The Smell of Fixer in the Morning

This is a bit off topic but was prompted by my trip yesterday to Randolph Community College in Asheboro, NC.  I was giving a seminar for ASMP  “Converging Media – Adding Video to Your Skill Set”.  After setting up for my presentation I was given a tour of the school – a wonderful facility.  After going through their impressive computer labs and studios – I asked my guide and Program Head, Chuck Egerton,  if the school still had dark rooms.  He smiled and said “I’ll show you”

The second I entered the darkroom – and got that familiar taste of fixer in my mouth – I was immediately transplanted back to Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara where I had studied 34 years ago.  It’s hard to believe it’s been 34 years but when I walked into that darkroom and saw the students making their prints – it seemed like I was back at school.

A lot of memories flashed through my mind that hadn’t surfaced in years.  Being the only woman in my class – and one of six in the entire school.  Always being in a rush because I was working full time at night and going to classes and executing my assignments during the day.  Racing from the Riviera campus to the Montecito campus at break neck speeds around the curves in my big old orange Dodge van.  And most of all living in beautiful sunny Southern California, yet spending a lot of my time – in the dark.

The changes in photography have been profound since then and I’d probably have to say that as much as I learned at Brooks – I’ve learned a lot more since – out of necessity because of technology.  I love learning more now than I ever did in my younger days.  History gives interesting perspectives and when something jogs my memory and I remember my own history – I’m amazed by how much things have changed.  Seems like only yesterday.

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One thought on “The Smell of Fixer in the Morning

  1. harmel2 October 6, 2009 / 3:50 pm

    I love the small of fixer in the morning – it smells like history?

    It is one thing to teach historical processing methods and another be requiring a class in outdated skills. That may be another discussion.

    It is strange how that smell brings back memories.

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