Any photographer worth their salt should have at least one set of images from the local graveyard. Like getting excessively drunk on your 18th birthday, it’s a right of passage.
This was our first field trip as a class (50meters down the road) and I remember being really anxious about the whole event. I remember thinking “be amazing”, which is ridiculous, but I was 16, and determined to be the next David Bailey. I also felt like a twat; slightly uncomfortable, wandering round a graveyard taking photos and bumping into the occasional mourner.
But I’ll never forget the joy and pride of successfully processing my own film.
You’re standing in pitch black, cracking open a canister with your teeth because someone has misplaced the film grabber thing, all the while aware that you have to not touch the film, just the sides and cut it in the right place and get it onto this spool that becomes impossible to navigate when the lights go out, thinking “shit did I mix enough developer? is it the right temperature?! FUCK IT’S DARK IN HERE. Shit, who’s hand is that….” Then once the lights are back on you pray to all the Gods that you shut the developer pod properly. No wonder my anxiety went through the roof.
Oh but the delight when you cracked it all open and the film comes out in this beautiful long grey strip, all processed and ready to be washed, hung and dried. Happy Days.
I hope you’ve appreciated the cool contact print effects. I clearly thought I was at the height of photographic innovation!