When Does a Hobby Become More Than a Hobby?

I am fairly certain that I’m going to buy a (used) enlarger plus a whole host of other things to complete my home darkroom. I found a really good deal on all of this stuff on craigslist, of course.

Part of me thinks this is crazy, as I know for a fact that I’m moving to San Francisco (and a much smaller apartment) in about 7 months. But then there’s that other part of me that’s itching to get back to shooting film and making black and white prints again. Maybe that part’s crazy too, but scanning in negs and touching them up in Photoshop just isn’t doing it for me. Plus, I like the solitude and quiet of working in a darkroom.

UCSD’s craft center has a huge darkroom, and it’s only $82/quarter to become a member. However, I already spend enough time on campus, and I’m at the point in my grad school career where I feel like every moment spent on campus should be spent in lab. Plus, the deal I’m getting on the supplies to complete my darkroom is only slightly more than the cost of a darkroom membership for two quarters.

I still want to learn how to process color film, but that’s going to have to wait for awhile. I might start shooting some slide film, although that’s something I’ve (surprisingly) never done before. Also, I think I might buy a Holga to mess around with. I’ve never shot on medium format film before, so it’ll be fun. I might also buy some infrared film to play around with, although I’ll have to think about that a little bit. I found this amazing Flickr set of infrared film shot on a Holga, and it’s nothing short of inspirational.

Alright, time to turn off the photography geekiness and turn on the science geekiness. This grant isn’t going to write itself…