Saturday, May 16, 2020

Burning the Days

I made arrangements yesterday to store my prints.  I moved hundreds of pounds of paper prints to a storage unit.  I will move all the Polaroids today.  I am going to put the hard drives there as well.  The unit is only two miles from my house in a chi-chi part of town, so I have as much access, really, as I have always, which is to say practically none.  With all of that out of the house, though, I am not tempted to continue thinking of those pictures.  I feel free now to pursue the next thing, whatever that is.  I've left the tawdry life behind.

Now what?  Buildings and cars?  I am still struggling with the 4x5 and the glass plates.  As I said, though,  I think it might be user error.  There are so many moving parts to think about when making a picture using this process, and I am an unusually careless man.  One of my degrees is in zoology, and my downfall there was dissection   You had to be meticulous and careful when cutting tissues away from other tissues.  Often I wasn't.  They told me I'd never be a surgeon.  That, I think, was an excellent call.  I'm great at painting the middle of the room, but don't let me do the trim work.

Hence, I may have put the plate in the holder backwards for this photo.  It caused focus failure and put a scratch in the delicate emulsion.  That is my guess, anyway.

So, you might ask, what is this project all about?  Beats the fuck out of me.  There isn't one, yet.  I've been practicing.  I take photographs every day, as I've reported, with different cameras and different lenses.  It is interesting and fun, but in the Age of Corona, the pictures are people-less.  I've just been admiring the beauty of things, the lines and shapes and light and shadow and textures and colors.  I've been thinking more about that.

But light and shadow are about to come to a quick end.  There is a tropical storm brewing in the Atlantic.  The weather has suddenly changed.  We've had the most beautiful May I can remember.  Beautiful skies, low humidity, gentle breezes, and light like diamonds.  Today's humidity is in the 90% range.  The light is duller.  I will need to go north to find good light. . . uh. . . but I probably can't.  So maybe I will resort to flash photography and its eerie look.

But again. . . pictures of what?  The bird bath?  My camera collection?  More of my neighbors' houses?  Car bumpers?  Street detritus?

I don't know.  It will have to work itself out.

Now I need to start moving the ten thousand Polaroids into their tiny new home.  It will take awhile, but when its done, some ghosts will have left the house.  I will take my old journals there, too.  But I have prints, thousands of them, big mothers. . . if anybody wants one.  For now, my burning days are done.

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