March 25, 2013

Husqvarna diaries

A few weeks ago, Craig and I along with his pops took a trip to The Pas, Manitoba to visit family. Trappers Festival was happening in town and we heartily took in the pancake breakfast, the meatdraw at the legion and the dogsled race along the highway. Craig competed in the speedcutting chainsaw competition and I cheered like a lunatic in my snowmobile suit from the sideline. That's my guy! Then I climbed a giant snow mountain and shot a picture of a big kid at rest on the decline.

Winter is a wonderful time for photography. I am falling deeper and deeper in love with my Russian beast with every new roll that surfaces. I have a feeling that the film format is only up from here. While working in the darkroom on Saturday, my process was clotheslined by a black and white portrait of Craig's sister shot against a snowscape at the dogsled race. When I brought my failed result out to the shop where Craig was welding, he took one look and simply said, "snow is snow". Indeed. One must embrace grey tones in snowy situations. I am learning to embrace grey. The age old darkroom saying goes: expose for shadows develop for highlights. The more I print the more I am learning what the hell that simple statement means.

Saturdays have slowly become the day I duck into the dark red of the basement with a jar of tea in hand and Cat Power to start things off on the right note. What used to take one hour of hesitation and doubt to set up the chemistry now takes five minutes. Confidence builds with hours logged. These sacred darkroom sessions are quiet times alone with my thoughts spent working towards a project I have been carrying around for long enough. Time to birth. CBC's Saturday Afternoon at the Opera slides nicely into Deep Roots with host Tom Power.

Three good darkroom albums:

Cat Power- You Are Free
Bob Dylan- Modern Times
Sonic Youth- Sonic Nurse

Here are some scanned images off a roll of Fuji 100 slide film that I shot during our time in The Pas and then had sent away for processing. The wait was worth it, though the images below hardly do justice to the beauty of medium format slide film. I figure a look in is better than none at all. When Leo and I picked up the roll, my smile grew and grew the longer that strip was held to the sun. Sweet technical understanding, nice to meet you. Make yourself at home in my brain.

My favorite shot on the roll is the portrait of the man with the fox on his head. That little curled animal looked so at home on his brow. I asked for his portrait just as the dogs raced out of sight and this is what he gave. His eyes were such incredible pools I could barely look.

Thirteen exposures in a row, crisp and bright against the sun. While this digital variation may not amount to much, the images really sing once projected on the wall, right where they belong. 

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