These are pictures I've not processed and maybe never will, just straight out of the camera shots of a walk around the block next to our insane asylum neighborhood in Albuquerque, N.M. This is the sequence, just five images in a row. I like them fine and could make them look so much better with an hour or so's worth of work. Shoot. Maybe I should. It is just that I have thousands of images and no time to cull them or to work with them.
I have been shooting more film, but those pictures require scanning which adds another couple hours to the process before I even get them into the computer. I love shooting with film, the mystery of not knowing what, if anything, you have captured, but afterwards, when it is time to work, I ask myself why.
Today I will make some instant film pictures with the 4x5 camera. Those are fun, too, and if I just used the pictures as they came out of the camera, it would be simple. But I don't, and it isn't. I have some secret processes that involve a lot of fluids and double scanning, so an instant film picture will take me even more time than regular film. And half the time, it doesn't work out, so the ultimate yield is very small.
I was stung the other night when I was referred to as a hobbyist. I don't do anything with the pictures, I was told. They are simply for my own pleasure. That might be a simplified version of the truth as it is torture to make the pictures and not so very often pleasurable at all. The nudes, it was said, were just some voyeuristic activity. It is disturbing to see that from the outside. It was a terrible lot of work, and seeing people naked isn't such a big deal maybe unless you don't get to do it. But you have to struggle against thinking the body is a hideous thing, almost always flawed and deformed in some way, but again, I guess that is the privileged view of someone who is in the position to see such things as opposed to someone who is not. I have been struggling with the perception, though, since then. A hobbyist and a voyeur.
I should not reject those two descriptions, I guess, for neither of them are really bad (though I think the charge was meant to be so).
I've been looking at Sarah Moon's photographs a lot lately. I want a studio again, this time with big windows. I want to make some pretty pictures. I want to try my hand at costuming. But. . . it is too much for a hobbyist, really. More photographs in a drawer.
Maybe these pictures out of the camera without any processing, quicker than instant, are, for the drawer, really just as good.
All those hours. All that time.