A long time ago, like about 1973 at No. Va. Community College, a photo teacher made a suggestion to the class that has always stuck in my mind.
“Every once in a while, pull out a bunch of your proof sheets, and look ’em over, see if maybe, just maybe, a frame tickles your imagination that hadn’t before.”
I do that regularly. And one day recently i came across this image:
It was taken at Musee Mechanique while it was still on the bottom floor of Cliff House / Ocean beach/ SF, CA. Love this single frame, just big hi-lites, deep shadows. Late afternoon light blows in the windows, selectively illuminating whatever it will, old time amusements, before TV or radio, or internet (a constantly suffocating presence). The place was smelly, cramped & noisy as hell. I shot alot of interesting negs there.
The Musee mechanique image *really* piqued my interest not just by itself, but for something else i had done a few years ago, a darkroom print 11×14″
This was definitely made to be monochromatic, B&W, no color.
But the MM image could definitely be colored!
First i just did some digital coloring on the straight image.
Then printed that, and attacked it w/ colored pencils for the details.
Then i put together a digital image, using the previous sky with the Musee mechanique image.
Printed those, and pencil colored them. Is this crazy or what? Did i go out on a limb?? Yep, fer sure. Glad i did. I learned just how long that ‘limb’ could be. And how bouncy and resilient.
Here’s a few alternates, a bit ‘softer’:
“It starts with you telling the image what it will be. It ends with the image telling you what it will be.”
So i felt like a tennis ball being whacked back and forth over a net. Sometimes it’s better to relinquish control, give in to ‘the force’.
Maybe one day I’ll do a darkroom print of this … when i decide how i want to color it.