Jenn's Darkroom

So, last Friday, Jenn and Brandee dropped by to see me at the news office. And to pick up some supplies from Jenn’s Darkroom.

Now, it’s not officially Jenn’s Darkroom, but Jenn was the last person to serve as our darkroom technician/photo assistant before we went completely digital, so I figure she might as well get the dubious honor of having the darkroom named after her.

The place is a mess and smells kinda bad, mostly thanks to various toxic chemicals spilled on the floor and washed down the drain, but there are memories in that room, too. The first time I laid eyes on Jenn, she was standing in the darkroom. She’d started working there while I was on vacation or something, so she’d had a chance to meet everyone else but me by then … and I was the one who had the reputation of being a little, uhm, demanding when it came to my pictures.

(Perhaps my own demandingness in certain areas is one reason that I tend to adore that quality in others. Particularly women. Go figure.)

We were instant friends, though.

“You taught me everything I know about developing film,” she told me the other day, and I had to smile because I didn’t remember teaching her anything, other than following the time chart when it came to using different developers (Acufine for the film I pushed to 1600, D-76 for the 400).

Long before Jenn came to work at the news office, way before we even had a photo assistant, I spent hours in that darkroom. Back then, our paper came out late afternoons, Monday through Friday, and midday on Saturday; I’d come in after the football and basketball games on Friday nights and stay until about 2 a.m., developing film and printing pictures, just so I’d have everything ready for when I came in four hours later to put together Saturday’s sports pages.

I was a lot younger then.

I kept finding things I wanted Jenn to take with her, including some negatives of pictures she and Brett and I had shot of me and her and Brett, a few years ago, on some random Friday night.

Looking at Negatives