16 January, 2009

The Skunk Hunter

I got a lot of emails regarding the post I did about mom and her Santa pajamas.

So, I thought I would follow it up with a few pictures I made of her on this last trip.

I try to shoot images of her each time I'm home, so I can slowly start to build an archive. Should have done more of padre when he was still around. A regret, just another in a long, long line.

These images, and the prior post, which is comprised of these same images, but in print form, being washed, reminded me of a strange fact, or view, depending on how you look at it.

I try to focus on enjoying the "now" in life. The right now. But it is so damn difficult.

As a photographer very little is about the now. The future is always on my mind. Where will my NEXT job come from? What will it be? What should I do tomorrow?

Advertising, marketing, all focused on tomorrow, next month, next year. My calendar fills months and months from now.

And the images, they reflect the past. Past moments, people, places, events. History frozen, but all reflecting things long since gone.

Or do they.

When I was washing those prints, which takes a long, long time, I truly stopped and focused. My hand moved slowly through the running water, sliding over the surface of each print, feeling the very fiber of the image. So for a brief moment I was only in the "now," even though what was reflected was only the past.

I think I will continue to battle with this, but for me, making these prints, I'm realizing now, after all these years, is a critical event for my work.

In some ways I think I might have wasted the last 15 years of my life by not doing this. I wonder what I WAS doing all this time.

You shoot, you edit, you print, seems like a natural progression, but I didn't do it.

The other side of this edge is digital printing doesn't cut it for me. I do it all the time, and digital prints look fantastic, but they are way, way too easy. You don't live with digital prints. Your hand doesn't touch water, or darkness. You hand touches only plastic. And the end result is instant.

So, in some ways, maybe digital printing is more "in the now?" It's about right now. But then it fades. Quickly.

So, from now on, I'll continue to work this way. I'll also try to focus on the now.

Fingers crossed.

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