John Mumford
About This

I've been interested in photography for as long as I can remember, although until recently, I never really put much thought into it. I used to primarily take pictures whenever I felt the urge using my cell phone's camera (and of course I still do, in a pinch.) As time went on, I began to realize just how meaningful some of my old photos were to me. This summer in August 2012, I went to my first music festival in Montreal, and was intent on taking lots of pictures. I met a friend on my first day there, and saw that he was carrying a disposable camera with him. I hadn't used one myself in about 10 years, but thought about how much fun I had with them as a kid, and about my smartphone's aging, perpetually empty battery, and so the next day I bought a few disposable cameras from a nearby dollar store. The film inside was expired, and when I got home and got them developed, the results were really cool. I got a lot of facebook love when I tagged my friends, which was encouraging.

I decided I wanted to keep doing it, but didn't want to spend the money on more disposable cameras. That September, I dug around at home and found the reusable Crayola 35mm flash camera I used as a kid, and went to Henry's to try and find some cool types of film to experiment with. Sadly, in this digital post-Kodachrome era, ANY film is hard to come by, especially in Canada. I bought some run-of-the-mill colour film, and a couple rolls of the most exciting stuff they otherwise had, which was Ilford HP5+ (a very nice black & white film.) I used up the rolls and brought them to be developed, only to find out that the black & white film could not be processed there, and that it was unlikely that I would find anywhere in town that would develop it for me.

I had never given much thought to devleoping my own film before, but I asked my colleague at UW, multimedia specialist Joe Bevan, what to do with it. Joe told me that in fact it was possible to develop it myself using facilities on campus and that it wasn't too hard. Another colleague, Don Duff McCracken, ended up teaching me what to do in a darkroom, how to develop a roll, what to do with the negatives. They also lent me a Pentax K1000 to use in lieu of my Crayola, which led to me buying one of my own from eBay. Since then, I have been taking lots of photos and trying to be creative, and have learned a lot about photography. The black and white pictures are from rolls that I developed myself, while the colour ones were all done professionally. The above album contains pictures from several rolls, maybe not all of my best ones, but ones that I like.