100 Days, Day 018

I'm sure I'll manage...

Reading a post from Gabz reminded me of one thing that happened to me a while back. A long while back.

At that time I was just getting started at my dream job, the newspaper where I would stay for 20 years.

Assignments abroad were distributed according to the next in line, regardless of what the actual assignment was. Everyone got a chance to do every kind of assignment that way, it's a practice that we kept up to today.

My time came, and I was assigned to a story that would become one of the most important I would cover on the 20 years I spent there.

This was way before digital came along, we were shooting film. It was a pain, enough for another story, but the thing here is I had only developed B&W up until then, color was always processed in a lab, by someone else.

My editor at the time started briefing me on the assignment, something so over my head by then, like nothing I had ever done. I would obviously be required to develop the film myself, there was only one lab on the island, on the other side of the world, and you could not trust they would do a good job.

He asked me if I felt confident I could pull the assignment off, if I would be able to handle this, and that, small details, big issues, and never once crossed his mind to ask I had ever done the processing bit in color. I did not say a word.

Went home, packed my bags, many of them, and the only thing I kept thinking about was the developing of the film. Not the trip across the world with many many kilos of gear, not the hotels I would have to find on my own because no travel agency worked with that particular country, the airplane tickets I would have to get once there.

“I hope the processing kits come with a damn manual!”

They did. And I did just fine. Turns out it was not that different.

And we both laughed a lot when I came back after a month and told him about the first time I developed color film on my own.


This is day 018 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.