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Films: before the time of farewell
Author:Guo Yutong  Date:2017-06-28  Clicks:

There is a well-kept secret in the old dormitory building of Faculty of Engineering in Wuhan University. In this isolated heaven, windows are covered by black corduroy curtains, and the gray tapes block every door crack. This is a dark corner discarded by brightness and time. Rolling, developing, stopping and fixating... The old radio playing husky songs, there are always figures working with long films in darkness, and bringing the antiques back to life.

This is a dark room with history of more than twenty years.

This is a paradise belonging to a group of “ defender” fascinated in film photography.

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In the modern period, almost everything is involved in the digital revolution. The voice that “films are dying” is lingering in our ears. It seems that films have been disappearing and are gradually buried in the ash of history.

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 Indeed, digital photography has dwarfed the traditional film photography in many aspects. However, these comparative shortcomings are not the reasons for which films should vanish. Perhaps there is a time when the films would be eliminated, but the time for farewell has not arrived yet.

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This is a little dark room equipped with valuable precise appliances under a simple and shabby cove. Free training has been provided to films fans for years, and will still be given in the future. It is not for benefits nor fame, but for devotion in film photography.

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Although for many people, it is still hard to understand why film photography lovers put the fast and convenient digital photography aside, and insist on the complicated manipulation in dark rooms. But we have to admit that films carry by no means mere the feelings of nostalgia.

Unlike digital shooting that photos could be seen, chosen or deleted almost immediately, it takes time for film photographers to consider lights and shadows, observe the objects, click the shutter, and expose the plate, until the films are developed. Even the photographers themselves could hardly predict the outcomes besides experiences. Before the photos come to light, the time for waiting is worth rethinking and memorizing.

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Only this kind of long and irreversible process can shelter r artists’ souls and emotions.

In their eyes, film photography is not only an old-fashion hobby, but a much more important being to inspire thoughts and feeling. Perhaps this is where the magic of films lies.

 

 

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The fitment of No. 6 Building in Faculty of Engineering is approaching. This article is to memorize the unpredictable fate of dark film developing workshop.

 

Rewritten by Zhang Qiyue, edited by Shen Yuxi, Hu Sijia.

 

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