Sunday, January 8, 2017


I am currently scanning a number of negative taken years ago, maybe thirty or forty years ago to be exact.  Some of the images I have printed in both the darkroom and digitally.

I am starting to realize that my interpretation of what these images should look like is changing. In some cases the change is drastic.

This is a result of both the technology and my own interpretation of the negative.  The more I think about it, it may be just now that the negative is revealing its content in a way that I was unable to visualize earlier.  This is starting to sound deeply philosophical........

For year, dealers in fine photography have tried to convince the public that prints made closer to the time that a photographer made the negative are more valuable because they more closely represent the photograph in the photographer's mind at the time he or she took the photograph.  What a bunch of bull.  Every time I make a print I try to make it better than I have ever printed it before.

Most of the photographers I know shoot when they feel like shooting.  The exploration of the negative comes later.  Maybe some photographers stop exploring their negatives after they make what they think is the ultimate print.  I think there are still things to be discovered.  A negative doesn't always reveal all its content immediately.  (Lordy this is getting heavy!)

I think that photographers who stop exploring the content of the negative/file are cutting the images off from the photographer's growth as an artist.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

  1. I think it was William Garnett who felt that you don't really see the potential, possibilities in an image until eight years (i.e., a long time) after the shot is made. That is certainly the case with my work. I'm now nearly 75, have had a passion for photog since HS, began seriously studying it a bit more than 40 years ago, and have found that my most incisive critique of my own work comes years after the negative was created. PS, I've seen your work now and then at the Torpedo Factory for decades and have always enjoyed the high degree of visual and tech expertise that you bring to bear.