Saturday, September 24, 2011

"I really love what you can't see in a photograph.  An actual physical darkness.  And it's very thrilling for me to see darkness again." D. Arbus.

I've been thinking about Diane Arbus a lot lately and reading about her and looking at her pictures and thinking of how she approached photography and how I approach photography.  Not to say that I share anything in common with her but that in learning to use the camera we have both tread similar ground and her pictures resonate with me in a way that no other photographers work does.  Some things she says I get only because I've worked with a camera and film and a darkroom.  Her first monograph published after her death just has her pictures and a series of quotes.  In reading this quote  I thought of this picture that I took and how I purposely printed it so that the shadows would reveal nothing.  Lately I've been printing images with very low contrast so that everything is revealed, even photographing on cloudy days to avoid the shadows as if these are weaknesses in an image.  To see darkness is rare especially in broad daylight but there it is in the photographic image. I also have to remember that there is no one way to take and make an image.

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