i liked being in the darkroom when i was in poland because the evenings are very dark and there was bugger all else to do once you’d had a couple of periogis and were wired on kawa parzona. i bought all the equipment from a bizarre shop which sold lovely hats at the front and photography stuff at the back. it cost me about a million zlotys which was thirty quids in proper money in the dark and distant past.
all of my other experiences in the dark room before or after were pretty miserable affairs. first at malvern adult education college which seemed to be infested with beardy guys who talked a lot about focal planes and lenses. then at art college when i seemed to be the only person interested and the rest of the students and tutors thought it was a tedious technical craft. later, after poland, in the darkroom of a hamburg lesbian printing collective where they seemed to be very serious about everything, the old drill hall where did do some selinum toning which i liked and finally at newcastle when every print on multigrade which i would prefer to call, makes it really muddy grade.
i filed the darkroom as a place i was only happy in under the strictest circumstances and got good at photoshop.
last weekend i spent two days at double negative darkroom, in homerton, learning about lith printing. it’s something i didn’t know much about but had seen a lot of interesting work in flickr. i found it absorbing and far more suited to my chaotic sling it at the wall and see what sticks approach to photography than the usual micro seconds approach that the darkroom seems to be all about to me. there are just so many variables, the heat of the chemistry, the age of the chemistry, the types of paper, the mood you are in….
anyway, it was excellent. lith printing suits me.