Back in university, and even though I was a graphic design student, photography was a mandatory class. I was about 18, 19 years old and it was the first time I had the chance of using an enlarger.
Over the next 5 or 6 years, while still living with my parents I had a little Meopta and everytime the bathroom was free there I went carrying all the stuff inside, working on my knees beside the bathtub.
Of course I was interrupted a zillion times:
– “Can I use the bathroom??”. My mother, or father, or sister kept asking.
– “Yes, just let me store the paper away!!”.
Many times, they did what they had to do under a red light.
Eventually, when moving away from my parents house and living on my own, I left my enlarger behind and forgot all about it.
A couple of months ago, a friend was able to settle an agreement with Almada City Hall (Almada is the name of the city where I live), and we are now in charge of a great darkroom equiped with 4 enlargers and all the other stuff needed for a printing session.
Little by little we are setting up a cool Photography Group and we plan to take the idea to the schools in the area offering free little workshops for kids.
After so many years… being under that red light again was amazing, simply amazing. I will write some posts about my darkroom experiments in the future.