Digital Papercuts [Chapter 1]
An open letter to whoever is listening:
Some of you may know a little about me, others, not so much. One interest I have is photography. Another: self-proclaimed wordsmith. I have been called "Word Nerd" on more than one occasion. Erin and I have been known to discuss words to the nth degree, and origins of said word. See what I did there? Writer of Haiku. Poetry, not so much. I'm hopeful that will change. I have been known to scribble—in orange sharpie—a haiku upon a packing slip or bag of beans. Note to self: do this more often than not. As time rolls on, I find myself reaching backwards into the past and acquire things I thought were lost. Letters I have written or taken pictures of, or a combination of both. Love notes to my Love. Stories written together with our children. Along this journey of reminiscence, there is an occasional nugget that will be shared with you. This creative series will be known as "Digital Papercuts". Some short. Some longer. Enjoy.
Feeding our digital diet has made us lose the analog anticipation of photography. Reviewing the image on the back of the camera or the smartphone's face has kept us from choosing 24 or 36 exposure film. Fuji. Kodak. Ilford. 200. 400. 800. F-stops. Apertures. Holga. SLR. Polaroid. Brownie. Instant. Disposable. Excited about getting that extra shot on the roll. Dual exposure. Black and white film. Expired film. Counting each picture taken. Advancing the film. Once the last shot of the roll is taken and the automatic rewind pulls the film backwards or manually cranking that rewind knob. Dropping off those 35mm cartridges, filling out the needed information. Prepared to patiently wait. When the appropriate time has come to pick up those developed pictures and negatives; opening that back flap of the envelope and eagerly taking out that paper stack, cautious not to touch the picture and leave a fingerprint on the printed finish. Analog.
Filled shoeboxes with the captured images have been found recently. Images of my youth; memories of Erin's. Vacations. Camping. Day trips. The beach. The time before we were parents. The kids have been pulling all of the pictures out asking “Who is this?” “Where was this?” “When was this?” I get lost in the memories. The feel and the look of the analog has a special meaning.
Digital allows me to choose what images I would like to import into my darkroom instantly. Scrolling through each image and tossing out the bad shots while keeping and backing up the keepers. Editing each shot tirelessly. Uploading the library of captured time. Thousands of my digital papercuts waiting to be printed on that photo paper dressed in lustre and surrounded in white trim only to be shoved into a shoebox. The evolution of analog to digital continually marches on.