Hello from the DC suburbs! Iíve been shooting film, on and off, since I was a kidÖI remember my first Kodak 110 in elementary school, followed up with several point-and-shoot 35mms. I started printing in 1994 when I took my first darkroom class as part of my journalism degree. (I think we were the last class with a darkroom requirement! I also learned how to splice reel-to-reel tapeÖ) I borrowed a Pentax K-1000 for the class, and bought my own a few months later.

After graduation I put it down for a few years, then picked it back up again by taking a Smithsonian Associates course and then some community classes through the county (sadly, none remain). Once the community classes dried up, I decided to try setting up my own darkroomÖI managed to buy an almost complete setup via Craigslist from a pro who was going digital. Iíve got a Beseler 23II-XL Dichro, although Iíve never done any color printing. In fact, it was trouble removing the lensboard from the enlarger that led me to APUG. I've already learned a lot about the mechanics, but I know there's a lot more I need to know.

A few years ago, I started getting into toy cameras and Iíve found theyíre a good way to have fun without psyching myself out about everything being ďperfect.Ē Last spring, I took a course on alternative printing. We mainly did cyanotypes and Van Dyke browns, but I also got to play with a pinhole camera for the first time and Iím thinking thatís the next thing Iím going to try to work on at home.

Iíve been through a few phases where Iíve just let things sit for a few years, but Iím back into shooting and printing again (I also scan my own negatives to share online, but rarely bother with digital prints) and Iím trying to keep up my momentum. I take a lot of travel and architectural photos, with cemetery monuments being a favorite subject.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and thanks for everything Iíve already learned from the community. I have a feeling Iím mostly going to be asking questions, but maybe at some point Iíll be able to answer some too.

Flickr link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joan_arkham/