Monday, 16 May 2011

Street Photography - Vivian Maier

Heidi of 101 Cookbooks posted a Favourites List for May...

photo courtesy of the Maloof Collection and taken from Chicagomag.com's article
While perusing one of the many links I came across the story of Vivan Maier... if you have any interest in photography, or just like story about interesting people.. then go take a gander...

I have always loved B&W photography and I wish I had the resources to have my own darkroom.. there is something about taking photos on film, and going through the entire process from beginning to end of developing, enlarging and printing photos that brings such a sense of accomplishment..  Darkrooms (to me) are always places of quiet and (for the most part) calm, the dull glow of the burnt orange and red bulbs, the slightly metallic smell of processing chemicals, the coolness of the air prickling your skin as there is invariably a fan to circulate the slightly stale air..

They are nearly always places of quiet.. of hushed voices, whispered plans.. as if speaking aloud would shatter the slow, somewhat therapeutic process in some way... there may be a radio on, usually on a low volume, for a little bit of background noise...

There is something about having total control over how your photos turn out which is exhilarating at times and frustrating at others... it's a process that cannot be rushed... each step has its own allotted time and you just have to wait patiently until the time is up before moving on to the next step... maybe this repetitiveness and rhythmic process is what I find so settling... The gentle swish of the chemicals over the paper as you slowly watch your picture emerge... there is something magical about that moment...

A metaphor for life maybe? Things often need to take their course and there is no sense in trying to hurry or slow the process for if you just go along for the ride, sometimes the outcome is far better than you could at first have anticipated... though in this sense, if something is not quite right, you have the ability to go back and tweak it...

Playing around with my Diana Mini has got me excited about working with film again... the wait to see how your photos turn out... at first the lack of instant gratification of looking at your photo on a screen is a little off putting.. but there is something about having to wait until you finish a roll of film, and taking it to get processed before the anticipation of picking them up again, days later....  that is... gratifying in an almost juvenile manner... the way you used to wait patiently for things to happen... like a much awaited trip to the zoo or some other favourite destination... or finally saving up enough pocket money for that special item you've been waiting to buy... with our ability to drive/take public transport/pay for things on credit.. I think we've lost some of that "sense of anticipation" we have as children...

xx Caz
Yes, we wait to go on holidays and we get excited and we count down the days.. but, somehow.. it's just not quite the same, is it??

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