Greetings from way out in Newfoundland!
I was just this evening steered toward your Toronto group, (though was already an APUG subscriber) by someone over at thephotoforum who thought perhaps some of you might be able to help me out. And after browsing through these threads it almost makes me wish that I still lived in your area! (born and raised in Oshawa, worked in Toronto) I sure do miss being surrounded by people who share my passion for photography; here on my isolated little island in the North Atlantic (pop 2,400) there is virtually no one who is interested in photography, other than myself. Anyhow, without further ado, I will simply paste my original post that I wrote on thephotoforum to here, (I also tried posting at RFF) and of course am looking forward to any and all info/tips/suggestions you can provide. Here goes:
Entitled: Perhaps an odd request?
For the past couple of months I have been toying with an idea, and it may come across as a strange one, I don't know, but I would appreciate any and all input you might have. But first, let me explain for those of you who don't already know me, nor my circumstances.
I am for the most part bedridden, due to suffering a serious and unfortunately permanent spinal injury after a bad fall back in 2004. I have perhaps two or three days each month when I am well enough to get up and about, and with some luck, outside with my cameras to photograph this windswept little island in the North Atlantic which I am fortunate enough to call home. (a one hour ferry ride off the northeast coast of Newfoundland)
As I get so very few "good" days (health-wise) I have, at least for the foreseeable future, given up on my plan to get back into developing my own film; preferring to spend these precious "good" days out photographing, if at all possible. I want to start shooting more b/w film and less digital. The plan is to ship the film out to some urban centre for developing, (there are no labs within hundreds of kms of my little Gilligan's Island!) have the negatives scanned at a high enough res for printing at least 8X12's, and then get everything shipped back to me, so that I can then send some of my favorite images back out again for printing. (Yes, I know it would help if I had a film scanner, heck even a good flatbed scanner... and a printer... but this is just not in the cards, on my fixed disability pension) The trouble I am finding, however, is that it appears to be a futile effort to locate a quality film lab that can develop my film AND do quality hi-res, (affordable) scans, meaning much back and forth postage between at least two different labs. (then back out for printing) So a lot of wasted time and expense!
This got me to thinking. What if I was fortunate enough to hook up with a fellow forum member, (who just so happens to do their own film developing AND owns a nice scanner!) to whom I would of course be happy to pay a fair price for their time/materials, etc., who just might be interested in earning a bit of extra cash, to develop perhaps an extra roll or two per month, and scan the negatives at a decent resolution? This way, I could simply mail them my film, and they would mail the scans back to me, or upload them, or whatever. Then all I would have to do is send any favorites off to Kodak Gallery... oops, now Shutterfly, for printing.
OK, so tell me straight up; is this a dumb idea, and perhaps I never should have even mentioned it, or is there a chance someone on here with a proper set-up might want to make an extra few bucks by taking me up on my silly idea? Or maybe you could steer me to someone you think might be interested? As I stated at the beginning, I would love to hear everyone's opinions, and possibly other (better?) solutions to my problem.
Naturally, in a perfect world I would much prefer to set up a complete darkroom again, and do it all myself, and in fact up until these past couple of months I was indeed planning on at least doing my own developing, if nothing else. But the fact is that I am almost always flat on my back in bed, often for a week or more at a stretch, and it would just be too difficult for me to take this on myself. When I have one of my blessed "good" days, I would admittedly prefer to spend it out in the fresh air taking some pictures, rather than developing film.
Fogo Island, Newfoundland
So, there you have it, in a nutshell. Not sure when or if I will be back to Toronto, but if any of you ever get out my way be sure to look me up. Our door is always open and the coffee pot is always on! If you have not ever visited Newfoundland, in particular Fogo Island, I can assure you that it is indeed a photographer's paradise! Looking forward to hearing from you.
(PS: dxqcanada, nice to see you over here too. I am about to contact "35 Camera", as per your suggestion, thanks!)