Diary of an Exhibition, Part 4

I’m fortunate to have an exhibit coming up, at the Barrington Area Library. The theme has become “facades;” it’s expansive enough to include a variety of subject matter, and it refers to light falling on surfaces and recording itself on light-sensitive emulsion. It took three full days to review negatives and to pull 60 (no, more) pages from the archive in order to make fresh prints. Originally, I thought most pictures would end up larger than ever, but realistically, sizes around 8×12 inches are most logical to me, so I’ll stick with that.


A phenomenon we all recognize occurred when I was trolling for specific negatives. You know the feeling that if you were to go back through your own archive you would come across overlooked gems? Oddly, it really happened this time. True, part of it was that there were pictures enough for three other, different shows, but for many shooting situations I now prefer alternate shots.


Paper selection has always been an important issue. The papers of choice are Ilford Multigrade (duh), Ilford Galerie (yes, I still have some) and fresh Oriental Seagull. Unfortunately, the darkroom has been behaving naturally to its subterranean position in that it’s very cold down there. Every day during the last week, it’s been 55-57 degrees. I need to re-heat the developer and the fixer roughly every hour. I still used GAF/Ansco 130 in the Ansel Adams variation, but as a back-up I also made Agfa 108 (also in someone’s modified version). I found myself doing things I commonly avoid: exposing paper with the lens wide open (not because my enlarger is out of alignment-au contraire, it’s nothing but perfect in that regard), and using exposure times longer than 30 seconds (don’t ask right now).


                                    Photograph by A. Orden