darkroom girl

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tonight is my last shift at Newspace.

It’s not really a big thing, in theory. But tonight I was mixing a hypoclear wash for someone, and it struck me that this is a part of my identity. Not Newspace—but analog photography. That old friend, the darkroom. It’s like this thread that strings through everything and connects me back to my fourteen year old self. And even though I haven’t been regularly using one since I was in school (minus my yearly roll of black and white 220) I’ve always been around one.

I had this moment tonight where I thought about that—how I’m the girl who learned darkroom photography and knows how to mix the chemicals and has an agitation method and can develop a roll of film without reading the instructions. I’m no darkroom expert. I mean, you guys, I never even do anything fancy. No dodging. No burning. No multiple filter printing. And I fucking hate the zone system. But I know how to change an enlarger lens. I can tell when water is 68° by feel. I can navigate the darkroom before the safe light kicks on. I was trained to do a hypo bath and an hour long wash. And I’ll never fall out of love with that smooth, velvet black.

Now, I will be a girl who once used a darkroom. Maybe I’ll still come by to develop that roll of 220. I’ll reminisce about the smell of fixer on my hands. I’ll fall into that same agitation method.

It doesn’t really matter that I won’t be pouring chemistry back into those brown bottles once a week. It doesn’t, but it does. It’s like cutting that last tiny hair of a thread that connects me to that girl. And maybe she was a ghost anyways, just a pale shadow of someone I used to be. Now she’ll just vanish entirely and I’ll go on. Still an analog photographer. Just not one who uses a darkroom.

In tribute, here are some images from that most recent annual roll of 220.

recording time

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sometimes I look down at my watch and it seems like it takes so long for the second hand to tick that I worry my watch is broken. It's like a tiny eternity happens in that second, but then, it actually is just a second, so actually nothing happens.

So then I just go about my day and my watch ticks along, one second at a time, and time doesn't stop, and never will, for anyone, anywhere.

(But oh I wish it would. I wish I could pluck that second hand from my watch face and freeze it and hold onto it like an insect wing until I was ready to start the counting process again.

I would put it in a teeny bottle and it would rattle around inside, and it would live on my shelf and no one would bother it, no one would see it, they would all be frozen and I would be the only person walking in a sea of ghosts.

When I put the second hand back my watch would be so happy, because watches are made for counting time. They don't know anything else and they feel quite useless without that laborious task of recording when each second has passed, each minute, each hour.)

rain, and rain, and rain

Friday, September 25, 2015

You guys, yesterday I drove to work with my air conditioner blaring and my sunglasses on. I thought leggings under my skirt might have been a bad idea. This morning I woke up to a cloudy sky and as I was getting ready to leave the house it started raining. I put on a sweater. And a scarf. And a jacket.

As sad as I am to lose the evening light, this rain and this weather feels so wonderful. It's been a crazy summer and I'm ready to huddle inside and drink apple cider, and tea, and coffee, and bake things again. And soup! Soup! I'm ready for the introspection the fall months bring, and for Steele's birthday, and Thanksgiving, and our anniversary, and Christmas most of all. There's lots to look forward to in the coming months.

So anyways, the above two images were shot with the good old Mamiya. Which I keep saying I might sell, but then I get negatives back like this and I can't imagine giving it up. Look at them! they're amazing. So velvety. These were shot a million years ago. Or, last January. I seem to be getting into this habit of shooting one roll of 220 for an entire season and then time traveling once I finally develop it.

Film is still just pure magic. As is this rain.

every single beautiful thing

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I never got around to sharing the images from my birthday weekend. Because I'm a completely ridiculous person, I made myself a birthday to-do list. The last item was "photograph every single beautiful thing" which, of course, is an impossible task. But here is my attempt.

to be continued

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I didn't go to the gym today. I woke up, and made a list of things to do. Going to the gym was on there. And then it was 4 o'clock and I had to decide if I was going to do it. I had also written post a blog on there. And I hadn't done that either.

You guys, on paper my life is going pretty great right now. But I'm still really struggling with being the person I want to be. There are so many good moments, but there are also a lot of things I want to do and want to be better at that I'm completely failing at. One of which is blogging. One of which is going to the gym.

It all comes down to me. I'm the only one who can do these things. I'm the only one who can will myself off the couch, into the car, to go to the gym. I'm the only one who can put my fingers to the keyboard and start writing. I'm the only one who can pick up the camera, who can open a new book, who can enter things into my budget. I know all of this and yet sometimes it's like my body doesn't want to listen to my mind. My body says "No. You will do nothing." But of course, that's not entirely healthy all the time. I do want to make these things priorities.

So I didn't go to the gym today. I also didn't go to the pet store. But I am sitting here, writing this, I am trying. I am trying to face myself most of all.

Here we are. September 15, 2015.