Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Precious Prints

In my darkroom there is a cabinet filled with various sized boxes, that at one time held photographic paper waiting to be exposed to the light projected by my enlarger.  Many of the boxes, baring names of papers that haven't been produced in years, are now showing signs of their age.  Some with tattered edges and crushed corners, others with hints of their former contents scribbled across the lid in faded black marker, whose meaning is no longer of any relevance.
These boxes haven't sheltered light sensitive papers for some time, instead they hold numerous photographs... hundreds of them, in loose stacks with corners jutting out from every possible angle.  The prints are small, the largest measuring five by five inches, but most are much smaller.  Their subject matter is as varied as their sizes; odd landscapes, portraits of friends, a sleeping dog, various photo abstractions, and many snapshots of my daughter.
When I am in the darkroom, with a negative sandwiched in the neg carrier, I make a decision that will in some way determine the images destiny.  A simple choice... large or small.  I make each image in only one size, the size that best compliments its subject, and there are only two sizes that interest me... large or small.
The large prints are wonderful for all sorts of obvious reasons, and they work very well when occupying the spacious stark walls of many galleries, but small prints have a quality that is difficult to describe.  There is an intimacy between the print and its viewer.
Because I rarely exhibit these smaller images, I thought I would post a few of them to share with you, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do

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