sometimes it takes a while…for an image to develop. With my dad at the Kodak Camera Club, or in our basement darkroom, or in the high school lab, I would slip an exposed piece of photographic paper (the weight! the gloss! the expense! the absolute magic!) into the processing tray, and I would watch an image reveal itself, like a person slipping out of shadow. I would diligently move it from tray to tray, my fingers immersed in the chemical bath (I can still smell it), rubbing out sections I wanted to deepen, darken, coax to the surface.
The whole process of developing a roll of film, choosing the negatives to to work with, printing each one, hanging them dry could take weeks. Heck, I could work on the same roll of film until the end of time, seeing something different and wanting to explore a new angle with each viewing. I only had a short, imperfect and very surface experience with film and slide. But I’m finding that the same process is happening with digital. But it’s so much more, what is it? Noise, content, movement? Just MORE of everything. More images, more clients, more shooting. So sometimes it takes a while for an image to develop. Like these. I shot these in the fall and wasn’t overjoyed with the result. I was hard on myself, that the opportunity was so vast and the time too short and I didn’t do the day justice. My expectations didn’t match up with reality. But yesterday I came across them in one folder on the three terabytes of images I now manage. And they stopped me. The beauty of this family, these white dancing grasses, the red fall leaves, the joyous little girl. It reminded me that capturing a photo is more than that. It’s capturing a memory. And some times that memory takes a while to develop. Then it stays with you for all time.