Preview

Since the advent of digital photography, the whole rhythm of taking pictures has changed. You shoot, then tilt the camera down to look at what you have.

Sometimes you don’t even think. Shoot, tilt, look, delete, shoot, tilt, look, delete. Repeat until you get what you want.

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas

I miss the days when you had to wait. These were the days when every statement about a photograph was prefaced with, “If it comes out…”.

There was the excitement of picking up the thick paper envelope of prints at the photography store. Standing on the sidewalk outside, tearing open the packet, and going through the pictures. Usually, there would be one that you knew was the shot you really wanted and you would quickly shuffle until you came to that one. Then you would pause and stare. You would, “If it came out…”.

Or, even more exciting, was the sweet smell of bitter chemicals, the dim yellow/green safelight, and the ghostly image appearing out of nothing on the waving paper drifting in the developing bath. There was a sensual excitement of the whole ritual – from loading film on a reel in the pitch dark – working completely by feel. Then the mixing of chemicals followed by waving your hands in the rays of the enlarger, dodging and burning and trying to get everything just right. Finally the developing, the fixing, the washing and then drying. Only after all that could you turn on the light and see what you had… art, or crap. Or both. Or neither.

3 responses to “Preview

  1. I read an article the other day that stated that it is estimated that of all the photographs ever taken since the invention of photography, fifty percent of them were taken last year! Makes you think laddies and Gentlemen, it makes you think!

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