Your last time in a darkroom.

I was driving over Dartmoor on Wednesday. This programme was on the radio. A fine example of serendipity. The artist featured in this broadcast is based on Dartmoor. I had never heard of Garry Fabian-Miller. Something I need to remedy, but for now his subject matter was what interested me.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000d70k

Garry Fabian- Miller creates images with a dark room but not cameras.

His days in the darkroom are numbered as the production of photographic developing chemistry is coming to an end.

He speaks movingly about leaving his darkroom.

Darkrooms are one of the casualties of the digital photography/imaging revolution.

I don’t remember the moment when I left a darkroom for the last time.

It’s madness that such a significant part of my professional life slipped away unnoticed and without a fitting farewell.

Medical darkrooms could be massive spaces serving many x-ray rooms with automatic processors or tiny cupboards with smelly tanks of developer and fixer for hand processing. Darkrooms have a strange life of 24 hours of darkness illuminated only with red lights. The similarity to nightclubs doesn’t stop there. Darkrooms are not unused to illicit liasons, or it has to be said, cockroaches. Either way it was always wise to clatter about a bit before entering a dark room, particularly at night or weekends. I rather wish I had taken the time to say goodbye.
Half an hours listening to the programme in the link is worthwhile even if darkroom nostalgia or art are not your thing. This is a gentle conversation about more than those two subjects.