Bonds form while everybody huddles around the developer, patiently watching, waiting, for their images to emerge from a blank piece of paper. The individuals whom I talk about come from varying backgrounds, ranging from the untiring Architecture majors to the erudite Biology majors, from as far away as Hong Kong to as close as Sacramento. No matter our differences we are all drawn to the dark niche in the basement of Wurster Hall to cultivate our communal interest in photography. We work endlessly in the red glow of the safelights, find comfort in the familiar pungent smell of the chemicals and are driven by the prominence of the Architecture Department above us. It is an escape from the mundane repertoire of quotidian classes and also a place to discover ourselves and tell our story.
Through a merging of traditional black and white photography and digital format, Janet and I set out in Lab Hours to capture the intimate moments we all are sharing in the final days of the CED photo lab. This book follows the photographic procedures from film development to print processing. By combining a digital document of the prosaic nature of the darkroom with the stark beauty of black and white still lives, we have come up with a story utilizing the strengths of both mediums. I have been pursuing this project in hope that even though this creative communal space will no longer be here, we will not forget our unique experiences during the many hours spent in the photo lab.
Sean Gin 2009