I’m in this valley twice a week, if not more. Normally wearing running shoes, sometimes accompanied by a borrowed dog. It has become a place of significance. So has dog, significant.
One photograph doesn’t describe it, the valley. Of course it doesn’t but then, of course it does, only to a very limited extent. Also, now would be a good time to ask; why describe it, but that’s a digression, for another time perhaps.
It is possible to photograph the valley from above, covering a good part of it in one frame but that’s at a distance, an overview, and somehow disconnected from the place itself.
(Which reminds me that I photograph too much from above, looking outwards, disconnected from the subject.)
Two photographs would be better—than only one—but two isn’t a good number of photographs, unless they’re a diptych but that’s more like one made from two so ..
Three are alright, five are even better, seven may be just a little too much and eleven most certainly is, it’s not as if this is a very long valley.
Oh, I forgot to mention that they have to be a prime number. Must place the OCD somewhere.
But what if they are ten to begin with, the photographs, and one of them excuses itself fairly easily but then the rest competes for the remaining slots? Fight for them. Nine photos, two too many—if not four—and none of them is about to leave voluntarily.
Also forgot to mention that three of the nine are verticals. Are verticals ok by the way? Or just troublemakers?
It probably would be easiest to simply toss the verticals, then toss one more, end up with five and move on. Forget about this set of photos and how it occupied an insignificant amount of time in april 2020.
But what if one of the verticals really has the essence of the place? One of seven is—yes what is that? Too symmetrical, or not symmetrical enough?
And what’s with the cheesy frames?
Yes, the frames. I sometimes miss my prints since a previous lifetime, now is one of those times. And now that I think of it, I also miss the tiny darkroom and the old Durst and the smell of fixer and where did I hang my films again?
The cheesy frames are a an attempt to imitate how my prints used to look in a previous life. Copied with only one mask in the negative carrier, leaving room for a black border around the photo. The attempt is not successful by the way, but the frames do remind me of this time long gone.
Then every other film was an HP5+, shot at ISO1600 and push–developed in one of the Ilfotecs, can’t remember which. Sometimes nice photos turned up on the contact sheets, it usually had more to do with light than anything else and I didn’t have a clue about light back then. Now I have something that resembles a clue about what makes light good and a much greater tolerance for when it’s bad. Sorry—dull, not bad. Except holes in the sky, which can under no circumstances be forgiven.
Now the HP5s have been replaced, mostly, by a tiny camera since many digital years ago. And the black border from the negative carrier is nowhere in sight, only its imitation.