A place where the magician and the alchemist worked their art in the dark, and became the photographer. This is where the mystery of light affecting silver in a controlled environment, was able to “capture” a moment in time in a two-dimensional format.
The tools of the trade were simple yet unforgiving of any small errors in technique. Film not .properly wound on the reels would not be correctly developed, Upon occasion, someone would pour their used fixer back into the developer supply which would ruin the developer, and subsequent rolls of film.
One had to work in the darkness, relying on practice and feel. It was a place where the senses came into play. The smell of the fixer, pungent, yet compelling, the sounds of running water in the wash tray, the treat for the eyes as the image emerged in the developer tray all combined to add to the overall feeling of wonderment and fulfillment.
Imagination often manifested itself in the physical form. First as light on an easel.
Then as a wet print – finally as a photograph.