I’ve recently been working to get together materials for an upcoming gallery show. Time is running out, and I haven’t got much I’d like to use yet. A lot of what I want to do revolves around experimenting in the darkroom and tinkering with the film itself. Mods, chemicals, filters. I recently shot 3 rolls with our model, and having spent all day for set-up, developing, etc, I was very unhappy with the results I got. I scanned about half of one roll and gave up out of being so frustrated, but I’m realizing it was the wrong thing to do.
One of the photos that I shot, after some dodging of the dirty projection screen she posed in front of.
I often tell P to keep looking at his photos when he hates them. And he always finds something he likes, or something he can tweak in the darkroom. I realized I should try a bit of my own medicine here, and I liked what I saw afterward.
I’ve improved greatly since I first started, and I’ve begun looking beyond just the photo that tells a story. I want the photograph to be what it is- a piece of paper, a visual composition, colors, grain, light, emulsion. These may not be what I want them to be-yet. But that doesn’t mean I should give up on them immediately. Da Vinci [whom I seem to compare everything to] wouldn’t put down a wrong pencil mark only to throw the entire sheet of paper away. So I’ll work at it until I have what I want.
Once I figure out what I want, that is.