Monday, August 01, 2011

My Favorite Photo

Post-Script: Sometimes one half-sheet of typing is insufficient to say all that I want to say, in the manner that I'm used to, without leaving the piece with a sense of being unfinished.

I have almost 100 GB of digital photos to choose from in my personal archive; almost all of them are, by every measurable standard, much, much better on technical and aesthetic merits, than this one. Any yet, this image satisfies me more.

Perhaps it's the memory of having crafted the camera, using a novel method of using paper negatives as an over-sized version of a roll-film camera, then having gone out into public, found this composition and then processed and printed it, again by hand, in my darkroom. Perhaps it's the square format, of which I've long favored, and the way that the barrel and store front's edge divides the square so satisfyingly. Perhaps it's the wonderful gloss and texture of the fiber print's surface finish (which is difficult to appreciate in a mere scan). Perhaps it's the novel display, using an empty CD jewel case as a container.

I know; it's irrational. But it's also something that continues to motivate my continued pursuit of pinhole photography, in this day and age a mere anachronism; something that continues to take up room in the corner of my already tiny and over-crowded garage, this humble darkroom.

I'm years behind, in terms of contact printing all of the paper negatives I've created over the years, although most of them have been scanned and posted online. That, too, is irrational.

Wasted opportunity, wasted resources, yet hanging onto a dream because of a darkly mysterious paper print in a plastic jewel case, sitting on the shelf in my office. That's the way creativity is, like a single life-line, hanging on for dear life, no safety net, a mere dream-quest perhaps. That's my favorite photo.


Blogger Rob Bowker said...

Another 24 carat gold post. Thanks - a great reminder of why we do what we do without really knowing why. I think long reflection imbues a work with a patina of mystique, at least for me. I got chillingly similar feelings when I unearthed some negs from the 80s here. But I have to leave the talking to the picture - the words don't come to me like they do to you.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Cameron said...

I found your blog via sommeregger's, and am fascinated by your photographs. Your "eye" is unique. Looking at pictures is a window into one's personality, and yours is very interesting. I'll be back!

11:05 AM  
Blogger Rob Bowker said...

Hi Joe, me again. I won't be blogging for a week or so and thought it would be a good idea to put a guest blog plan into action. I need your e-mail address to add you and a few others as an author to my blog. If you are still up for it, you could let me know your e-mail address in a comment or just e-mail me: bowkerrob [at]

6:55 PM  

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