the dark room

I used to be a photography addict. I used to live and breathe photography. It used to be, you couldn't find me anywhere without my camera. I was constantly shooting and constantly editing and experimenting and it was my greatest joy. Nothing made me more giddy or feel more alive than a new photography project. I'm not really sure what happened, and I guess it happened slowly enough that I didn't really notice until now. It used to be that I was always eyeing the world with the thought of a potential picture in mind. Now, I occasionally take a picture with my phone and put it on instagram. I can't even remember when I last used my beloved Nikon D80. When did this change? 

There's a new column in the New York Times magazine that is dedicated to commentary on photography. I love how much there is to say about one photograph, and how each one that is discussed is treated as its own unique treasure. There was a story a few weeks ago by Teju Cole that discussed photographs of objects that perhaps convey more violence than photos of violence itself. And last week there was a special story about photographer Sally Mann and her work, and I just drank up how eloquently she spoke of the creation of her images. All of which makes me miss taking photos so much.

These are some photos I took and developed for a college photography class I took several years ago. It's a cliche, but there's something so much more pure, visceral and rewarding about film photography and the process of developing in a dark room. Because of how much time is spent making each photograph, and all the minute decisions that go into it, each image seems much more special. It's so much different from the instant gratification of digital photography and the easy changes that can be made in photoshop. There's also something infinitely more magical about monochrome photography.

I treasure these images. And I have so much more of an intimate connection with each of them than I do with any of my other photographs. I got points taken off for some of the dust particles and scratches that are left on these images, but I think that gives them more character.