Kokoro - Wandering Through a Photographic Life

Backstage Kokoro

A "behind-the-scenes" look at selected images in my Kokoro project —
Content, photographic notes, EXIF data, creative process, miscellaneous commentary, and original digital captures. And now with additional audio comments about selected images!

From Kokoro #027 - Joe Sasak

Every technology has it strengths and its weaknesses. So, too, does every photographer. It took me years to admit it, but I simply never did master the ability to look at a negative and see the potential positive image in my mind's eye. The link below shows the scan of the 6x9cm negative. Comparing that to the finished image, I know it's the same content, but mentally flipping the tones is impossible for me — let alone what I'd need to do in the way of contrast adjusments, dodging or burning, or all the other creative tweaks.

This is one of the many reasons I eased into a digital workflow without much resistance. I love that one click in Photoshop can reverse the tones and get me started. Much easier than messing around in the darkroom. In fact, for a while in the transition years, I was scanning negatives, inverting them to a positive, fussing in Photoshop to see what could be done, and then I'd go into the wet darkroom and try to match in gelatin silver what I could see on my computer monitor. Eventually, that evolved into digital printing and digital output, both of which suit my limitations much better than the chemical darkroom.

Knowing one's limitations is an important part of the creative life.

Notice also the very dark rectangle in the negative on the left wall. That's is a metal thermometer that prints bright white and is very distracting. I removed it in the finished digital image file, something I would never have been able to do in gelatin silver printing. In fact, earlier versions of this image in gelatin silver still have that thermometer glaringly present.

Original scan from film (downsized for the web)

, , Epson PerfectionV700, ,

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