Looking forward; looking back; collecting images.
Things I am a sucker for: the smell of darkroom chemicals, black and white images, empty roads and gates in fields.
Living in a rental apartment with lots of windows, white walls I can’t paint, and limited space means that having a darkroom is out. This was a huge adjustment, as I grew up having a darkroom in the basement of my house. I got my first camera when I was three, and I started working unsupervised in the darkroom when I was 10 or 11. I grew up on the fumes, and I associate the smell with my best memories of childhood.
As for black and white, in the world of digital photography, we get so obsessed with brighter, more vivid colors that we forget photography is, at the core, about light and dark. Color is a fairly recent development.
Great color can save an otherwise boring image. An image can be all about great color. There is nothing wrong with color. I use it; I love it. My true love, however, is black and white: I love the way the shadows and the light create shape and depth; I love the moods that can be evoked with a simple exposure shift; I love how the grain becomes a vital part of the scene…I could go on and on…
As for empty roads and gates in fields? I have no idea where that comes from. Is it the feeling of being alone in the world? Is it the idea of looking down the road less traveled? Is it simple curiosity?
I collect empty roads and gates in fields the way some people collect coins. Why do people collect anything?
Is taking pictures any different than collecting figurines or stamps?
Taken with a Fuji IS-1, using a 093 opaque filter. What this means: This image is pretty much pure infrared. All light below 800nm is blocked, and >88% of light above 900nm is passed through (I used a 093 IR filter, aka an 87C). The human eye can see ~390-750nm, so this filter effectively blocks the entire visible spectrum.
Why this camera is special: most digital cameras have hot mirror filters protecting the CCD. The IS-1 has clear glass. This means the sensor is more sensitive to IR light than most digital cameras, which means I can handhold it for IR exposures and use a lower effective ISO.
Taken in the New Jersey Pine Barrens on 20 February 2010