The Gauges [ZeroImage Pinhole Camera]
Jan 24, 2010 Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida
(please click in the image for a larger version...the small version is a bit soft)
One thing about the pinhole process is that in addition to being a slower form of photography in terms of exposure times, the entire process, even after the images have been exposed, is often slower, as well. Of course, I cannot speak for everyone who chooses to entertain the creative muse via this medium, but it is certainly true for me.
As the above date indicates, this image was taken nearly 5 months ago (I wrote about my swamp adventures when creating this image, including the alligator lurking nearby, in a previous post). The negatives have been developed for awhile, but more pressing deadline-driven matters have occupied the front burners of my creative stove for the past several months. And while the demands of my teaching and writing schedules are the main reason I have not spent much time on the post-exposure part of this series, the slower pace of the overall process suits both me and the images themselves. It also reflects the average time line arc for most of the images, from coming up with a concept, to finding an object or objects that work well for that concept, to pondering the various landscape possibilities, finding a landscape (which often involves location scouting ahead of time), making the image, choosing the one shot, and then working on the final master image.
In some cases, the desire to work with a specific landscape is the driving force for an image. I first visited the cypress swamps of Florida nearly a year before I made the above photograph. But the fact that it was the end of the dry season combined with a severe drought left no water in the swamps. Even though I went to several locations and made several photographs (with different artifacts), I never used any of those images. Fortunately, there was plenty of water ten months later and I was able to work with this particular landscape as I had envisioned it. And during the ten months of waiting for another opportunity to visit the cypress swamps, I discovered the gauges, which ended up being a much better match for this landscape than what I was originally photographing.
The slower, more meditative pace is a welcome counterpoint to the other type of photography that I do, which is to say, most of my photography, that is made with a digital SLR. I think that the much slower pace of the pinhole process, from exposure times to the overall process, exercises a different part of my creative brain and any type of creative exercise can only be a benefit to your artistic process.Upcoming Workshops
Speaking of exercising the creative brain, I'll be heading to Rockport, Maine later this week to teach Real World Digital Photography at the Maine Media Workshops (June 13 — 19). There is still some space left if you are interested, or know someone who might be.
Two other upcoming classes in late June and late July will be offered in Los Angeles and Santa Fe, New Mexico:
The Creative Digital Darkroom
June 28 — July 1
Marlborough School • Los Angeles, CA
Info & Registration Link
The Creative Eye: Photography & Digital Darkroom Essentials
July 25 — 31
Santa Fe Photographic Workshops • Santa Fe, New Mexico
Info & Registration Link
And coming up September 16 — 19 will be a 4-day version of my popular compositing and collage class, The Creative Collage with Adobe Photoshop at the Mesilla Digital Imaging Workshops in southern New Mexico