My Life At The Lab
6 May 2010
What's your profession? Please describe it.
I process 16mm black & white Motion Picture Film
Where do you do this?
I work for Ryerson University, Toronto, in the Image Arts Building. Our building is closed for renovation so I have been renting Lab space at Niagara Custom Lab
Do you enjoy what you do?
Yes, I do. Very few people even know what the job entails. Their eyes glaze over when you try to explain. It's technical, messy, smelly. loud, mechanical & involves tons of paperwork, but I enjoy what I do.
When you were young, what did you want to "be" when you grew up?
Do you feel stuck doing what you are doing?
No, just the opposite. I spent the last decade flailing around -- I felt I had lost sight of my job skills -- then my mentor retired & I got the job. Back in my comfort zone.
What are the most and least satisfying parts of your job?
I loathe mixing chemistry, especially 45 gallons at a time, but I love watching the negatives go by in the processor.
How do you combine photography with your job?
I take digital picture on my walk to & from work, and I take Fuji polaroids at special events. When I go away I often take a Lomo or other analog camera with me.
I like to photograph tabletop setups in my apartment.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Because this is a dying art I am delighted to pass along whatever I know to any interested student helpers. I usually have two for the school year & I let them try every aspect of Lab work.