I had one of those creative days on Sunday. The day that was most needed. The day when I was completely in the moment, focused on seeing and being…being a part of the landscape, immersing myself in it. I knew before I developed the images I would be pleased. Sometimes, often times, these Zen moments do not happen. Other times, it is unavoidable. Completely, effortlessly, immersed in the moment.
There are differing ways I go about shooting, creating images. Sometimes, I pre-see the image I want. I visualize the end result before I even leave the house. Prior planning is usually relentless, thought about the subject matter has been ongoing, and my shooting is very intentional. I view this as work. I am after the finished product. It is a very rewarding experience at the conclusion however, it is not always fulfilling in the moment. Often, I want enjoyment. I want creative energy to flow. I want to leave work and home life behind. I want to forget the stresses of tomorrow and yesterday. I want to be in the moment, immersed in the moment.
Which leads me to my preferred method of shooting (there are others, I may go into details at a later time, a later post). Sometimes, I gather my camera, a roll or two of black and white film, a prime lens and my tripod. I don’t over-complicate it with gear. I keep it very simple to limit the possibilities, which unleash the potential possibilities. A paradox, yes, but one of countless in life. You have to let go of options to fully appreciate the options available, creatively speaking. I have a set place to go, but no set place to shoot. I wander. Very slowly, deliberately looking, seeing, immersing myself into the scene. I see, visualize the possibilities. Focus on the limitations of the equipment I have and adapt it to the setting at hand. I slow down and become aware. And then it just happens. The creative energy is flowing, I am energized with creativity and my most personally rewarding work is done. This is when the beginnings of a new monograph begin. The focus on projects not yet realized. Potential is recognized. I am part of my craft.
And then it is over, but not the anti-climax. Lasting, still able to be in the moment but also to reflect upon this experience that has unfolded. Knowing that what is captured on the film, waiting to be unleashed at a later time with development will be something memorable and very important personally for the experience that coincided with the image capturing. My creative juices have been re-invigorated. I am ready to begin earnest work. I remember why I am a photographer.
These images are all from the same roll, camera and lens. A Nikon FM2n, nikkor 20/2.8ais, Ilford FP4+ film developed in d76 1:1 and scanned on my Kodak Pakon F135+. Only slight work in the digital darkroom (except one pano-merge and cropped from 2 images). Just basic burning, sharpening, contrast. Nothing that would not be done in a traditional dark room setting.