About my photography background:
I started taking pictures in my early teens. When I got my first income tax return about the age of 18, I bought my first 35mm SLR camera. I still have it today. I learned how to take better photographs over the years. All the photos "Photos I Took" are by me over the years. Most of the people I photographed was co-workers of mine.
My first photo lab job was at Newell Color Lab in Los Angeles, Calif. I worked there for about 4 years, Newell Color Lab was where NASA, Lucas Films (Star Wars), etc, has their work process. Then I worked at Photocenter in Los Angeles, Calif. They did work for Playboy, Advertising Clients, etc. Then I worked for West Photo Lab in Seattle, Washington. After I heard about this company going out of business, I left there and went to work for First Class Photo in Bellevue, Washington. This is a family owned and operated business. I left there when I found out that they was going out of business and went to work for Ultraprint Photo Lab in Tukwila, Washington. After a few years I went back to college and received a Bachelor of Arts in Video Communications. After I graduated, my first and last TV job was at KVAL Ch 13, in Eugene, Oregon.
What I did and learned at the Photo labs:
I ran the full service lab in back of the photo lab. Used their Noritsu automated enlarger (QSP-311). Would make enlargements from 5" X 7" to 11" X 14". Ran their E-6 processor. Would run a control strip for the enlarger and the E-6 processor. Made corrections to the chemistry of the enlarger and E-6 processor. The corrections were made by adding water, chemistry or sodium hydroxide to the chemistry. I would load 120 or 135mm slide film. Push or pull the film from 1 to 3 f/stops manually. I would also color correct 135mm slide duplicates, 135mm internegatives, made 135mm color copy negatives, and spotted prints as needed.
What I did and learned at KVAL Ch 13:
I was a Video Editor. I edit video from beta and DVCAM tapes to scripts for the live News broadcast. I have knowledge of ENPS, CBS NewsPathNow server, and CNN PathFire server. I Uplinked stories and packages daily to CBS. I started training on new DVCAM cameras. I was getting training and assisting in live truck operations (Microwave, Satellite). Satellite Equipment I was using: Advent Exciter AVM 2951, Tiernan TDR 777 IRD, Drake ESR 1252 Earth Station Receiver.
My photography website: www.mestudiosphotography.com
Job Description of a Photo Lab Technician
Photography laboratory technicians (or photo lab technicians) ensure that photographic negatives submitted to their lab are developed and processed correctly. Recently, this work has also included the development of digital film into hard copies of photographs, as well as the development of photo rolls. Technicians may also be responsible for enlarging, refocusing or retouching photographs to make specific parts of the image clearer or more visible.
Although photo lab technicians can work in unaffiliated photography laboratories, they may also seek employment with specific laboratories attached to forensic departments, insurance companies or governmental agencies. Often photo lab technicians attached to specific agencies are also required to work as photographers. As such, technicians may need to produce and identify orders according to agency specifications.
Job Duties of a Photo Lab Technician
Photo lab technicians are required to know how to produce copies of negatives, whether digital or print. For film, this involves understanding how to prepare photographic chemical solutions. Currently, computers are also utilized to assist in this work, and it is the duty of photo lab technicians to maintain the computers and the programs necessary. In addition, photo lab technicians must be able to examine prints for defects and trim photographs as needed.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the skills needed to perform the duties of photo lab technicians can be learned on the job, although classes on photography and photo development may be an asset. For most jobs, no additional education is necessary. Nevertheless, training will teach prospective photo lab technicians how to use and maintain computer equipment, mix chemical baths necessary for photo development and determine the best possible finish, coloring and shading. These programs may also instruct photo lab technicians on techniques to enhance the photographer's work and avoid defects.