Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Places and Spaces In My Photos

I have been taking photos since I was thirteen. Sometimes it is a snap shot. I try to make quality prints. No, that isn't true. I try to be in the moment and take the photo. Very rarely is it print quality.

It tried to be great when I had my homemade darkroom.They still were snap shots but I gave it a go.

It was hard. The chemicals sometimes made it painful. That D-75 used to eat through my fingers something awful.

I didn't like tongs. 

After a few more prints I learned to use tongs.

There was a time when I gave up taking photos. Making prints. Taking snap shots. Looking at the world.

Part of it was the expense of it. It did cost money to do it on the cheap and that was the only way I could do it.

I was discouraged by a so-called teacher. Male. Worked very hard to get the undesirables out of his classroom. He was good at it.

Mostly it was the vision that I had didn't seem to mesh up with what the world was telling me was acceptable for women and black folk to do.

It beats you down after a while.

I wouldn't even pick up an Instamatic because I couldn't afford to have the film developed.  Yet I kept taking photos in my head.

I have to say that when the first glimmers of digital photography started to appear the stone around my heart started to crack. I laid eyes on that Kodak DS240 or something like it I knew I needed to get in on the action.

It took a while. A long while.

Stocked up on many a photo magazine in the meantime, getting ready.

Reclamation takes a while to kick in. I had to find out what this digital photo business was, did it involve darkrooms or enlargers?

No? Count me in.

I do actually like the darkroom process but no, I'm not going back.

So I take photos of people I've seen on TV. Or buildings. Or the chunk of hunk that is walking down the street. 

They no longer have to be perfect. Unless I want them to be. They are my memories of what I just saw as I move though this place called Southern California.

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