This post is one in a series called ‘behind the scenes’. The series describe how I visualise images and then the difficulties of putting these visualisations into effect as pictures.
Last year, just before the first COVID lock-down in England, I went walking in Sussex with my daughter. One of the towns we visited was Rye in East Sussex. I was curious how it might have changed since my last visit some 45 years ago.
I enjoyed taking this photograph. It is just a few minutes away from where I live. Five women had stopped to take in the scene with their sandwiches.
A view within a view type of picture, like we are eaves-dropping on a private moment. Of course, we are not secretly listening to a conversation; rather we are secretly sharing a vista with five women except ours is more inclusive in that it contains theirs. Or so it seems. Of course, there might have been someone behind me looking at me taking in five women taking in a scene.
Photography has this strange quality. It engenders the idea that the vista starts at you, with no cognizance of what is behind; that the world starts with you. But as we peer intently into the picture a doubt emerges… The world does not start anywhere. Like a photograph, this is a neat but necessary illusion.
This site describes my efforts at learning film photography and darkroom printing.
I see film photography and darkroom printing as two sides of the same coin, inseparable. Taking a picture fashions the options that you have in the darkroom. Printing a photograph tells you how you might have better seen the image when taking that photograph.
I am no expert and I hope that, by writing these posts, I am not holding myself out to be one. If nothing else, I will at least be helping to preserve a craft that is in danger of disappearing.
My aim? I aspire to Josef Sudek’s maxim: ‘No approach, no recipe. Each thing to be done differently’.
Abandoned farm house, North Dakota, lith printed on Foma paper