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April 07, 2003
snow and darkness and...

And there it was. The snow just stole the show. It placed itself between me and New Jersey, and even Dunkin Donuts became invisible for a little while. Snow. The smarter, cooler water. The water that does not take the shortest path between H and A, but the scenic path. The one that allows to be guided by the wind, or gusts, or just streams of air. The elegant water. But after all water. The same water we are. Well, maybe 75% of us are. The other 25% are all dense and solid and the stuff that just sinks.
Confused little thoughts of mine swirl around like the snow I saw, like the snow that made things go away, like the snow that turned into water after all.
And I took pictures of darkness. I started taking them as a first test. And they were not pictures of darkness at all. They were just images taken without any tools. Just instant chemical messing around with . And the first realization was that the was too strong. The snow, the day, the glowing. It was all too much. So I began taking pictures of the darkness. It was a bit like preparing a meal. Very slowly, very slowly would I take the film into the darkest room. We would turn of the . I would expose the film to darkness. Or maybe "darkness" the room was not really dark, of course. They rarely are.
Then, when I was able to see the film, when my eyes became adjusted to the "darkness", that was my signal to end the exposure. And then some was added to the mix. Not as the main ingredient almost, almost as a spice. Then there were moments when I just hid the film, tried to protect it from what I was not even able to see.
I could not stop. I could not stop. The results were just becoming better and better. The less I used, the better things began to look. I had to stop myself. Had to leave some of the polaroid material for later. I scanned three of the seven images that will make a series so far. I find them quite beautiful. Maybe it is just me. Maybe they appear beautiful to me, because they were created in such a private, such a slow and personal and almost intimate way.
Photography is usually an art that includes many layers and tools and people. Photography is not what one person does, it is a team effort a team sport. Images are taken by machines, not people. The photographer never actually sees what the film sees...there is this moment when the human being steps aside, then the mirror flips, then the chamber opens, the exposure happens in solitude of motiv and machine. (I think this also holds true for digital images.)
So a photogram is a bit of a thing closer to a drawing. Closer to a drawing without a pen even...
I have seven that I will combine into one 13x19" image. I should probably not be reporting on work as it happens. Too quickly? Too soon? Too unfiltered?
There was the snow. And the snow turned into water. I had to jump and jump carefully. I hugged the walls of the buildings, trying to reduce my exposure to these snowflakes that were just packed with tiny needles and really wanted to touch my face, very urgently. I closed my eyes just for a moment and...

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