Old and worn out

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by bobmolson, May 26, 2014.

  1. bobmolson

    bobmolson Subscriber

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    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]Old and worn out. I have had cameras and other equipment reach the point where they were no longer useful and had to be tossed. Unfortunately I have reached that point at 85 too. But I am not ready to throw in the towel. Arthritis in both shoulders makes focusing an enlarger painful and some of the action in the sink of a darkroom strain muscles too. I thought about switching to digital to print. But even using Photo shop elements and my Epson scanner the results are far from what I expect in a print. My working background was in graphic arts and high end drum scanners, so the technology was not daunting, just the cost! The simple act of burning in corners on digital is a major project. Surely I am not the only senior photographer who has faced this problem of trying to continue working in a darkroom. How have any others dealt with this problem?[/FONT]
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    It may be time for a good apprentice!
     
  3. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Maybe you can take a newby under your wings and teach him proper darkroom skills from you experience!!
    Let him do all the handy work, while you guide his hands with your eyes and knowledge.
     
  4. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Quit aging. Jack Benny was 39 when he died and had entertained many people for 80 years.
     
  5. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    I guess you could say I am a young whippersnapper compared to you -- but not by all that much. At a certain point you have to decide to slow down a little bit. I have been taking photos seriously for about 60 years and of course most of that was on film. Digital just leaves me cold. Oh, I use it for a quick photo to throw up on the Internet but its like fast junk food compared to a five course meal at a great restaurant. I suggest you don't stop darkroom work just be more picky about how much you want to do. I just bought a "new" Rolleiflex (60 years old) and it is a beauty and has me all jazzed up about making negatives. As far as health, two years ago I was a wreck. Now I am much better. There's a lot of life left in old bones. Good luck.
     
  6. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    All you need is a new lady.
     
  7. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Talk to Ralph, he's doing the digital thing now.
     
  8. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Beseler and LPL both make focus extenders ( others may too). Much easier to use than extending your arms.
    If possible, you can lower your sink, and use a rolling stool to move from tray to tray. Something soft, like pipe insulation, on the edge of the sink will help with arm strain.
    Good luck, whatever you choose.
     
  9. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    i still intend to go to the local university, which still teaches photography in a darkroom, and help out students. It's a great way to pass on skills and get to use a first class darkroom with easier=to-access equipment. You might check it out.
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    There are enlargers with motor focusing.
     
  11. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    BobMolson: There are things you can do to mitigate those realities. Did you think of putting a folded towel under your elbow as you focus your enlarger? How about making accommodations for that sink height? I have NO running water in my 'darkroom' (the corner of my tiny efficiency) and I do just fine. Buckets provide my drain. My sole window is blocked out with heavy duty aluminum foil and I can open it in an instant (to feed those damn chickadees that I trained to roost on the fire escape; they even bring their kids with the fluttering wings). I use a magnifying glass for easy, precise focusing. There are ways around your 'dilemma' (but not around those persistent chickadees).

    And Tom1956: when I was about ten I saw Jack Benny on TV and asked my mother if he really was 39. She grinned and said no. (I was too naive to disbelieve.)

    Bob, focus upon something else before you focus that negative: Focus upon precisely WHAT is specifically troubling you and think about how to solve that by being creative. You still have your eyes: that is the most important thing. And you still have your desire: that is the second most important thing. - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2014
  12. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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    The rolling stool with a swivel seat is a good suggestion, it can relieve the legs even for a few moments whilst processing. Can the bench height be altered to something more comfortable? I think that paterson made a tall focus finder so there is less necessity to bend down so far to focus and I believe that enlargers such as De Vere had/have front control wheels just under and in front of the baseboard to control the height and focus - no need to raise the arms high to focus etc. Would a vertical print processor be easier to use than trays spread out? Just a few random thoughts, but one nice wet print must be better that a hundred digis!