Sunday, July 14, 2013

Savoring The Present

A Study Of Miraculous Gifts

Magic fishing bird

While I was down at the river, soaking up the sights and sounds, I happened to see this bird standing on a branch above the water. I could see that it is a fisher of some sort, but I also noticed that it was standing very still.

Perspective study

It wasn’t until I got home and was examining the pictures on the computer, that I noticed fishing line tangled on the bird’s feet. I imagined there was a story there involving a fisherman and this fisher bird catching the same fish. I wonder if the fish got away?

Not too old, yet

The bird didn’t seem stressed, or bothered by the leader, or line. He, or she, wasn’t pecking at it, or I might have noticed and figured some way to help. I imagine that it will eventually worry the line off with his sharp fishing beak.

Berry perspective

Once upon a time, long before digital cameras and editing software, I would develop my black and white pictures from film that I would roll on spools, or load into film holders, while standing in a pitch black room. I would load that film into my cameras, take some pictures, get back in a lightless room, then wind the film onto another kind of spool, or film holder, that I would place in a lightsafe developing tank.

The glow of life

I would mix chemicals, keeping them at just the right temperatures, then pour the solution into the developing tank to bathe the film. With the precision and order of a tea ceremony, one would initiate gentle agitation at specified intervals so that fresh chemicals would evenly contact the surfaces of the negatives during the appropriate elapsed time for that particular type, or brand, of developer solution. Then pour out the developer, pour in the stop bath, agitate periodically during the allotted minutes before initiating the fixer and drying steps.

Watching me through the leaves

Once the negatives were dry, I would cut them into strips, turn out the white light, turn on the red light, put a piece of photo paper on the easel, lay the negative strips on the photo paper, lay a piece of glass on top, flash the negatives and paper on the easel with the enlarger light and develop the piece of photo paper.

Backlit by the setting sun

If you guessed that there were more chemicals to be measured, mixed, brought to the proper temperatures and poured into trays so the paper would show an image, you would be correct. Now it was time to develop the piece of photo paper on which the negative strips were placed, (the contact sheet). I would use a jewelers loupe to look at the images and decide which ones to ‘blow up’ and develop into finished prints.

Developing the paper was a bit more interesting because you could see what was happening and could get the results you wanted by taking the paper out of the developer early, or leaving it in longer. You could use your finger to rub on a face that was too light and more detail would appear. Very magical.

Young bird catcher

Ah, the good old days. Though some things might have been lost along the way, I think that some of our technological advancements are terrific. Instead of spending hours mixing chemicals, cleaning up the containers, loading more film, etcetra, etcetra, on and on, we have learned to manipulate ones and zeros at the atomic level. Amazing!

Now, I spend hours on the MacBook, altering color, shadow, highlights, luminance, aspect ratio, and applying dozens of really neat effects to get each image to tell it’s story with light and magic. What a time to be alive.

Today’s Geology Video;

Natural Vibrance

No comments: