My name is W. Parham Bridges, III. I am 55 years old, live in south Mississippi and am just getting back into the hobby after a hiatus of about 25 years (boy, have things changed!). I started in about 1971. I did my darkroom work in an interior bathroom, cramped, but dark. It wasn't long before the P.D. that I was a part of found out that I could "take pictures, and develope them, too!" I was sort of worked into an apprentice crime scene photographer... during my off-duty hours. No extra pay, just extra work. When I first started, we did everything in B&W. Crime scene photos in color were considered to be too inflammatory for a jury to see. Everything was shot on Tri X pan. The ID officer (an older Capt. who was not going to change formats for anyone) did everything in 120, and I introduced our department to 35mm. I moved all of my darkroom gear to the P.D.'s darkroom so that I could process my film in reasonable comfort. A few years later we started using color film on a trial basis, and found that we could get them introduced into evidence so B&W was eventually phased out for crimescene work. The darkroom was kept operational because the banks used 35mm film (Tri X pan) in 100' magazines for their surveillance cameras. If a bank was robbed I went to the bank, took custody of the film and took it back to the PD where I had a tank that would develope the entire 100' in one shot. I would print the best frame wet to get 15 or 20 pics of the perpetrator out on the street quickly and then re-wash the film and string it back and forth across the darkroom to dry it. Big fun! By the time that I retired (about 14 years ago) as OIC of the Detective Division; all photos were developed commercially, and the darkroom was used as a storage space. I no longer cared anything about photography, in fact would rather take a whipping than take a picture (I guess it was extreme burnout).
Anyway, enough of the ancient history. I am easing back in to the traditional method. I have an Olympus digital camera, and it is ok, but sort of leaves me cold. I also have a 4x5 Super Speed Graphic, a Hassy and a Minolta SLR film camera. I took a few pictures the other day and loved it. I don't have a darkroom yet, but that will come in time. For now, it is back to the bathroom!
Welcome to the forum. You'll find a lot of us here who are back in traditional photography after many years off. Also a fairly good number of Speed/Crown Graphic users.
A former police officer, huh. I'm sure a forum member named Aggie will be in touch with you soon.
And, as a fellow southerner, I'm glad to see someone who knows the proper spelling and usage of y'all.
Good luck and enjoy, OH...aaaa. please leave your badge at the door.
Welcome and enjoy the forum.
Since I am the Aggie mentioned above, welcome. My best friend lives in Natchez.