After I had prepared this picture it’s appearance stirred some memories.
Working in the dark room, I can remember that tinge of excitement as the door is closed. There’s the aroma of chemicals as the trays are prepared and then the wait while your eyes get used to the safelight. The enlarger is set up with the first negative strip and the image is sized and focussed and then stopped down. The test strip is cut and masked and then exposed in strips of light. The waiting for the image to appear in the tray as you rock the chemicals back and forth. The excitement grows as you determine what the correct exposure time should be from the test strip and then, at last you take a full sheet out of its box and set it up on the easel, doing a final focus check. The total wonder as you finally see the whole image gradually appear in the tray, being careful to allow the full exposure time as it always looks darker under the safelight. The paper is washed and placed into the fix tray. Only after it’s fully fixed can you then put on the overhead light, making sure that the precious box of photo paper is fully wrapped and placed in its box beforehand. There’s your photo. It probably needs some burning in or dodging out before you’re totally happy with the final image, so the process is repeated until you’re fully satisfied with the result.
When it’s completed there’s a huge sense of achievement. I miss all that.
It’s strange but this image is exactly the type of photo that I was taking in the early 60s on film. The feel of it speaks of isolation and loneliness. It’s a somewhat melancholy image. That’s what I love about black and white photography.
This picture is a re-edit of an image that I first posted nearly three years ago.
The previous edit can be seen here: https://smithiesshutter.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/agasthya-tank/
The original photo was taken in 2009 and shows the morning washing being done on the edge of the Agasthya tank, and the earlier version shows the striking green of this much used water resource.
Trees have an infinite range of forms and they’re what makes this planet such a gloriously humbling experience to live on. I don’t comprehend why anyone would want to go and live on Mars. Think of what an attractive proposition Mars would be if it had trees. Just thank your lucky stars that there are no Martians looking back at the Earth and having the urge to come and live here because we have trees, and they don’t.
There you go. Thought for the day. Let’s send someone to Mars with some saplings.
A photo taken while touring the Mysore region of India in 2009, and now given a graphic treatment that emphasises the tactile nature of forms and surfaces, environment, culture and architecture. This particular approach, which presents an impersonal and remote record, reminds me of those early European photographers who went out to record new cultures that would be catalogued, assessed and evaluated, in order to create a typology.
This approach is quite at odds with my normal modus operandi which is to use the camera as a bridge between myself and this world and as a way to approach people and to know them on a human level. Inevitably one seeks out those aspects that are visually appealing, but also those details that highlight where this world differs from my own experience of life and culture.
Grey, misty winter days are just wonderful for photography, and walking through open woodland like this is a joy as ghostly trees appear out of the gloom and the landscape becomes layered in wonderful and subtle graduations of tone.
A colour picture after a series of monochrome images, and we’re back at that wonderful Hampi World Heritage site in central Karnataka near Hospet which is just over 200 miles more or less due east from Vasco da Gama in Goa on the West coast of India.
I really do hope that these villagers are still living amongst the ruins of Hampi Bazaar. It’s a special place.
Just a tree, on a foggy day.
I have no ruminations on such a tree. A tree, it’s foggy and it’s a cold February day.