Sometimes I feel like a mushroom, they keep me in the dark and feed…

An artist’s rendering of the photographer in his darkroom, not quite. (

OK, the only part of that title that’s true is being in the dark. Some people supposedly near and dear to me would agree that I’m in the dark about most things. And I would protest…somewhat.

At this point, I’m spending a hell of a lot of time in the darkroom, so yes, I am in the dark, literally. But, I’m also very productive. (Sidebar – the book “Arn? Narn.” was shot on film before I made the switch to digital. Therefore the images were also printed the old-fashioned way on photographic paper in chemicals. Call me a Luddite but please don’t call the EPA!) Each time I process my film, I’m seeing anywhere from 24-144 more negatives of the several thousand taken. I plan to wait until all the film is developed before I make proof sheets. Making proofs is tedious and I want to get it done once.

However, over the years, I’ve learned to “read” negatives and from what I’m seeing, I’m encouraged that the second trip to Newfoundland is yielding the desired results. Where once there were just my nice photographs of Newfoundland, there is now a cohesiveness to them including the ones taken the year prior.

Imagine reading several thousand of these, but at 1/20th the size.

That cohesiveness will allow me to select the best ones to print. It gives me an idea of how I want the visual narrative of the book to go. So when all is said and done, I will have many proof sheets with multiple images, some various versions of the same scene, to determine which to print. I know going into this phase, I will edit to a manageable 200-300 images to print. From those prints, I will start the actual editing to a more manageable number for the book. I’ve edited my work before, but never on a scope as large as this. I have no idea how difficult this is going to prove to be. Ultimately, this will be the book.

But, un-ultimately, this leads to a whole new other phase and once again my learning curve will be steep and long. Why didn’t I learn accountancy?

2 thoughts on “Sometimes I feel like a mushroom, they keep me in the dark and feed…

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