The Sky’s The Limit

Cumbrian Mountain Skyline
Cumbrian Mountain Skyline

I thought you might like a picture of the skyline today. It seems like ages since we looked over this way and could see all the way to the mountains. They’ve been working undercover for the past couple of weeks.

Did you ever develop your own pictures, in the old days I mean, before everything went digital? Do you remember that it was because you had to wait up to three weeks before your negatives and their positive results popped through the letter box, that you decided to have a go at doing it yourself? I doubt if they’d let you buy the chemicals these days, I’m sure they must have been poisonous to everything.

Then there was the luxury of a red LED stopwatch. All assembled in a cardboard box, naturally. You see, the red colour of the LEDs (the only colour available at that time) didn’t fog the film. If you think about it, the camera very carefully and precisely exposed the film to daylight so the last thing you needed was a clumsy, bumbling human shining lights all over it.

The tricky part was the transfer of the film from the camera, to whatever vessel you intended to use to slosh the film and chemicals around in. This all had to be done in, as close to, pitch dark as possible, usually under a thick blanket, with only the flickering light of the LED display as it counted away the minutes and seconds until the chemicals and film had been together for their allotted span.

A bit like speed-dating, I suppose.

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