mostly, before I had my own darkroom, the stickers you got on your prints telling you what you already knew!!! My absolute fave photographer is/was Ansel Adams. I bet he didn't have those problems. What sticks out in your mind of days gone by in the photographic world? Regards, Davey

Apparently there's  a resurgence of interest in shooting 35mm film, so, will you be joining them and buying a few rolls Davey?

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One of my hobbies is buying/selling older cameras and there's a lot of interest in old stuff - even Polaroids (boxed 600/635s etc) are going quickly. Lomography is also very fashionable which means there's even a market for those crappy cameras that has plastic lens.....

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Like many of us, most probably, I started with photography at a very young age. Watching the images come up in the developer tray was magic. Along comes digital, which is even more magical in its own right but doesn't seem so.

 

Pictures made out of electricity are somehow less intriguing than pictures made out of silver. Sure are cheap, though.

 

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Edited by DDoug

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I was recently given an almost complete darkroom, so I will be going back to doing a bit of wet printing soon. Just for the joy of seeing the picture emerge in the tray. I picked up an F100 (that is a lot of camera for the $120 I paid for it) and am using Tri-X 400. I love my pixels, but somehow they are a bit sterile so I will be doing a bit of chemistry on the side.

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I'm beginning to think it might be worthwhile for me to bring my old Nikons and Leica M6 up to Adorama to try to sell while this wave of technical nostalgia lasts.  :)

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I was recently given an almost complete darkroom, so I will be going back to doing a bit of wet printing soon. Just for the joy of seeing the picture emerge in the tray. I picked up an F100 (that is a lot of camera for the $120 I paid for it) and am using Tri-X 400. I love my pixels, but somehow they are a bit sterile so I will be doing a bit of chemistry on the side.

My earlier comment was a complaint... BUT, In your situation I would be sorely tempted.

Have you costed the chemicals and paper yet?

Dug out my old Yashica FXd last year... the advance lever is bust, so I'd have to buy another camera.

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