Sunday, March 25, 2012

School Darkroom 1970

"Why do I photograph? At a formative time in my life I became connected to photography. I was drawn to it and practiced it for many years and became by association 'a photographer' within a small and limited community made up of my family, my high school and my friends. I embraced this identity because it was so much better then any other label that I was associated with at the time like shy, awkward, etc. etc. etc. Why I didn't become a photographer is so much water under the bridge now that to dwell on it is to tap in to unpleasant feelings of regret, and self-contempt so I try not to go there. When I quit practicing photography in 1977 I had accomplished little, a box of photos, unprinted negatives, rolls of undeveloped film, in other words not much to put on a resume or to fill a portfolio. I could never let go of my camera though and in the years that followed I had sporadic bursts of creative energy that as time went on became further and further apart. As I approached 50 I had a desire to finish what I started and bring it to some conclusion that I could live with. I wanted to put together a portfolio of work that demonstrated to myself and to anyone who cared to look that I am a photographer." November 2006

My Own Private Darkroom 2012
"At a formative time in my life I became connected to photography."
When I wrote that I had been working for a little over two years and was just starting to emerge from where I had left off in 1977 when I stopped working with a camera and darkroom.  " As I approached 50 I had a desire to finish what I started and bring it to some conclusion that I could live with."
Now I am closing in on 60 and I feel I have accomplished most of what I wanted.  Some serious mature images that represent what I am capable of. With a more developed skill level I reprinted some of my better images to preserve what I had done before 1977 and added a few hundred new images and as many negatives that still require work.   I have enough film and paper and chemicals to keep doing new work.   I feel that I satisfied my original aesthetic goals. I can take and make a pretty good picture now and mat it and frame it and hang it up for public view.  I've done that now. When I first discovered photography I was fascinated by the process of cameras and film and paper and chemicals. It thrilled me on a personal level.  That I could do this was enough.  It was play.  I did it by myself for myself.  As I entered the very limited photographic community that surrounded me at that time I was encouraged but also measured.  I didn't really know how to deal with that. In my more mature reincarnation as a photographer I tried to get the attention of a wider photographic community and I was again encouraged and measured.  I regret that I can't devote more of my time to it but there are just too many priorities like work, family, etc. that have to come first.  I don't know what I would do if I didn't have this blog where I can share the work globally and I can see from where and for how long visitors dwell at my site. I just wish I knew who they were and what they think.  It's a bit of one sided conversation. 

5 Comments:

Blogger I HUSTLE AND OTHER THINGS said...

I've gained inspiration from some of your photos and from your blog. Your the reason I switched to Bromophen,,,crocodile teardrop welling up:) I've been "shooting" intently for about 5-years now. From the beginning I had learned to make contact prints; a couple years ago I improvised an enlarger using a tripod and Minolta;this past year and a half I haven't scanned. The "darkroom way" is hard work takes dedication, forces decisions, editing etc etc But enough talk about photography everything in front and around is more interesting:) I'll try and comment again - i'll try not to be such a duck I'm a real quack;)

11:35 AM  
Blogger Thomas D. Rutter said...

Thank you very much. I love Bromophen but have trouble finding it. I have actually "re-discovered" Dektol. Thank you so much your comments mean a lot to me.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Thomas D. Rutter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:55 AM  
Blogger I HUSTLE AND OTHER THINGS said...

P.S. That picture just below "Putnam" guy jumping the girl with the clipboard very cool... The tents below too... Yeah it's so interesting cold vs warm - [i'd like to try gold someday $$] I used to use Photobucket-tools but of course not the same - sometimes I get a preview - I'll carry my prints to the bathroom (final wash) take a cell phone picture of a print floating in a tray; warm bulb makes it look selenium tone-ee and then I hang in laundry room the bulb is neutral; quicker and more casual then scanning - just thought I would share...

12:20 PM  
Blogger Lorita OLeary said...

I'm glad we both stuck with photography. It's my favorite form of expression.

6:00 PM  

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