Sunday, August 3, 2008

Revival of Roots

This afternoon I left the insane humidity of St. Louis for the same conditions at the farm, which is nearly one hundred and twenty miles southwest of the city. I was packing up a change of clothes and burning a mix for the drive, which has become as programmed as the drive between my parents’ houses, and I began thinking about the whereabouts of my digital SLR’s battery charger. I became frantic when it dawned on me that with no charger, I wouldn’t be able to shoot over the weekend. I caught myself forgetting that digital was not my only photographic vice. I was silently ashamed.

I was introduced to photography in the realm of black and white film. Images on the walls, on the coffee table, at the dinner table. It was all the work of silver gelatin legends. I'm pretty sure that less than a year ago I made a sincere promise that when I purchased my first digital SLR I would not lose touch with my black and white roots. The fact that I got sweaty palms today does not exactly demonstrate my fulfillment of that promise.

I recently procured an extensive collection of color film. 200, 400, 1600. Kodak, Fuji, Walgreen’s. 12, 24, 36. On my way out the door with my manual and digital cameras over my shoulder (I found the charger) and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in hand, I grabbed an overflowing fistful of opaque, anonymous film canisters.

It was unbearably hot when I pulled in on the loose gravel driveway, weather not unexpected for August in my home state. The afternoon was centered around being in the water: swimming in this year’s adolescent waters. The Big Piney was blown out by the May rain and the banks have changed to an unrecognizable point. Regarding the high water, photographic documentation is a nearly pointless exercise. That is unless the after image is paralleled with a before one. I didn’t bring a camera with me this afternoon.

My father and I returned late, nearly six o’clock, but the air was still hot like midday and the stubborn sun wasn’t even beginning to set.

Friday, August 1, 2008