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. 



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  

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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