20 April 2012

finding a balance

Digital photography has its perks. Playing and experimenting is less costly because I don't have to pay for each roll or each print, not to mention the not-quite-right prints. 

But my memories are deeply rooted in the excitement of film. My first visit to a black and white darkroom while I took college tours in high school. The long hours I spent in the darkroom in college. The swivel of the door like I was stepping into another world. The darkness that resolved to a red haze. How my mind ran over the details of the knobs and dials that I needed to perform for each new print. How precious each sheet of paper felt as I exposed it to light but did not know the final outcome until the chemical bath danced over it. Then, as if my mind wished it to happen, the image began to appear. The rhythm of developing, setting and washing image after image became a part of me. 

Now, I feel torn by that magic I found in the darkroom and the chemical-free life I try to live today. I found joy there, and my heart is not ready to let go. I find satisfaction in my art now, and, though there is joy in my current work, it is different. Digital photography fosters my impatience with instant gratification. I indulge in excess because it is available. Not that I couldn't practice patience in the digital realm. I have certainly been able to encourage my intuitive nature, but I feel that at times it lacks the same timeless magic of my darkroom days. Perhaps it is because I had to work harder to create a single image than I do now or maybe it is a romantic view of that period of my life when my hobby became something more, something that fed my creative being. I am still nurturing my creativity, giving it a wealth of options to express itself. 

I want to honor both sides and find balance. 

To support that little girl that wanted to see things as black and white. Who desired to focus on the little joys in life while the world seemed to rush by without taking notice of the quiet small beauty that was right in front of them. I want to honor that creative soul who wants to take her time even for one print, one simple view. 

I want to encourage my impatient being who needs to get her ideas out as quickly as possible to see the end result and feel joy right in that moment. To feed my creative eye that sees the same scene from twenty different angles and each is valid and breathtaking. Allow my heart to wander intuitively through the hundreds of images that present themselves to me daily.