I mentioned that my camera is kind of busted--well, my first reaction upon seeing this frame was annoyance, followed by chagrin. You can get enough of a sense of what each individual capture looked like to tell that both of them would have been keepers for this particular assignment, and knowing that I'd lost them to a camera error both frustrated me and made me sad. As the days go by, though, I find that the result of that error is really sticking in my mind.
I'm not usually one for camera tricks, and multiple exposures are usually one of the first things that you play with as a budding photography student--certainly my friends and I all did, back in high school. Moreover, I tend to view art as something purposeful, and the accidental nature of this image's genesis is the sort of thing that makes me think it's a throwaway.
And yet, I can't stop thinking about it.
There's just something about the chaos of it all, the happenstance. The way things come together at odd angles, and the way that the little gestures of each individual exposure come through on their own while still seeming to contribute to the resultant whole. I find it compelling.
Maybe I'm reaching, but I think there's something there.
It's going to happen soon. She's going to be crawling, maybe even before my birthday.
When she was newly born and she was so quiet and easy-going, I worried that perhaps she wouldn't be motivated enough to get around on her own. Maybe she would be one of those happy little lumps that always made us say (after we'd left the party) "You know, Jason may be kind of a handful, but I'm glad to have a kid that's at least interesting." (I know, we were assholes. Some of us still are.1)
But, no, Eva's got spark. She wants to get around. When I got home from work today I saw that she had pushed herself backwards into a corner and gotten stuck; as soon as she saw me--but not before--she cried for help. And every little thing that catches her attention, she wants it. She's not content and boring. No, this one is motivated.
I'm so happy to know that it runs in the family.
1 I mean me, of course. No one who has met both of us would ever be confused about that.
When you share your living space--that is, your life--with another person, every time you enter a room you will be met with signs of her presence. A light left on in an empty room. The way the sheets on both sides of the bed are rumpled. A sweater that didn't look good today. These things are trivial, they mean so little when you happen upon them. You may even find them annoying. Yet while this person is away it is the absence of these signs that will really drive home the reality of your solitude.
A Quiet Moment
I love this picture. I think it's my favorite from the entire session we did for Juliette's dad. I love it for a lot of reasons. I love it for technical reasons: the lighting, the textures, the selective focus. I love it because it looks like what Jason looks like right now. And not just the way his features look, but his personality, too--the way he's fiddling with his shirt, belying the calm, almost tired look on his face. It's a truthful picture in many ways.
But it's funny how pictures can lie, even when they're telling another kind of truth. When I look at this picture, it looks like a quiet moment. There's a serenity to it, a peacefulness. It's in the gesture and the light, the way darkness brushes over half his face. And that's not what that shoot was actually like.
In reality, Jason had his normal morning energy. He was playful and silly, full of smiles and constantly moving, even when he was sitting still. In order to keep him engaged enough to actually get his picture I had to wheedle and bribe and tickle and make faces.
And yet, it's funny how pictures can tell the truth, even when they're lying. Because, as I said, the way he looks in this picture, that's him, too. It may not have been him on that morning, but it is in him, and for the split-second of this photograph, that's what he showed me.
All this, and more, is why I love photography. And parenting.
The shutter on my medium format camera (a Bronica ETRS) sticks sometimes. Fortunately, there's a little indicator light in the viewfinder that blinks when the shutter has properly actuated, and when it doesn't blink I just flip the double exposure switch and reshoot the same frame. Unfortunately, when I don't see the blinking light I'm never sure whether it didn't actually blink or if I just missed it. So I end up with a lot of unintentional double (or triple or quadruple) exposures. This one just happened to work out well.
From a couple of weeks ago, picking up a to-go order at a Thai restaurant.
One of these days I'd like to try my hand at printmaking. I could probably handle developing my own negs even now--it doesn't take much space or money, and I have done it before, even if it was over ten years ago at this point. But to make prints you need an enlarger, and a light-tight room big enough to hold it and the developing trays. Not something that's really in reach right now. It's nice to dream, though.