Last month I visited ClickASnap brand new free to use darkroom with my best friend Carly who I went to college with. We met during our A Level photography course, taking and developing our own films which is where my love for photography was born.
Over the past 15 years photography has changed dramatically but I have so missed that sheer feeling of joy when you make and develop your own prints. The smell is something that you will never forget!
When I saw that a community darkroom was opening in Wimborne I had to go visit. It was everything I had thought it would be and more, from picking up the Hasselblad camera (that I used to own) and clicking my first shot outside. It all came flooding back and I fell in love with film all over again.
We were welcomed into the darkroom by Tom and his team who let us choose from the large range of cameras that they have available. I saw the Hasselblad which was the same model as I used to own back in my university days and had to have a play. We were given a roll of black and white film and off we went for a photo walk around Wimborne Minster.
When we came back to the darkroom we developed the film by hand threading it onto the spool and putting the tank into the developing machine which we added the chemicals too.
After the negatives had developed , they were dried and Tom scanned them in for us to come back at a later date and make some prints.
My second darkroom visit
I went back to the darkroom with my 13 year old son soon as he really wanted to have a go. He has always had a keen interest in photography since I gave him my old DSLR a few years ago.
He chose a camera that was similar to the digital one that he uses , rather than the fully manual Hasselblad to start off with. He enjoyed walking all around Wimborne Minster and through the town to take his 36 shots, not knowing what any of them would come out like.
Most children these days have never experienced this and we feel very lucky that he has been given the opportunity to do this.
Then he came into the darkroom with me, where Tom gave us a brief reminder of how it works (it has been a VERY long time since I was in one!) I soon remembered everything though and then did it all my own way. My son made some prints himself too, using the negatives from the Hasselblad that I shot on my previous visit.
We both loved it so much. Being reminded of why I got into photography in the first place is absolutely priceless. You cant put a price on this, and even if you could it was FREE!
My son has created a You Tube video of the visit:
We would like to thank Tom and the ClickASnap team so much for this amazing opportunity and we can't wait for our next visit soon. My son is very excited to be able to return and develop his film and make some of his very own prints.